Mental Health & Entrepreneurship: How the Two Are Inextricably Connected

Self Made: NASE's Blog

Blog With Us

Welcome to the Self Made. This is a blog focused primarily on the self-employed and micro-business and full of fantastic posts by not only our team of experts but by YOU!  We realize that there are many ways to help the small businesses out there which is why we invite other business minded individuals to post here and help the rest of the community as well.

Mental Health & Entrepreneurship: How the Two Are Inextricably Connected

Apr 17, 2023
Stressed Out

Life as an entrepreneur can be deeply rewarding. You make your own breaks, build a business that employs other people, and get to see your dreams become a reality. 

However, the pressure that comes with being self-employed can be overwhelming at times. You may even experience panic attacks or develop conditions like anxiety while your business grows. 

As an entrepreneur, you have to protect your mental well-being. Even small changes, like practicing mindfulness or creating a support network, can help you avoid burnout and maintain your long-term growth. 

Work Stress

Around 72% of entrepreneurs say that they’ve experienced some form of mental health condition at some point in their lives. It’s hard to pinpoint why, exactly, anyone suffers from a condition like anxiety or depression, but excessive work stress may play a role.

Working in a stressful environment can exacerbate existing mental health conditions and make life as an entrepreneur that much more difficult. Work-related mental health challenges may undermine your productivity and decision-making skills. Conditions like depression cause a dip in cognitive performance 35% of the time and may lead to a vicious cycle of burnout and overworking. 

Burnout is the bogeyman when you’re self-employed. You can’t afford to be continuously exhausted when you’re an entrepreneur. According to the World Health Organization, early symptoms of burnout include: 

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job

  • Reduced professional efficacy.

Fortunately, you can overcome burnout and rediscover your passion for entrepreneurship by learning to manage your stress and build a more resilient mindset. 

Stress Mitigation

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must accept that stress is a part of the job. As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for the success of your business and may feel overwhelmed by the pressures that you face. 

Lower the stress levels at your workplace by creating a balanced agenda that splits responsibilities and tasks fairly. If you oversee some employees, ask them if they have any capacity to take on more work. You may find that you’ve been shouldering too much of the load and can delegate some of the tasks that bring you the most stress. 

Set time aside for rest and relaxation. Regular breaks and team-building tasks are a sign of a healthy, happy workplace. Ensure that everyone — including yourself — takes their lunch breaks seriously and encourage folks to take 10-minute mindfulness sessions whenever they need them. This can break up the monotony of the day and improve your productivity in the long term. 

Financial Freedom

Most of the stress that self-employed folks feel is related to finances. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to panic when your cash flow is in the red and investors are asking for dividends. 

Finding financial freedom can seem an impossible task during the early years of your business. It’s all too easy to burn the midnight candle when you’re running at a loss, but you must remain committed to self-care even when your financial stressors feel overwhelming. 

Start by taking care of your basic physical needs. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, and square away some time for meditation or mindfulness. These basic tasks may take more time out of your day, but they will help you remain more productive and positive in the long run. 

If you’re running on empty and still can’t make ends meet, consider automating or outsourcing some tasks. Menial tasks like accounting and scheduling take away from your mental energy and send your productivity into a tailspin. Spending a little on outsourcing or automating will free up time for more creative endeavors and help you achieve long-term financial freedom. 

Resiliency 

Entrepreneurs are tough. You’ll fail far more often than you’ll succeed, but you still need to dust yourself off and go back to the daily grind. Developing a more resilient mindset will help you overcome life’s challenges and improve your mental health.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as the “process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences.” The APA encourages “mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility” that helps you stay the course and adapt to changes in your life. 

Build your resilience by building a support network and writing daily affirmations. Start or end the day with a short list of things you like about yourself. Note down acts of kindness and moments of happiness throughout the day. Set time aside for a weekly meeting with a mentor or therapist. This will give you time to explore the experiences that are bringing you stress and can help you break out of a negative thought pattern. 

Conclusion 

As an entrepreneur, you have to protect your mental health. Burnout, anxiety, or depression will undermine your productivity and make running a profitable business that much harder. Build resilience by setting aside time for self-care. Lean on your support network and automate menial tasks that are taking away from creative endeavors.

Meet The Author:


lukesmith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.

More...

How AI Assistants Improve Self-Employed Professionals’ Business Skills?

Self-employed professionals are always in the lookout for the best way to enhance their skills in order to survive in the current highly competitive business environment. Over the years, AI assistants have become a necessity due to the kinds of support they offer in terms of organization, management of tasks, and valuable insights to drive

Written By enis (@enis) - Opinion Pieces

The Impact of Blockchain on Small Business Supply Chains in the USA

Blockchain technology, often associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has far-reaching implications beyond digital currencies. One area where blockchain is making a significant impact is in supply chain management, especially for small businesses in the USA. By enhancing transparency, efficiency, and trust, blockchain is revolutionizing how small businesses manage their supply chains, providing a competitive edge

Written By Anthony Lucas (@anthonylucas) - Industry News and Trends

What’s The Impact Of Innovative Office Layouts For Productivity? Let’s Find Out

Long gone are the days of office cubicles and beige-toned offices. Structured layouts, with limited spaces for team collaboration, are now distant memories. Throughout recent years, office layouts have undergone a massive transformation. Businesses are starting to invest in the space their team works from. The reason? Well, a well-designed workspace can help to improve

Written By Ella Woodward (@ella) - How-To Guides / Tutorials

The Power of Content Marketing: Strategies for Small Business

When it comes to getting customers, the majority of small businesses rely on local advertising, word of mouth and paid advertising. For most small businesses, making content doesn’t seem like a direct way to generate revenue for their business so it’s not top of mind. However, content marketing is arguably the most powerful way to

Written By Delilah (@delilah-a) - How-To Guides / Tutorials

Harnessing Local SEO: A Guide for Small Businesses to Dominate Their Market

In today’s digital landscape, small businesses face fierce competition not only from national and international brands but also from other local players vying for the attention of the same target audience. With more and more consumers turning to online searches to find products and services in their vicinity, it has become crucial for small businesses

Written By Delilah (@delilah-a) - How-To Guides / Tutorials

Want More?


See our latest Self Made content by clicking here.  Want to see our archives, click here.

Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/self-made-nase-blog/self-made/2023/04/17/mental-health-entrepreneurship-how-the-two-are-inextricably-connected