We are witnessing an ever-changing landscape of the business world due to entrepreneurship, but what remains hidden in the limelight of this transformation is the stressed life of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is not a cakewalk; rather, it is a painstakingly difficult job that has its fair share of rewards and pitfalls.
Today’s successful entrepreneurs are followed by a lot of people for inspiration and motivation, and rightly so. They make public speeches and draw eager listeners, write motivational books and articles, and tell their success stories. While all of this seems to be an ideal lifestyle and a state of fulfillment, even entrepreneurs have to pay a price.
According to a study conducted by the University of California, entrepreneurs are more likely to develop mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and bipolar disorders as compared to the common people. In general, mental illness can be highly toxic if left untreated, while many entrepreneurs are reluctant to speak about their problems. If not addressed properly, mental health issues can have debilitating consequences, which are most likely be detrimental to the business itself. Since 9 out of 10 startups fail, and this is one of the reasons why most of the entrepreneurs are under tremendous pressure to turn their startups into successful businesses.
So, mental health issues are also a pressing concern in the entrepreneurial world that need to be addressed. In fact, more and more people are becoming entrepreneurs and it is in everyone’s interest that they should manage their mental health.
If you are a budding entrepreneur, here are some powerful tips for managing your mental health:
1. Increase Your Mental Resilience
Without a single shred of doubt, running a startup business needs a lot of responsibilities, accountability, and mental toughness. At times, the level of stress that you feel and the weight of uncertainty that is inherent may become unbearable to you. In order to succeed, you have to develop and maintain mental resilience, which will keep your thoughts and self-talk positive and you will be able to avoid habits that lead to negativity. To be an able leader, you have to be emotionally stable so that you make good decisions under pressure. A higher mental strength helps you stay put, even when nothing seems to be in your favor. You need to inculcate flexibility and adaptability to get ready for a change. You should develop a calm demeanor in the face of continuous pressures so you can effectively deal with stressful situations. Finally, you have to be more focused, patient, tenacious, and strong-willed.
2. Identify the Triggers
Due to immense entrepreneurial pressure, anxiety and depression can shut you off to the world and to yourself. Entrepreneurship brings passion and obsession in your life. You might sometimes feel a compulsive drive to get things going, unfortunately at the cost of relationships and health. As a result, there is an increased risk of stress and hence, slipping into addiction. This is an inflection point which many entrepreneurs fail to recognize and they develop drug addiction, painkiller addiction, alcohol addiction, etc. To avoid any of this, you have to identify the triggers that make you tensed and stressed. You have to be careful about the early signs of impending mental health issues like withdrawal from friends, changed sleeping and eating habits, apathy, etc. If need be, seek out medical advice since there is no shame in getting help and finding someone to talk to. For more info on dealing with these triggers, visit this website.
3. Manage Your Workload Effectively
Unpredictability and deadlines are two of the biggest contributors to work-related stress. These two factors can play a critical role because your success largely depends on how properly they can be managed and addressed. In general terms, an entrepreneur’s workload falls into two categories – physical and psychological. You need to manage both of them by building a solid mental base and gaining perspective on how to prioritize your tasks. Gradually, you will notice an unending workload in your daily routine like managing the employees, planning towards the future of the company, and attending numerous meetings. Therefore, you also should understand the importance of working smarter, instead of harder. To manage well, you need to prioritize different goals and assign minor tasks for each goal and create a time structure for each of them. Finally, depending on your skills and experiences, decide on the duties that can be done effectively by other people.
4. Create Your Network and Support System
Entrepreneurship is much like a busy roller coaster ride, which renders you to badly evaluate your own mental health. Being the boss of yourself, you might not have people who could make sure you are taking care of your mental health needs. This is where a good support system plays a key role in your life in the form of your friends, family, and colleagues. A successful business world runs on social connectivity, expanding networks, and fostering connections. In fact, no entrepreneur in the past has ever succeeded without an effective network and support system. So it can be internal, external, or a combination of the two; you need to reach out to them, quickly resolve your issues, and move on. Mentors are great and by having one on your support team, help is at your doorstep.
5. Carve Out Some Time for Yourself
In the heat and dust of your entrepreneurial journey, don’t forget to give time to yourself. Just do something every day that makes you happy, away from all those professional activities. It will certainly help you deal with stress and anxiety. Spend a few minutes to create something unique, enjoy the process instead of the result, and, more importantly, allow yourself to make mistakes. It is as important for you to invest in yourself as on your business because a work-life balance is very important to keep mental health issues at bay. Exercising and eating healthy are also important ways to look after your mental health. You can involve interesting activities like open water swimming, jogging, or doing yoga and meditation. Connecting with nature will also give you a therapeutic effect.
Being an entrepreneur, you are naturally under intense stress and pressure. While you have already put all your eggs in one basket, there is a lot more at stake for you. Hence, taking care of your mental health becomes very important to absorb the inherent risk, stress, and uncertainty. After all, if you are not mentally strengthened, the health of your business will also plunge.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.