There are many challenges that face entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur myself, I know only too well the stress and anxiety that can be associated owning a business. It's a challenge that comes with sacrifices, but also great rewards.
When we're working on our own and setting our own rules, there are no limits to what we can achieve or how much money we can make. However, there is one thing that many entrepreneurs fail to understand or appreciate until it's too late: the pressures of running your own company can lead to mental health issues. In this article I'll explain five reasons why being an entrepreneur makes you vulnerable to mental health problems—and what you can do about them!
Entrepreneurs are isolated
As a business owner, you're the person who is to drive the turning your ideas into a reality. You might often find yourself having no one to talk to about your problems, no one to help you with issues that arise, and no one to keep you accountable for your actions. Entrepreneurs are often so focused on their work that they forget about outside sources of support and connection.
This isolation can be especially harmful during major life events such as a death in the family or a marriage breakup. When these events happen, entrepreneurs may feel even more alone because they don't have someone who can share those experiences with them or provide emotional support when needed most.
As an entrepreneur, there's also the pressure of taking care of yourself while trying to take care of others (your employees). Having someone else around who understands what it feels like would make things easier for you both mentally and physically.
Entrepreneurs are perfectionists
You're a perfectionist. You always have been, and you believe you probably always will be.
Guess what? This characteristic becomes problematic when it causes you to procrastinate given fear of failure or prevents you from taking action at all. Perfectionists often put off decisions in order to make sure they're making the "right" choice—which means they'll spend hours doing research and weighing their options instead of just making an educated guess about what looks best for them right now. And even when they do reach decisions (like choosing which business idea fits best with their skillset), perfectionists may end up second-guessing themselves because they haven't done everything possible beforehand: "What if I could have done better?"
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers. As a general rule, this is both good and necessary for their success. But over time, entrepreneurs will inevitably face failure—and it’s important to know how to manage risk-reward tradeoffs to continue to progressing forward as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs work long hours
Entrepreneurs work long hours, which can lead to burnout, poor health and even worse sleep. Entrepreneurship is a 24/7 job—and it doesn't stop when you go home at night. This shows up as answering emails at odd times of the day and night. And if that's not enough, then there's also social media posting, blogging and other marketing tasks that never really stop.
All this work can lead to burnout from lack of sleep or poor eating habits due to lack of time or emotional energy needed for self-care activities such as exercise or relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
Entrepreneurs don't like to ask for help
There are many reasons why entrepreneurs can be reluctant to ask for help. One is that they tend to see themselves as independent, self-sufficient and resilient. Another is that they don’t want to be seen as weak, or that asking for help will make them look like they can’t handle the situation on their own.
Asking for help can also feel like admitting defeat—that there's something wrong with you that needs fixing. And what if it takes longer than expected? The entrepreneur might worry about how other people think of them if they're unable to deliver on a project or task in a timely manner, especially if there's a lot of money involved (and sometimes even when there isn't). They may even suspect people will take advantage of them because of their vulnerabilities—a genuine concern given how common this sort of thing is in business relationships.
As an entrepreneur, I can attest to the fact that entrepreneurs are vulnerable to mental health issues. It's why I've work so hard to pull myself out of isolation, perfectionism, uncalculated risks, long work days, and the tendency to avoid asking for help.
Vulnerability is a normal part of being human! Everything about de-programming common mistakes in entrepreneurship is about leaning into vulnerability and absorbing grace, support, and intuition. Also, having a mental health issue does not make you less of a person. If anything, it makes you more human because it shows how much your brain and body want to function normally in spite of the challenges they face.
Entrepreneurship is an incredible journey. It can be a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling careers you can choose.
If you find yourself struggling with any of these issues, don't hesitate to reach out for help! There are many resources available for entrepreneurs who need mental health assistance—an expert therapist can help you recognize what's causing stressors and take steps towards overcoming them!