Depression And Entrepreneurship Go Hand In Hand, Mostly

How I went from one successful exit to severe depression to back to business.

Karan
Karan
Oct 23 · 5 min read
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I am about to tell you something very personal, something that no one knows except my mother and two of my best friends.

I graduated this year and got a job as a Data Scientist in one of the top Data Analytics firms. My parents were proud of me, but I never joined the company. Why did I not join the company? Because I was still burning from the inside. Although it was not like that old inferno that used to be there when I was 15, but the fire was still there.

Which fire are you talking about Karan? asked one of my two best friends while sitting on a couch and sipping some hot Indian masala chai (tea). “Did I not tell you about it before?” I replied.

First of all, I am very fortunate to have friends like them. Why? because they sensed that something was just not okay. One of them had to leave urgently because he had to catch a train but the other guy stayed. Although he had booked a hotel room, he canceled the booking and decided to spend the night at my place. He had sensed it.

I was suffering from depression and I did not even know that.

I was suffering from depression and I did not even know that. In our culture, there is nothing like depression. If you are depressed that just means you are being a wimp. Well, all those frequent mood swings, that sudden love for solitude, hair loss, deteriorating muscle mass and sub-normal body temperature… all that was happening for a reason, right?

That night, I opened up to my friend and told him about my mental condition, my thoughts and why it was. That’s probably the best thing I did in 2019.

Why was it?

It was because of the inferno I was talking about, remember? I was only 14 when I started reading about people like Bill Gates, Sri Dhirubhai Ambani (Reliance, India), John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and a few more titans like them.

That had me burning with a desire to be like them. I was young and not practical enough. I had the desire to achieve success beyond measure, just like them. Now I am mature enough and I understand that that was probably not the most “appropriate” mentality, but no matter what, I am proud of it and I still possess it, only I am a bit more practical now.

I was only 15 when I started working on an internet business and by 16, I sold it. Sold it for not a lot but enough for a 16-year-old, way more than enough to be honest. I was not going to sell it but I had to because I was scammed big time and I had lost a lot of money all of a sudden. I was not mentally prepared for all this but I am glad it happened. I learned a lot.

This is exactly when I fell into the hands of depression but that burning desire had not left me. I never gave up on my entrepreneurial ideas. I launched multiple startups but except a few, none of them got any traction and the ones that got traction, died.

Let me make this clear that I was never influenced by the money. I was only influenced by the legacy that those men had created.

Well anyway, fast forward a few years, I found myself in a void. Lost, not knowing what to do. None of my ideas were working and gradually my depression was getting worse. I was not just having mood swings but I had started to lose hair as well. What could be worse than that?

I stopped leaving my room. I became highly anti-social. No one could understand why I had changed so much, not even my own parents.

By the way, if any of your friends have all of a sudden stopped communicating or going out with you. It can be because they have bad mental health. Do keep a check. Believe me, depression is way worse than you think it is.

But, even though I was suffering from all that, I never quit dreaming or working on my ideas. Even though by every passing night, the flame was getting colder and colder but I just was not ready to give up.

Which fire are you talking about Karan?

This is the fire I was talking about. And I know I am a fool, but this is why I never joined the company. I just could not. I had decided what I wanted in life. Although at that stage in life, going for a job seemed like a sane option but I chose not to betray my ambitions. I know, it was not the best attitude.
That night, I told him everything.

Remember, I told you he could sense it? He could, because

That night when he started talking about himself, I realized we both were in the same boat. He also had the same business ambitions but was being forced by his parents to join a company instead. Long story short, it felt like I was talking to myself. He wasn’t just my friend anymore, he was me (but better because he did not have similar mental health).

That day, things changed for me. How?

  • I had emptied my heart. I was feeling much better. Perhaps, I was dying for someone to listen to me, understand me without having me say anything.
  • I felt like I had suddenly escaped the trap of depression. I was a free man, once again ready to take over the world.
  • I was not alone anymore.

You see, You don’t need a lot of people to believe in you. You and just one more person.

Just because he decided to stay over, he had sensed something was wrong, he lent an ear to my heart and I had someone to talk to without worrying about anything, Today, I am back on track!

I have started to wake up early, I eat clean and I have started to work on many new ideas once again. Although I had been reading and learning for a long time now, everything from stocks to business modeling, now I am finally ready to implement all that.

I can confidently say that I am not depressed anymore, well at least not as much as I was before.

Lastly, it’s a request to you

Entrepreneurs don’t have the flashy life you see on youtube. That’s fakery at it’s best because otherwise, no one will buy their ebook or course. If you know any entrepreneur, keep a check on them. They could be depressed but you would never know. They tend to hide it because otherwise, it hurts the business. In some cases, even they would never know if they have slipped into the hands of depression while desperately trying to make it.

That’s the end of my personal story. I am back to business and I am sure, sooner or later, I’ll make it. Yes, I am more practical now but the goal is still the same. I have learned my lessons.

Love and peace to every person out there trying to make it. You will get there pal, you will get there. Don’t ignore depression and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it.

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

Karan

Written by

Karan

I write about Business and Personal Development. K@karanb.com

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

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