Freeman Cebu Business

Entrepreneurs are vulnerable to mental health issues

INVESTING ON THE GO - Vernon Joseph Go - The Freeman

Let’s face it, Entrepreneurship is HARD and Lonely AF. It’s an activity with so much accountability and at stake that if one fails, you have no one else to blame but yourself. I have been talking a lot about mental health lately (literally via my podcast and in written form). I also previously wrote about: What to do with the costs of mental health at work.

I know this as I was once an entrepreneur myself, but I failed. I started a small agency almost a decade ago, and to make the long story short, I also got dragged into the family business where my finances also got tied to that – which led to complications when the family business failed. I also recently got out of another failed business & personal finance consulting venture about a year ago. However, I’m still drawn to the hustle and currently I’m satisfying my entrepreneurial tendencies with side-hustles.

Nobody or perhaps few people talk about the amount of stress entrepreneurs face. We sometimes can’t distinguish between being busy and stressed. Sometimes we relish and thrive in it. Although people are hardwired differently, but we do experience doing our best work when stressed, and when under pressure for things we are passionate about. And, the achievement of completing something feels even more sweeter when there is that added pressure.

But we forget that it can take a huge toll on one’s life, relationships, surrounding people, as well one’s physical and mental health. One of the biggest unanswered questions I’ve been thinking a lot lately is just how prone entrepreneurs are to mental issues? Here’s a list as to why (I started with 3 but it could be more):

#entrepreneuriallife is stressful - You take no holidays, and if you do you may end up working a little because there's always some fire that needs to be put out. Mental health can also affect physical health or vice-versa. And if you know someone who is chill, it doesn't mean they didn't experience this and have battle scars. It is also possible that they are second or later generation entrepreneurs which face a different set of problems and challenges that first generation or startup entrepreneurs.

So much uncertainty - whoever said that entrepreneurship is easier than getting a job? You have nobody else to blame for your successes and failures but yourself. Owning that entrepreneurship title means that you are susceptible to higher levels of uncertainty, anxiety, and responsibility for what's truthfully out of our control.

The converged life - If you are an employee, you can draw a line between family and work. But if you are entrepreneur, everything is more interconnected. Your finances, as well as self-worth can be tied or fused with your company. Additionally, the interactions are often networking or sales-focused, thwarting the vulnerability necessary for authentic connection (social isolation).

Know that the business benefits from increasing not only yours but also a workforce’s mental wellbeing are significant. Your mental wellbeing is one of the most valuable business assets – Like any asset it can be developed, maintained or neglected.

Remember, our minds do the business heavy lifting these days. A healthy mind creates solutions better, as it’s more creative and innovative, while also living a balanced life.

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