Entrepreneurial mental health is the name of the game, and can often be the tipping-point in which businesses thrive and which businesses fail.
Generally, business success resides in four key principles: Your mental health, economic aptitude, opportunities and persistence.
Today we’re going to focus specifically on the first principle: Entrepreneurial mental health.
As an entrepreneur, mental health fitness is key to success. Being mentally fit will enable you to withstand stress, pivot setbacks, creatively problem solve, analyze complex data points, be persistent, and engage with others professionally and with good boundaries.
But the entrepreneurial journey is not for the faint of heart and in order to actively protect your mental space, it is important to be aware of how entrepreneurship can impact your mental health and have a toolkit of mental health solutions that work for you.
Let’s start with the mental health stats:
In October 2020 Forbes, reported that approximately 49% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues. But according to an article in Entrepreneur, over 72% of business owners reported mental health concerns.
Mental health concerns faced by entrepreneurs may extend across a broad spectrum from generalized anxiety to full blown depression, but here’s a list of the 6 most common mental health symptoms among entrepreneurs:
- Burn out– Being a business owner can be exhausting and taxing on your mental health. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that 25% of entrepreneurs experience moderate to severe burn out.
- Anxiety– Approximately 1 in 5 Americans struggle with anxiety, and these numbers increase to 1 out of 3 entrepreneurs reporting struggling with anxiety.
- Imposter Syndrome– Leading knowledge commerce platform, Kajabi, released a report revealing that 85% of entrepreneurs report struggling with imposter syndrome, or feelings of self-doubt or feeling like a fraud.
- Insomnia– Sleep is a common symptom experienced by entrepreneurs. This may be driven by “obsessive passion,” high-stress, insufficient support, and poor self-care.
- Depression– While being an entrepreneur offers you the risk of freedom on creating the job of your dreams, it does not come without its risks. Looking at the research, and with stories of great business leaders like Kate Spade, Ben Huh, and Elon Musk struggling with severe depression, it is no surprise to learn that “entrepreneurs were 30 per cent more likely to experience depression than members of the general population.”
- Loneliness– In a world where 61% of people report feeling lonely, being an entrepreneur can amplify this feeling. Instead of working in a group with colleagues many entrepreneurs feel quite isolated.
Solutions for Success
The good news is that there are tried and true strategies that can work quickly and safely. Here are my top 5 solutions for entrepreneur mental fitness:
- Mentorship Collaboratives– Creation of intentional communities where like-minded entrepreneurs can come together to talk about business and mental health.
- Consultation- Try to stay in your zone of genius and solicit the expertise from others. This will help prevent you from feeling like you have to repeatedly reinvent the wheel, and give you more time and space to focus on what matters most in your life.
- Mental Health Fitness Exercises– Just like in order to be physically fit you have to exercise, in order to be mentally and emotionally fit, you have to spend time growing your psychological fitness. I created the Wellness Springboard which you can get for free HERE, as a one-stop-shop starting point for you.
- Use a Pattern Interrupt– There is great importance of changing it up, which I refer to as a pattern interrupt. A pattern interrupt is anything that gets you out of monotony and creates a refresh or a restart to your system. This can be as simple as changing the light bulb color or wattage in your work space, or may include changing up where you work, times of day, music, snacks, work-out routine, and other variables.
- Mental Health Success Hacks– Here is an article I wrote about my favorite 6 success hacks to free up your mental space so you can amp up your efficiency.
Getting my mental health on track has been one of the most profound changes I have made in leveling up my business. Making a few simple changes, getting educated in what mental health fitness means to me, and creating an intentional and supportive community has been life changing.
What sticks out to you in this article pertaining to your stress and work? What is one change you are willing to make today to help you get your mental health fitness back into the fast lane?
Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.