There’s A Hidden Dark Side To Being An Entrepreneur – It Wreaks Havoc On Your Mental Health
The life of an entrepreneur sounds glamorous when you’re on the outside looking in. Setting your own schedule, creating your own rules, and building the type of company you want to work for can be incredibly alluring.
In fact, successful entrepreneurs tend to be idolized by the masses as they appear to be happier, more successful, and more driven than anyone else. There are a multitude of books, courses, and companies devoted entirely to selling the dream of business ownership. Yet, there’s a hidden dark side to being entrepreneur that’s rarely discussed – the lifestyle can be a setup for a variety of serious mental health issues.
The hidden secret among many entrepreneurs is the psychological price they pay for their choices. The demands of business ownership may place entrepreneurs at a higher risk of specific mental health problems. Here are just a few of the ways being an entrepreneur can take a toll on your psychological well-being:
1. Depression – The isolation many entrepreneurs experience contributes to an increased risk of depression. Additionally, many entrepreneurs work such long hours that they’re not able to take care of themselves. The “time is money” mentality means they usually devote less time to sleep, leisure, exercise, and other activities that can ward off depression.
Depression comes in many forms and it doesn’t always present as sadness. Sleep difficulties, irritability and changes in weight are just a few symptoms that can also be associated with depression. Entrepreneurs may mask depressive symptoms by working longer hours, or they may mistake their depressive symptoms with stress, which can cause symptoms to get worse.
In extreme cases, entrepreneurs may also experience an increased risk of suicide. In fact, Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec recently revealed to People that he contemplated suicide last summer after the breakup of his marriage. His courageous revelation proves that extreme fame, fortune, and success doesn’t buffer anyone from mental health issues.
2. Self-Worth Issues – Many entrepreneurs tie their self-worth to their net-worth. When the business is doing well, their self-esteem skyrockets. But when they lose a little money or fail to meet their goals, they find themselves struggling with their identity because their business isn’t what they do – it’s who they are.
Many entrepreneurs believe that if they just work hard enough, they should become successful. Despite this notion, the statistics are fairly grim. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports only about one-third of small businesses survive a decade. And the statistics on tech startups are even bleaker – some reports estimate that 90% of them fail. In a world where quotes like, “Failure isn’t an option” are thrown around like must-live-by mantras, setbacks can cause a psychological crisis.