Today, the world is led by the births and deaths of start-ups. So many countries are offering opportunities and support from government and private institutions for every budding entrepreneur to succeed. The start-up boom is just beginning, and it can change the world as we know it in the next 20 years. But businesses don’t just pop out of the ground after hard work and sacrifices. Even if a person puts everything he has into opening a small business, the business could still fail. Take the example of Blackberry: the company was dominating the cellphone industry all over the world, but died quickly and suddenly when different options for cellphones came along. No business and person is safe from the fluctuating market and business failure. This puts many entrepreneurs in a very difficult position. They need to invest themselves into working for the small roots of their business 24/7 until they can attain some level of success. This can take anywhere from months to years, leaving a lot of entrepreneurs vulnerable to conditions like depression and anxiety.
In the world of business, any sort of emotional disturbance is enough to tank a business. Confidence rules the business world, and any deviation from it means a loss of faith and trust from investors. Therefore, most small-business owners refrain from talking about their emotional struggles with anyone. This can be a very dangerous negative loop because the mounting financial and personal struggles of keeping a business going can severely affect mental well-being, but asking for help for these struggles means that business trouble can potentially worsen. There seems to be no way out for a lot of people while they are dealing with depression, which can result in negative coping habits like overeating and overindulging in alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs. If the worst is to happen, such as a failed business, the blow can be distressing enough to bring about thoughts of suicide. Entrepreneurs are not only more prone to develop depression, but they also struggle through it alone most of the time. If you have been struggling with depression and you’re an entrepreneur, below are some points you might want to consider:
It is a hard truth that a good number of entrepreneurs are not meant to be entrepreneurs. Many get into building a business because of family pressure or because they are lured by the fantasy and glamour of a supposed success without knowing what the demands and sacrifices are. A successful entrepreneur has a certain personality that pushes him to succeed: risk taking, undeterred by the requirement of substantial amounts of money, and an intuition about making the right choices, for example. Not everyone has these traits, and there is nothing bad about that. Making a choice to put your future first and taking a steady job with a steady salary can secure you better than repeated failed attempts at being an entrepreneur.
2. Know Yourself
You can never have a good idea of what you will achieve as an entrepreneur if you don’t know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Many people fly ahead with their ideas thinking that their strengths are good enough to compensate for their weaknesses. Knowing your weaknesses can save you a lot of future grief because you never know how these flaws can affect your judgment. Consulting a professional who can give you an in-depth analysis of your personality is a good option before starting a new business. Another great way to counter this during the middle stages could be to hire people whose personalities are different, but can complement yours. This way, both parties can compensate for shortcomings.
Today’s main culprit that causes depression and anxiety is social media. We are drowning in a vast sea of information about people who use sites like Facebook and Twitter to announce the great moments of their life. Though this can show us the various positive possibilities of our own life, most often, it has the opposite effect. We begin to compare our failures with their successes and end up feeling worse about them. Unplugging completely for a while will help you to regain clarity without having to worry about how everyone else is doing.
4. Warning Signs
Look out for the warning signs that come with depression: insomnia or oversleeping, lack of concentration, lack of appetite, irritability, lethargy, loss of interest in everything, isolation, weight loss or gain, sudden mood swings, fearfulness, hopelessness, helplessness, and mental and emotional exhaustion. If these signs have been constant in your life, then it might be time for you to look for a change in lifestyle and some help. Lifestyle changes include a better diet, incorporating exercise into your life, a healthy sleep schedule, cutting down on harmful behaviors like drinking and drugs, and increased social interaction.
5. Getting Help
Finally, if things seem too out of control, and you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and ideation, it is definitely time to approach someone for help. If you’re choosing between quality of life and a successful business, your life should always come first. A therapist or a counselor is trained to help you guide your thoughts and feelings to bring you towards improved emotional well-being. Depression takes a toll on you personally, and is certainly strong enough to affect how you run a business. Taking some time off to recuperate can let you come back to the business with renewed ideas and enthusiasm, and help revive your business too.