Business

Mental health challenges associated with entrepreneurship and how to overcome them

While the pandemic does not appear to be slowing down or going away, and work as we know it has fundamentally changed, mental illness is on the increase in all segments of the population.

These mental health challenges are magnified by the stress of building a business and in a world that glorifies innovation, it is important not to ignore the mental health challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

Here are five mental health issues that founders often face:

The first steps in starting a business can cause massive anxiety.

Ideas sell for a dime a dozen, and for every successful tech company, there are thousands that never made it past the idea stage.

When an entrepreneur has an idea, the thought of what needs to happen to make that vision a reality can be extremely overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. It also doesn’t help that everyone the entrepreneur speaks to keeps talking and pointing out how difficult the journey is.

It’s fair to say that at least at some point in the entrepreneurial journey, most founders experience anxiety, which is often crippling and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The best way to focus on the goal and not get stuck with crippling anxiety is just that, to focus on the goal. Keep an eye on the polar star and take baby steps day in and day out.

Raising money can trigger feelings of rejection.

We’ve all heard of these monster series of tech companies that have raised hundreds of millions, but what we don’t read are investors who said no before this entrepreneur finally got a yes.

Most of the tech companies we know and love have been rejected by dozens, if not hundreds of investors before they were successful in raising funds. It’s part of the process and knowing that you are not alone can be extremely heartwarming.

Contrary to popular belief, it is very rare for a founder to get a yes from an investor before getting many rejections. It’s a classic case of misery loves company. The best way not to let rejection set in is to remind yourself that the best founders in the world went through what you are going through. It must be at least a little heartwarming.

Pivoting requires incredible resilience.

The art of the pivot is something any founder will tell you is crucial to the success of your business. In other words, the founders must have incredible self-confidence and resilience to return to the drawing board after spending so much time and money on an idea.

I’m not sure there are magic tricks to increase resilience, but knowing that so many of our favorite businesses started very differently and pivoted along the way is heartening and can certainly increase resilience. a founder.

The chances of success or failure can cause a feeling of failure.

Let’s not coat that. The statistics are not on your side and building a successful business in today’s noisy environment is next to impossible.

Dealing with this failure, if and when it does occur, is a subject that is not talked about enough and it is unfortunate.

A good founder is one who knows how to get up and start over. However, I think no one can debate the challenge of spending years of their life, millions of dollars, and then failing. It is a blow to the ego and it is not easy to deal with.

So how can a founder cope with failure? Well, transparency helps. For example, I had a startup years ago and when raising capital from some friends and family I first set expectations and told them they had to be ready to lose that money because there is a good chance that I will fail.

When we did eventually fail, having set expectations up front – mine and those of my investors – helped me move on.

After investing time and money, failure can lead to deep depression.

According to our last point, feelings of massive failure will often put a person into depression, which can often prevent a person from moving on.

There are a few things you can do to keep the possibility of becoming depressed a secret. For starters, many founders keep their daily work and build the startup in parallel. This is only relevant for the initial stages, but as the business grows you will need to get started. If you decide to keep your day job, it could lessen the blow of your failure, at least from a financial standpoint.

Another important step that a failed entrepreneur can take is to document the lesson learned from failure.

Many have said before me that a failure that you learn from is not failure at all.

Learning lessons that you can use when building your next business can really help you avoid drowning in the grief of failure and continue on the path to entrepreneurship, but this time around you are much more. clever.

In conclusion, mental illness is very common among the founders of technology and it is a topic that few people pay attention to. Mental illness is often part of the entrepreneurial journey and it is crucial that founders have the tools they need to overcome these challenges.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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