Everybody is talking about how to become an entrepreneur, how enjoyable hustling is and the success stories.
But do we talk about the anxiety and depression that comes with being an entrepreneur as well? Do we talk about the pressure and the sleepless nights?
Nobody talks about behind the scenes enough.
If you don’t have upstairs right and tight, none of those success stories matter.
If you are an entrepreneur, it is highly likely that you are suffering from some sort of anxiety or even depression.
This is something that I’ve dealt with for a long time. I remember waking up anxious every day. I remember being anxious even around friends and family. I remember not being able to pleasant around people and complaining all the time.
One thing you should know is, this is unbelievably common, and there is nothing wrong with you.
When you want to achieve great things, anxiety and depression are part of that road.
Did you know that entrepreneurs are more likely to have mental health issues compared to the general population?
Here are some statistics.
- Depression: 30% compared to 15% and 16.6%
- ADHD: 29% compared to 5% and 4.4%
- Addiction: 12% compared to 4% and 8.4%
- Bipolar diagnosis: 11% compared to 1% and 4.4%
Let’s focus on the solution now.
Here are the three things I have done myself to get rid of anxiety.
1. Solve one problem at a time
Start with one problem and solve one problem at a time. Don’t try to solve multiple problems at the same time. This approach will create momentum and give you the strength to address the next challenge.
The talk that Matt Damon gives to NASA employees at the end of the movie “The Martian” is one of my favourite speeches. He describes the feeling of being trapped and how he dealt with it.
At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.
— The Martian (2015)
If you stop solving the problems, then you dwell on them. Negative thinking retakes place.
So, always focus on finding a solution for the next problem.
Ask yourself this every day. “Am I solving a problem or am I just sitting here and letting my problems consume me?”
2. Get enough sleep
Don’t sacrifice your sleep.
When things are going wrong, the first thing we give up to gain some time is sleeping.
Reducing your sleep to 4–6 hours might affect your neurobehavioral functions.
3. Simplify your business
If you have too many services and too many products, you should simplify it.
You should keep it very simple until you can afford to hire people.
This is typical behaviour by entrepreneurs because we are confident people and we think we can do everything ourselves.
Yes, maybe you can do it all by yourself but if it is going to cost your health, would it worth it?
Remember, you are not alone. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Resources for Immediate Help
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1–800–273–8255
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention Crisis Centres
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