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7 Important Ways Entrepreneurship and Mental Health Connect

How To Stay Resilient

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:

  • Long hours
  • Tight deadlines
  • High stakes
  • Pressure to succeed

Many entrepreneurs buckle under the pressure and they experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Burnout
  • Other emotional challenges

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.

1. Entrepreneurship Can Be a Lonely Journey

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:

  • Set a time in your calendar to call friends or family members
  • Join a mastermind to chat with fellow entreprenuers
  • When you workout (and you should!), do it in a public place like a gym or park to get some human interaction
  • Schedule lunch or coffee dates – these can be onZoom or in-person

2. Entrepreneurship Can Be a High-Pressure Environment

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.

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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.

3. Entrepreneurship Can Be a Roller Coaster of Emotions.

You’ll experience the highs of:

  • Making sales
  • Launching the business
  • Making your first hire
  • Shipping your first order
  • Gaining new followers on social media

The downside is you will also experience lows like:

  • Your first time firing someone
  • Losing a customer to a competitor
  • Downtime when sales are not coming in
  • MIssing deadlines
  • Forgetting your spouse’s birthday because you are so bogged down with work

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.

4. Entrepreneurship Can Be a Risky Endeavor

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:

  • Having savings set aside in case your business doesn’t work out
  • Research and plan before you start your business
  • Develop a strong network of people to connect with for ideas and inspiration
  • Set realistic goals, and don’t try to expand too quickly
  • Work with a mental health counselor to discuss the best methods of adapting to your new normal

5. Entrepreneurship Can Be All-Consuming

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

  • First, learn the signs of what burnout looks like. They can include:
    • Feeling resentful of your clients
    • Gaining or losing signficant amounts of weight
    • Losing friendships because you are spending too much time at work
    • Lack of that creative spark you once had

6. Entrepreneurship Can Be a Source of Conflict

Being an entrepreneur can mean facing challenges in your relationships with:

  • Partners
  • Employees
  • Vendors
  • Customers
  • Investors, etc…

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:

7. Entrepreneurship Can Be a Source of Personal Growth

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:

  • Bigger tax bills
  • More responsibility
  • Being too visible
  • Family members will expect them to pay for things

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:

  • Setting firm boundaries on who has access to you
  • Prioritizing your self-care
  • Practicing being grateful
  • Working on being mindful and present-focused
  • Setting goals for yourself, and reassess what success looks like to you
  • Celebrating small wins
  • Learning from failures rather than letting them set you back
  • Seeking mentorship and mental health support

Where To Go From Here

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

Additional Entrepreneurship and Mental Health Resources

Recently, our founder Stephanie Levitt was interviewed for a podcast and for an article by Godaddy about mental health and it’s connection to entrepreneurship. Below are summaries of both of Stephanie’s appearances:

The Importance of Mental Health for Entrepreneurs

In the article “The Importance of Mental Health for Entrepreneurs,” Godaddy spoke with therapist Stephanie Levitt about how entrepreneurs can often become overly immersed in their work, losing work-life balance. Signs that someone may need a mental break include exhaustion, irritability, lack of sleep, and constant worrying thoughts.

Levitt explained that self-care like taking short breaks, practicing mindfulness, and reading self-help books can help manage stress. However, it’s also vital to seek professional counseling if needed. There is still stigma around mental healthcare in some areas, but it should be normalized in the same way as physical checkups.

Finding the right therapist is a process similar to dating – it sometimes takes trying out a few to find the best match. Overall, the article emphasizes entrepreneurs prioritizing mental health through intentional self-care and professional support when warranted. A main theme is reducing stigma around mental healthcare and treating it with the same importance as physical health.

Read the full post here.

Chatting About Mental Health and Entrepreneurship with Stephanie Levitt

Stephanie appeared on The Bloggy Friends Show for a candid chat about mental health.

In the episode, host Ashley Grant interviews Stephanie Levitt, who specializes in working with entrepreneurs. They have an in-depth discussion about the importance of protecting mental health, signs that someone may need to take a break or seek help, stigma around mental healthcare, and tips for entrepreneurs to prioritize self-care.

Key points from the episode:

Overall, the episode emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurs prioritizing mental health through self-care and seeking professional support when needed.

Listen to the full episode here: