Importance of Mental Health for Entrepreneurs
It is no secret that entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate. They are constantly trying to juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and please customers or clients. With so much going on, it is easy for entrepreneurs to forget about their own mental health.
Picture this: You pioneered an amazing business that you have been daydreaming about forever! A self-made entrepreneur; you looked into every detail, you learned the skills you would require, and you finally have it all mapped out. But then something completely unplanned and unexpected happens – you experience burnout and just like that, everything comes crashing down.
This is every founder’s nightmare. As an entrepreneur, you may be so focused on your business that you forget to look after your own mental health.
A study by the NIH suggests that about 70% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health problems compared to 48% of non-entrepreneurs. According to another study, business owners are more susceptible to developing mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and ADHD, than normal people.
Needless to say, these stats are terrifying. While employees have the opportunity to talk to their HR or manager about their mental health and seek relief, things are different for solopreneurs. Solopreneurs and small business owners seldom have that conversation.
As an entrepreneur, the importance of taking care of your mental health cannot be understated. Keep reading to find out what you can do to stay on top of it and avoid unnecessary suffering while achieving your dreams.
7 Reasons Why Mental Health Is Important For Entrepreneurs
#1 Combating Loneliness
Being a business founder and leader is not that easy. Pulling all-nighters to meet deadlines, working on holidays and weekends, and not having enough time to meet up with friends can make one lonely and depressed.
When you first started out, you probably visualized the sacrifices that you would have to make to build a successful business. But imagining a scenario and experiencing it firsthand are two very different things, and it doesn’t necessarily get any easier.
Most entrepreneurs end up making a number of connections, thanks to their businesses. These connections can be great for a number of business reasons, but keep in mind that the majority of these connections are just connections. They’re not friends with whom you can emotionally connect and bond.
That’s why it’s highly recommended that you talk to a professional and share your experiences, to avoid being overwhelmed by loneliness.
#2 Dealing With The Fear Of Uncertainty Can Affect Mental Health
Time and again, we have all had to tolerate and endure uncertainties. However, for solopreneurs and small business owners, this is a daily occurrence. The initial years of a start-up can be full of challenges that may or may not be in your control.
Many small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to lose a client and replacing one could take a significant amount of time. Naturally, this gives rise to the fear of uncertainty, which can manifest into a more general sense of anxiety.
The quickest way to build resilience against uncertainty is to prepare well for the variables that ARE in your control. Not only will a thorough preparation boost your confidence, but when circumstances do change, you’ll be much better equipped to adapt.
#3 Develop Healthy/ Flexible Coping Strategies
Coping mechanisms are nothing but fail-safes built into our brains to help us survive. The issue is that even though we have been evolutionarily hard-wired for self-preservation, our world is getting more and more complex.
Keeping our coping mechanisms healthy today is challenging since there are various subconscious factors that tend to interfere. Many look for quick fixes in the form of stimulants to work longer hours, which further deteriorates their mental health.
Understanding your coping style and optimizing it will not only help you lead a healthy lifestyle but also be more productive in your work!
#4 Connection To Your Brand
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are by far the biggest causes of emotional disconnect. If not dealt with at the earliest, these issues could ruin your functionality and productivity, making you unconfident and uneasy in situations you would once thrive in.
Naturally, this could make it incredibly difficult for you to stay emotionally connected with your business. Entrepreneurs describe this feeling as lacking interest and feeling confused, and then they often give up on their business.
Believe it or not, the emotional connection that you have with your brand will test how determined you are to see your business succeed. And for that, you need to ensure that you are avoiding burnout and taking care of your mental health.
#5 Physical Health And Mental Health Are Interconnected
In some industries, mental health is stigmatized and not talked about openly in the workplace. Let’s face it, it’s more acceptable to say they are having chest pains instead of admitting you’re having a breakdown.
From a very young age, we are coerced into somatizing our emotions. So, it’s only natural for people to experience health issues that are actually caused by underlying emotional or mental conditions.
When you are emotionally distressed, it negatively affects your nervous system and puts your health at risk. Long story short, if you want to be physically healthy, take care of your emotional health as well.
#6 Boosts Confidence
Research suggests that people with good mental health are more likely to make confident decisions in both life and business. As a solopreneur, you may have to make experimental and tough decisions at many stages in your career.
If you are mentally well, you will not hesitate while taking them and most likely be able to witness the far results as well.
#7 Improves Productivity
Many aspire to be business founders, but only a few end up realizing that dream. You, as an entrepreneur, would want to set a benchmark for others through your hard work. It’s highly recommended that you always present a better version of yourself and be an example for others to follow.
In order to do that, you need to be highly organized and productive in your work. Working on your emotional health can help you have a more balanced grip on your thoughts. Thus, it will help you make progressive decisions that inspire your team and improve productivity.
Being a founder isn’t always glamorous — the pressure of running a business can take its toll on your mental health.
Hopefully, this guide will help you effectively manage your mental health as an entrepreneur. There are treatments for both depression and anxiety and we encourage you to seek them out.
Remember, both your business and your family need you to be healthy and happy!