We all know the story.
We all know a hardworking entrepreneur who had worked his way up from nothing to achieve greatness and make a fortune in the process. They are the giants of our society, and everyone wants to be like them.
However, there is a very ugly side to this story. For every world-conquering entrepreneur who reaches that pinnacle of success, there are many others who find themselves beaten and downtrodden by the unrelenting pressure of their chosen career.
According to Business Insider, 30 percent of startup founders are suffering from depression. This is in spite of the fact that only 7 percent of the general population are depression sufferers.
What is Depression?
The truth is, the life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely one. You work very hard on your business, sometimes to the extent of sacrificing the company of family and friends.
You feel that nobody else understands you, and you could see your loved one’s need for attention as too demanding.
Entrepreneurship is also burdened with the constant pressure to succeed and triumph above all odds. If you make a bad decision, you can go on a downward spiral so fast you won’t even notice it.
Rand Fishkin of Moz, for example, knows the ugly truth about entrepreneur depression. “I was seriously depressed for a long time, and a lot of people close to me knew it even when I didn’t know myself,” he said.
You will have some dark thoughts about yourself, about others, and about your company. Your self-esteem suffers a beating. And if not treated or caught in time, these depressive thoughts can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
Tragically, too many entrepreneurs succumb to these demons before they have a chance to see their dreams come true.
How Can You Overcome Entrepreneur Depression?
We can see there is a problem. Maybe you’ve even felt this at some point in your life. What can you do about it?
Of course, giving up on your business goals is not the answer. The real key is learning to manage your stress.
There are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle and mindset that will ensure you continue working toward your goals while still enjoying the process. Let’s take a look at what these might be.
Live to Fight Another Day
The first thing you must accept is that it will take time to accomplish your goals. Overnight success in business is not a reality.
You will probably fail again and again before you succeed. And even when you have already made it, you will still make mistakes. That has been the case with all successful entrepreneurs.
For example, Steve Jobs was originally fired from Apple before turning it into the massive success that it is today. Steven Spielberg was also rejected from film school three times. Rand Fishkin made some bad decisions that had a negative impact on Moz’s performance.
This is completely normal, and you must accept it as part of the process. True success requires patience.
Be Self Aware, Seek Help
As you’re working toward your goals, it’s extremely important to be aware of when it starts to feel like too much. Research has shown that entrepreneurs feel their emotions more strongly and are more prone to mood swings than most people.
In many ways, this is what lead you to become an entrepreneur in the first place. These strong emotions are necessary to lead the life of an entrepreneur. However, it can also make you more vulnerable to feelings of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
If you ever start feeling overwhelmed by these emotions, please seek professional help. There’s no shame in doing so, and taking this one action can make a surprisingly big difference in how you feel.
Prioritize Your Health
A lot of people underestimate how important it is to take care of your body. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest can all make an enormous difference in your well-being.
Of course, the problem is obvious. As busy entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to make time for these things. As a result, you tend to neglect your health in the name of getting more work done.
The trick is to find ways to fit it into your busy schedule. Prioritize it, since without good physical and mental health, your business will suffer.
It also works to do some preventive measures. Focus on eating fresh foods from the local farmer’s market if you can, and don’t skip meals. And it while it may seem unusual, you might consider setting a regular bedtime for yourself as well. This is the best way to make sure you’re not neglecting your sleep.
Unlink Your Self-Worth and Net Worth
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you have a life outside of your company. It is true that being an entrepreneur is a big part of who you are, but it’s not everything.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have something you can focus on outside of work that can help you unwind. Having a hobby to take your mind off things can do a lot to relieve stress in your life.
Of course, you also want to make sure you’re staying in touch with your friends and setting aside quality time with your family. Entrepreneurs often feel lonely because they lose touch with their loved ones.
Don’t let this happen to you. Having a support network can be one of the most powerful weapons you have in your fight against depression.
Bringing It All Together…
The life of an entrepreneur can be difficult. Things may seem overwhelming at times, but don’t give up. Even when it feels like you’re not making progress, the fact is you’re getting closer to achieving your goals every day.
Learn to enjoy the process of taking your company to success, and always make time to celebrate the little victories along the way. Above all, always remember your loved ones will always there to support you when you need it.