Entrepreneurship can be a tough, grueling endeavor that we often do alone, which brings up a topic we don’t spend a lot of time talking about but really should: Are there things we entrepreneurs should be considering related to our mental health? Inc. magazine has a good article on the topic, which explores how entrepreneurs can deal with traumatic events and setbacks when starting and running their own companies. Here are three steps that can help prepare you to face the psychological effects of entrepreneurship.
1. Take a self inventory
The issues we face have a lot to do with who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish, and are very personal. Ask yourself: In the past have you been resilient in uncertain times, or have they triggered an emotional reaction? How long does it take for a difficult issue to really get to you, and can you tell when you are reaching that point? If you identify weaknesses in your approach to stress, do you have a “mental toolbox” or plan to address it? If so, what’s in your toolbox? Personally, I like biking and physical activity, or just vegging out, binge-watching shows for a few days when things get tough.
2. Mentally prepare the people around you
It’s very hard to keep a healthy work/life balance as an entrepreneur. Keep in mind that this is hard for the people around you as well. Responsibilities at home that you should be managing may get less of your attention as you push your business ideas forward. Set rigid schedules and prioritize tasks; one way to do this is by using an “Eisenhower Matrix,” which classifies your do-to list into four categories: Important and Urgent, Important but not Urgent, Not Important but Urgent, and Not Important and Not Urgent.
3. Maintain your psychological health to prevent burnout
Being accountable and responsible for everything and everyone — and the continued stress that comes with it — can weigh down even the strongest individuals. Since this can creep up on you, don’t gauge how you’re doing only during the first few weeks or months. Remember: you’re running a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself that way. Try incorporating your stress release “mental toolbox” on a firm schedule from which you don’t deviate. You can also rely on your partner, spouse and friends to help detect your stress levels and keep you on track when they begin to rise.
Starting a business can be fun and exciting, as well as stressful and challenging. Plan ahead of time how you will address those challenges by being aware of your unique personality and how you deal with setbacks. Ask for the help of your support circle as well, and those setbacks will quickly be managed and turned into new opportunities. For additional assistance in this area, reach out to discuss how we can help.