Mere looking at an entrepreneur from afar, you will want to emulate their lifestyle and wish to be just like them. Unfortunately, most people hardly know what goes behind the scene and the mental stress they undergo. They are all quick to idolize or use a successful entrepreneur as their role model because they seem more driven and successful than anyone else does.
Several books and courses have been written about selling the dream of successful entrepreneurs. However, little is being spoken about their lifestyle and the serious mental health issues they might be undergoing.
Most entrepreneurs won’t tell you what they are passing through beneath what you see, as well as the mental cost they pay for their choices. They are continually being placed at a precarious risk that could affect their mental health.
Here are few of the ways entrepreneurship influences your mental health:
- Depression: Most entrepreneurs experience bouts of depression as they undergo a period of isolation while trying to think of the right business model while not having adequate time to take care of themselves. They are often used to the mentality of “time is money” which often deprive them of sleep, leisure, exercise, and other activities that could lift them out of depressive state. Entrepreneurs often try to cover up their depressive state by opting to work more extended hours. At times, they take their depressive symptoms to mean stress, which could aggravate the symptoms.
- Self-Worth Issues: Many entrepreneurs self-worth is closely linked to their net-worth. When they are experiencing a boom in their business, their self-esteem will also be boosted accordingly. However, when they encounter the downside of the industry, and they couldn’t meet up with their targets, they become so demoralized, and they struggle for identity. Because they have conditioned their minds to think only of success as the only option, any setback they get could result in a mental health crisis.
- Anxiety: Entrepreneurs face a whole lot of pressure on a daily basis. The weight could come in different forms such as your plan to service a particular debt, and it rests on your ability to win a contract bid. It could even be a fame-related pressure, whereby you are trying to find a way to balance it with your busy work schedule. All this could lead to heightened anxiety. If such is left unchecked for an extended period, it will eventually lead to burnout.
4. Fear of the unknown: Some entrepreneurs have developed a paranoid mind to the extent that they begin to have trust issues even about their trusted associates. This has caused the failure of many businesses.
We need to realize that having emotional difficulties is not a sign of weakness. It’s just an indication that entrepreneurial lifestyle could predispose one to mental health issues if left unchecked. Therefore, as an entrepreneur or an intending one, you need to take a decisive step today to prevent emotional problems from affecting your business.
Thus, it’s imperative for entrepreneurs to take charge of their mental health and take a holistic approach to entrepreneurship.
The Mental Cost of Entrepreneurship was coined by Psychotherapist, Author, and Entrepreneur Shanna A. Jefferson to raise awareness of the importance of mental health for entrepreneurs and challenging them to take a holistic approach to entrepreneurship. Mental health issues, if not addressed, can have a debilitating effect on not only the overall well-being of the entrepreneur but their entrepreneurial endeavors and business as well.
Ms. Jefferson’s products and services for entrepreneurs include psychotherapy, coaching, books, workshops, speaking engagements, and a podcast show.