The mental cost of being an entrepreneur


Mental health is still a taboo. It can’t be talked or discussed freely with other people. The stigma surrounding mental health has kept people from talking about it and sharing their experiences to find other people who have suffered similar things.

Mental health is a big part of entrepreneurship that is never talked about. We often hear other entrepreneurs talk about the dark side of entrepreneurship, of which the most important component is the mental cost of your struggle.

Success or failure is not directly linked to stress. The entire process of building a company from ground up, struggling to make it a success and the overall hurdles of entrepreneurship, all contribute to stress. Seeking therapy is an option, but again, the shame associated with therapy prevents people from seeking help. No entrepreneur is alone in his struggle with depression and other mental health issues. Here are some ways entrepreneurs can tackle depression:

Depression is not shameful

 The first step towards owning the fact that you might have a problem is to stop stigmatizing it. Leave alone strangers and outsiders, when you yourself consider depression shameful, how can you take the steps towards recovery?  Acknowledge that depression is a problem, just like you acknowledge that you might have a physical health issue.

Failure is a lesson

 Failure tends to take us all down with it. It is fine to not always be happy, but don’t let one failure drag you all the way into an abyss that is hard to get out from. Each failure is a lesson. When you open up about depression, you will find other people who have experienced failure and how they have dealt with it.

Take time for yourself

 When struggling with mental health problems, it is important to introspect before you think about ways to combat your issues. Keep an hour or 30 minutes aside each day for yourself. Whether you meditate, do yoga, read a book or write a page, make sure that you do it every single day. Some time to yourself will help you discover what changes you need to make within yourself. These tiny discoveries will make a difference in your life since they will definitely help your state of mind and let you focus on important things.

Talk to someone

Whether you choose to talk to a close family member or your partner, you should definitely share your feelings and problems with them. Internalizing problems and keeping mum about them will only exacerbate them. It does not have to be necessary for them to be able to solve all your problems. Sometimes, talking is all you need to let out a little of what is bothering you.

Step back

 You are responsible for all that you can control. But even as the CEO or CFO of a startup, you cannot control every single thing. You are not responsible for each employee’s performance, so blaming yourself for every minor detail and micromanaging everyday tasks will not help. Your self worth is not tied to the success and failure of your company. Step back and stop thinking you can control everything.