If you’re an entrepreneur, you might not be giving enough attention to one of the most important factors in your success: your mental health.
The Life of an Entrepreneur is Difficult in Every Conceivable Way
The risks are high. Raising capital can be difficult, income can be unpredictable, it can be difficult to establish a brand and a web presence, it can be difficult to construct a team that can be relied on, and there are also challenges associated with growth and quality. A visionary mindset and the ability to persevere are important, but there is another factor that contributes to your success you might not be giving enough importance to your mental health.
The importance of one’s mental health cannot be overstated, yet it is frequently disregarded as a factor in business achievement. According to research conducted at UC Berkeley, an astounding 72 percent of business owners struggle with some form of mental illness. They found that thirty percent (30%) of the business owners they studied had a history of depression, nineteen percent (19%) had ADHD, twelve percent (12%) struggled with substance abuse issues, and eleven percent (11%) reported having bipolar disorder. The great news is that you are not alone, and the bad news is that mental health is finally receiving the attention it needs to deserve.
Ignoring your requirements in favor of your company is a choice you simply can’t afford to make because a significant portion of what makes for a successful entrepreneur is also what makes us susceptible to mental illness. Let’s take a look at some different approaches we can take to improve both our mental health and our companies’ bottom lines.
Having a strong support system is critical to maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. The quality of your physical health can be indirectly impacted by the support you receive as well. Loneliness has been found to alter the function of our brains, which can lead to issues such as heart disease, depressed mood, increased alcohol use, and increased suicide rates. Loneliness is also linked to a lack of social support, which is another risk factor for developing depression.
During a global pandemic, it may be difficult to access social support; however, there are many innovative approaches to maintaining connections with others. Because it is not constrained by either time or space, social media has played a significant part in maintaining people’s connections. As a result, you have access to support from people located all over the world. Finding online communities of fellow business owners and entrepreneurs who are going through similar challenges to your own can be a helpful way to get support.
Conversation with those close to you about your mental health is one of the most effective ways to locate support when you need it. This can be frightening, but we have to recognize how important it is to share, to be vulnerable, and to let other people walk alongside us when we are going through difficult times.
It’s possible that you don’t even know how your friends and family can help you right now, but even just talking about it and relieving some of the pressure that you’re putting on yourself can be a huge help. It is important to remember that seeking assistance is not a sign of weakness but rather one of strength.
We are fortunate to live in a day and age in which access to qualified assistance is as close as our pockets. The use of telehealth visits, mental-health apps, EBT/DBT apps, and mindfulness apps are all wonderful ways to incorporate professional assistance into your daily routine. Help from a professional does not have to come exclusively from psychologists or therapists; other professionals, such as personal-development coaches, therapists, and healers, can also be of assistance.
These experts can see beyond our limited perspective, which enables them to assist us in resolving issues from the past and gaining the ability to move forward for the benefit of both ourselves and our companies. Do not be ashamed to ask for assistance; the reality is that everyone will, at some point, require the assistance of a trained professional.
Engage in Regular Practice
Entrepreneurs can make time to cultivate a daily practice that will be beneficial to both themselves and their company. Meditation, expressing gratitude, breathwork, yoga, or even just going for a walk are all examples of daily practices. You are the only person who can decide what you will do for yourself daily, and the decision is non-negotiable.
You don’t have to set aside two hours every day or make it difficult, but it should be something that you look forward to doing and that brings both your mind and your body some sense of calm. The knowledge that you have this sacred little bit of time every day, despite the many different directions in which your business pulls you, is invaluable.
Contracting Work Out To Others
In this context, the term “outsourcing” does not refer to moving production to a different country; rather, it refers to examining one’s life to identify the activities that consume one’s mental capacity and deplete one’s energy reserves and then finding someone else to take care of those activities.
Because we wear so many different hats as business owners, it can be very difficult for us to delegate some of the responsibility (and control) that falls under our purview to other people. When you outsource, you may hire someone to do your laundry, clean your house, or provide you with meals. This may also be considered outsourcing. It could be that they finally decide to hire outside help for managing their social media accounts.
It’s possible that a little sugar would make this pill easier to swallow. We all require a healthy dose of radical self-acceptance, regardless of whether a person is an entrepreneur, CEO, librarian, or retired. To be able to move forward without feeling shame or passing judgment on ourselves, it is necessary to recognize our challenges for what they are and to accept that they are an inherent part of who we are.
This has repercussions that extend beyond our own mental lives and paves the way for us to be more accepting of the challenges faced by others and to maintain an open mind. If we are secretly hating and judging ourselves for having problems with our mental health, then it is highly likely that we are doing the same thing to other people. The majority of us went into business for ourselves because we were confident that we could make a difference and bring about change; however, we will not be able to do either of these things successfully if we are also judging ourselves and others. Finally, I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with suicidal or self-harming thoughts to seek help as soon as possible.
Regardless of how successful you are or how much money you bring in, you will always be valuable and needed. You deserve to give your mental health the attention it requires because it plays an important role in your success, happiness, and overall well-being, and you also deserve that attention.
The modern entrepreneur has incredible opportunities for innovation and for finding solutions to the problems that plague the world, but we also face a great deal of competition. We must place a high priority on maintaining good mental health to have a robust and successful future.