The media portrays entrepreneurs as people “living the life”, with luxurious lifestyles. This is true for a lot of successful entrepreneurs. However, entrepreneurship does take a psychological toll on them too.
Most successful entrepreneurs live comfortably, but don’t have private jets or live as extravagantly as it is usually portrayed. Achieving the entrepreneurial dream and maintaining success can come with a handful of challenges; the toughest of all is the psychological aspect.
Mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety usually creep in for entrepreneurs. This is not to say that every businessperson experiences this, but it is important to note that while we idolize the Jeff Bezoses of the world, the cost of entrepreneurship should also be acknowledged. It is not uncommon for many successful entrepreneurs to have moments when mental health becomes a concern.
Here are some factors that sometimes contribute to psychological and mental health challenges among business moguls:
Entrepreneurs are passionate
The level of passion that entrepreneurs usually have, makes it difficult to strike a balance between work and life. The entrepreneurial drive is difficult to turn off. It is difficult for an entrepreneur to lay in bed without thinking about their next move. This commitment makes them work round the clock, on weekends and holidays; and this is especially common for growing businesses. A lot is at stake, so the mind of an entrepreneur is usually never asleep.
Entrepreneurship tends to be lonely
Ever heard the saying “it is lonely at the top”? Being an entrepreneur is quite lonely in several ways. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entrepreneur has no friends or family, but there is the tendency for entrepreneurs to want to put up a front, to keep appearances even when everything is not at the most optimal. To keep the confidence of the rest of the team and of investors, entrepreneurs tend to go through a lot, inwardly and silently. This is very unhealthy and can increase anxiety in the long run.
It is important for the entrepreneur to focus on wins and accomplishments no matter how small. Finding a mentor one they can turn to for counsel and guidance can also help with the feeling of aloneness. It is unhealthy to be so involved in the business that there’s no life outside of it. There needs to be a balance.
Failure is most certainly an option
The fear of failure can be a driving force that is very difficult to shed. This fear contributes to the psychological burden of entrepreneurship. It is important to note, however, that as daunting as the thought of failing is, it is part of the process. The sooner the entrepreneur accepts that, the easier it gets. According to an American businessman and investor, Mark Cuban, “It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed; you only have to be right once.”