It can be challenging to imagine that entrepreneurship comes with a psychological price considering how much the media glamorizes it. Most people only see the lavish and exciting lifestyles of high-profile entrepreneurs. That is why it is important to pay attention to the psychological price that entrepreneurs pay and work to avoid it.
But this makes up a small percentage of the overall business owner population. Most entrepreneurs don’t own private jets, and they don’t party with well-known celebrities or live extravagantly. However, this doesn’t mean that their life is all set out for them either. Just like other leaders, they also pay the psychological price of achieving their dreams and maintaining success.
Bradley Smith is the prime example of unequivocal business success behind which hid the fear of failure, stress-ridden anxiety, and the constant feeling of not being enough. Smith is the CEO of Rescue One Financial, a California-based financial service company that, on average, makes $32 million/year in sales.
Today the company ranks number 21 in the Inc 500/5000 top 100 fastest growing industry and 308 in the Inc 500. But before making his way in Inc 500, Smith was on the brink of financial devastation and complete mental breakdown.
In 2008, Bradley Smith was working day and night, counseling nervous clients on getting out of debt. But while he gave them advice, Smith was drowning in debt himself.
Smith had a steep beginning; working with a debt settlement company, maxing out his credit card, selling his very first and most expensive watch, and doing business with family by asking his dad for a $10,000 loan.
So, while he synergized his team members, he was secretly a second away from mental collapse.
Smith and his wife were living off of scraps, making the best of what they had and sharing only a bottle of wine for dinner. He would wake up in the middle of the night with his mind racing, wondering, ‘how can I ever turn this thing off?’
It took almost a year of anxiety-ridden sleep and working on autopilot before his company started making a considerable profit.
Often, we idolize successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg. These people earn the hero status in our society, and we celebrate their fast growth. But most of them harbor anxiety, sleepless nights, depression, and stress. Entrepreneurship isn’t all that you see on media. Instead, it’s a struggle through some tough times before reaping the rewards.
Entrepreneurship and Mental Health
Gallup Wellbeing Index research reveals that 45% of entrepreneurs experience stress compared to 42% of other workers. In addition, 34% of entrepreneurs are more likely to have ‘worried a lot’ than 30% of other employees.
Although these deviations sound small, a recent UC Berkeley Institutional Review study published on Small Business Economics reveals that mental health differences affect almost 72% of entrepreneurs directly or indirectly. It included 49% of individuals with personal mental history and family mental health history
Not just this, but entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health issues compared to the general population:
- Depression- 30% compared to 6%
- ADHD- 29% compared to 4%
- Addiction- 12% compared to 4%
- Bipolar Diagnosis- 11% compared to 4%
Most entrepreneurs follow a ‘never not working’ and ‘always grinding’ mindset that causes them to willingly sacrifice time, relationships, and financial security to grow their business. Studies show that entrepreneurs are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than the general population because of this mindset.
The Psychological Side Effects of Entrepreneurship
Mental health issues can be fatal, which is why it’s essential to address them right away.
Unfortunately, the busy lives of entrepreneurs deceive them into thinking this is how it should be and that it’s okay to suffer in silence. To break this stigma, below are some of the most common health issues experienced by entrepreneurs.
They Are Often Alone
Being an entrepreneur can be pretty lonely. Although you’ll indeed have friends, family, and your team members by your side, being transparent about the state of your business stays on your shoulders.
Entrepreneurs typically need to present a better version to keep the team motivated, investors’ confident, and family and friends unworried. As a result, entrepreneurs often feel lonely.
Because you need to put up a front, entrepreneurs bear the brunt of all anxiety and worries. It can contribute to the psychological side effects of entrepreneurship. A good idea is finding a mentor as you can turn to them and share with others.
The ‘F’ Word
Failure is inevitable. Part of establishing your business is recognizing that something is going to fail.
Failure and fear of failure cause significant anxiety, stress, and mindset issues like perfectionism and imposter syndrome. And although failure is an integral and inevitable part of the overall entrepreneurial process, it’s often impossible to let go or repurpose that fear of failing.
Unfortunately, fear and the feeling of failure can derail you off of your way to success. The stress, anxiety, and fear penetrate your personal life and affect your relationships.
Instead of focusing on failures or “not failing no matter what,” recognize that failure is part of the process. Focus on your past accomplishments, no matter how small. Make a list of all your accomplishments and successes. I bet there are man more than you might initially think.
Impossible to Maintain Work-Life Balance
Entrepreneurs are strong-headed, passionate, and committed people who hardly take a day off. It includes weekends and holidays.
Most newbie entrepreneurs don’t realize that being a business owner is not a nine-to-five job. An insightful study by BGF Ventures and Streebess reveals that 20% of U.K. founders work 60 to 79 hours per week, whereas 53% of entrepreneurs never stop working.
While their entrepreneurial spirit may seem impressive, it is detrimental to their mental health. By overworking yourself and not giving yourself a break, you put your health, productivity, and focus at stake.
Entrepreneurs often struggle to convince themselves that they deserve a break and feel guilty when taking one, especially when they are yet to reach their dreams. Since starting and running a business comes with a lot of stress, entrepreneurs are often pressured to make critical decisions and what’s at stake.
On the whole, this can take a toll on their mental and overall health.
They Feel Overwhelmed
Entrepreneurs always have too much on their plates. Whether you have a staff or a junior assistant, you’ll realize that there is still so much to do.
You are the business owner, the visionary, and the leader, which means that you have to monitor all processes of a company. You have bills to pay, clients to appease, projects to complete, a business to run, failures to account for, a team to manage, demanding clients, taxes to pay, and more.
As an entrepreneur, you try to be all things to everyone. You wake up to hundreds of emails, phone calls, and texts every day, each demanding instant replies.
Try waking up half an hour or an hour earlier to ease yourself into the day ahead. Consider journaling, practice self-care, work out, or meditate, and set your schedule with how you intend to spend your time to get the outcomes you want.
The Bottom Line
There is an overly glamorized, starry-eyed perception of entrepreneurship in our society. In reality, running your business can take a toll on your mental health, finances, and even personal relationships.
If you want to achieve your business goals without paying the psychological price, you must learn the essence of good mental health. Learn to practice self-care, ask for help when you need to, and lean on other people’s shoulders every once in a while.
For more help on creating your ideal business and ideal life, reach out to me today and schedule your complimentary consultation.
Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could you use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your professional and personal goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life!
Want timely and relevant information to help you make more money and work less, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life? Subscribe to my business success tips blog by going to https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/blog/. Feel free to share this with others who you think would get value. Let me know how else I can be of assistance to you on your goal achievement journey.