How are entrepreneurship and mental health connected? This question may never have crossed your mind. If you run your own business or are thinking about running one, it’s an important question to consider.
The truth is being an entrepreneur can be one of the most exciting things you can ever do.
That said, it can also be highly stressful and demanding. At the end of the day, being in charge can take a serious toll on your mental health.
Hardly anyone likes to talk about that side of things, but it’s important to think about your mental health if you want to be a business owner.
After all, being an entrepreneur means:
Many entrepreneurs buckle under the pressure and they experience:
In this post, we’ll explore the seven ways that entrepreneurship and mental health are connected. We’ll also share some important tips for keeping your mental health in check.
Entrepreneurs often work long hours.
They may feel isolated from their peers, family, and friends.
When we’re isolated we can feel, not just loneliness, but anxiety and depression too.
What you can do to keep loneliness from negatively impacting your mental health:
These ideas may seem obvious, but there are a few things you can do:
There’s a lot of pressure on an entrepreneur. You’re responsible for managing the success or failure of their business.
That weight can feel really heavy.
It only gets worse when you’re responsible for employees, investors, and customers.
So what can you do when the pressure gets to be too much?
Having someone to talk to can help ease the pressure.
For example, a counselor can help. you manage your stress with a variety of coping strategies.
They can also provide a safe place for you to explore your fears and concerns.
Simply, looking at what you're feeling with a mental health provider can help you better ease your tension.
You might not even realize what is causing your stress. A counselor can act as a guide to help you navigate your way through entrepreneur life.
You'll experience the highs of:
The downside is you will also experience lows like:
Starting and/or growing a business can be filled with lots of ups and downs.
It can be difficult to keep a balance - especially when things aren’t going the way you think they should be.
You may even experience feelings of disappointment, frustration, and shame. These come to the surface when things get rough.
You’re not alone.
A mental health counselor can help you handle the ride.
No one said you had to be on the roller coaster alone! A counselor help you regulate your emotions. They can also help you identify healthier ways to cope with challenging situations.
Not all businesses will succeed. Two very real possibilities are financial insecurity, and complete failure.
This isn’t meant to scare you away from being an entrepreneur. You just need to be aware of the possibilities going in.
What can you do to prepare for the risks?
As the old G.I. Joe slogan stated, “Knowing is half the battle.”
For some people, being aware of the risks is all they need to be able to handle them in a positive way.
Other people need a little more help, and that’s okay.
A few things you can do to prepare include:
It’s not uncommon for an entrepreneur to work long hours. Neglecting your health, and even sacrificing your personal life is also normal. With no one there to give you a playbook of when to clock in, or when to take a break, it’s easy to overwork.
Don’t forget that your business is not your entire life.
Below are a few tips for preventing or recovering from burnout
Being an entrepreneur can mean facing challenges in your relationships with:
These conflicts can create stress and anxiety, which can affect your mental health.
It’s not always easy to manage conflict. This is especially true when money is on the line. For example, a conflict with a vendor could cost you money. Or conflict with an employee could mean you have to pay more to hire someone new.
Protect your mental health to better manage conflict
When you’re already on edge, it’s harder to deal with conflict rationally. This is why keeping your mental health in check is so important. If you are using your own coping strategies or working with a mental health counselor, it’s important to learn how to:
You will face the unique challenges that come from being an entrepreneur. And, you will grow and develop in ways you may not have considered. Even positive changes you will experience as you grow can impact your mental health.
For example, achieving record levels of success can also cause stress and anxiety.
You might not be prepared to achieve your goals. That might sound crazy, but success can be as scary as failure.
The truth is some people unlock new fears when they become more successful. Just a few of the fears we’ve seen include:
Schedule online. It's easy, fast and secure.
The list goes on and on.
Tips for managing your personal growth.
Learning how to manage your personal growth is critical to your mental health. A few tips for doing so include:
Remember, anxiety and fear is normal when starting a business. But, you don’t have to manage entrepreneurship and mental health alone.
A mental health counselor can:
Your counselor's office, whether it's in person or using telehealth, is a safe space. It's a place where you can discuss concerns and feelings.
It’s also important to work with someone who understands your unique challenges. If you’re struggling with your mental health, the licensed professionals of Pathways Counseling Services are here for you. Learn how we work, and book an appointment today.
Pathways Counseling Services is the top-rated therapy and counseling service in Scottsdale, Arizona, year after year. We can help you live a happier and healthier life through effective and supportive mental health care. You can reach us by phone at 480-235-1682