Running a Business Can Take a Toll on Your Mental Health
Due to COVID and widespread job loss, many people have decided to become entrepreneurs and start their own business. It’s a great idea to go to work for yourself and build your own dream, but unfortunately, many of these people don’t know what they are getting into and quickly find themselves stressed out, depressed and overwhelmed.
What if it didn’t have to be this way? How can these new entrepreneurs handle running a business while staying mentally healthy? It is very doable if done right.
Hedge the downsides
You’ve probably heard the hype: Entrepreneurship equals freedom. Starting a business is the fastest way to build wealth. Build the life of your dreams. Unfortunately, it’s the biggest lie out there. The truth is that all of these things can happen, but it’s not so easy. You need to have realistic expectations otherwise you’re going to be quickly disappointed, stressed and depressed when you realize how much work is really involved to run a successful business.
Care enough for people not to fail
If failure tends to get the best of you, you might want to avoid entrepreneurship because it is filled with failure in the traditional sense. In fact, you could say the most successful entrepreneurs are really just professional failures who keep trying. But ultimately, you can relieve any stress, anxiety and depression around failure by caring so much for people that in essence, you never fail. If you show people that you genuinely care and go to bat for them all the time, you’ll never be a failure.
If you don’t adapt to change well, you might want to avoid entrepreneurship. In business, things are constantly changing. For people who like the same routine day in and day out, your emotions might start to get the best of you when you realize that running a business is filled with new and different challenges every day. Learn to accept change and don’t let it get the best of you.
Find a healthy outlet
Unfortunately, when it comes to depression, anxiety and other negative emotions, many entrepreneurs feel as if they need to appear strong and in control. As a result, they hold it all in and this makes it worse, leads to drug and alcohol abuse, and in severe cases even suicide. The sooner you can address your mental health, the better the outcome.
Focus on your health
All the success in business is meaningless if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it. Entrepreneurship is hard work and will take a toll on your mind and body. Make your health a priority and eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, get enough quality sleep, find time to relax, drink plenty of water and don’t overextend yourself.
Have a big solution
Deciding to become an entrepreneur is commendable, but you need to have real solutions for people otherwise everything is going to go astray. After all, business is all about soling people’s problems. The more problems you solve for them, the more money you make. After that, you can put your mental health at ease by answering some very important questions: How are you going to get clients? Do you need to hire employees? How will you handle cash flow and bookkeeping? Are you willing to wear multiple hats and work the long hours to build the business? Start with a solution to people’s problems, then follow up with a solid business plan.
Starting a business is definitely a great idea in these times when so many people are out of work and simply trying to make ends meet. It can yield great wealth, immense satisfaction and a totally different lifestyle for you and your family. Just make sure you know what you are getting into and that it’s not as easy as some people portray it to be. Entrepreneurs, in particular, need to take precautions to protect their mental health and take care of themselves.
This guest post was authored by Dr. Alok Trivedi
Dr. Trivedi is a health, human behavior and national stress reduction expert. He is founder of The Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’