October 29, 2017
Entrepreneurship has a dark side that is seldom talked about. In that space, you will find founders who show signs of anxiety, burnout, and even depression that strike at different times. Some hit when startups fail to make the 5-year mark. Others arrive alongside difficulties and, in part, cause the company to collapse.
As an entrepreneur, it is important for you to know how close you have come to the edge when it comes to mental health. You can take cues from your spouse, parents, friends, and cofounders, or you can just trust your mind and body to know when you're feeling a bit off. The good news is that, despite having reached your limits, you can overcome stress and founder burnout. Here are six ways to do it:
Take a Break
Stepping away is a sign of an experienced entrepreneur, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study. Since veterans know when to check out, they are able to preserve their mental wellbeing.
Try to see the value of taking a break. Go out for a coffee, meet with your friends, or travel overseas. The secret is to put the problem at the back of your mind, letting it simmer. You might then stumble upon a solution outside and return to work feeling on fire.
Communicate With Your Team
A communication breakdown can cause things to fall apart. Perhaps your business is already suffering from the effect of an agreement or a deal that has gone awry. Or, internally, you have not been able to define rules and communicate responsibilities clearly to employees.
Talking to your team helps you process your thoughts and emotions in the workplace. Having real, good conversations gives everyone the chance to course-correct. When your collective thinking is clear, you can figure out better ways to streamline your processes and work well together.
Confronting the demands of your job and business can cause long-term health problems, and working out will help mitigate this risk. Exercising has been to known to lower stress levels. Everything from a 20-minute walk to an hour in the gym or studio can make a world of difference. You can even do it at home. However, in this case, setting up equipment in your office is not advised.
Entrepreneurs who have experienced bouts of depression say there is one thing they will do differently next time: reach out to family and friends earlier. However, seeking support can be more difficult for some than others.
If you find it challenging to talk to people openly, you can check if you qualify for an emotional support animal (ESA) prescription. You should be under the care of a licensed mental health professional to get screened for an ESA certification.
Pursue Other Interests
Nine out of ten startups fail. Imagine if you had built your life around something that is bound to fail. The effects can be disastrous. So while you are striving to run and grow your company, make sure you pursue other interests, too. Some entrepreneurs prefer taking on a hobby that requires their full attention. For a moment, their mind can block out everything else, including business matters.
Go With the Flow
People typically go through the ebb and flow of emotional life when running a business. Avoiding your emotions may rob you of the chance to understand yourself better, which will in turn help you building a successful company.
However, they also emphasize the difference between feeling an emotion and acting on it. At the end of the day, you should place more value on your actions than your feelings. As an entrepreneur, you are more than capable of doing so.
Read more about being a healthy entrepreneur at TechCo
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