Nearly 3 months ago, I hosted an event themed The Mental Cost of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can be very rewarding. However, it is imperative that entrepreneurs take a holistic approach to entrepreneurship. With the stressors of entrepreneurship, burnout can be very common amongst entrepreneurs.
What is burnout?
According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to:
- physical and emotional exhaustion
- cynicism and detachment
- feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
Signs of Burnout in Entrepreneurs
- Depression: Most entrepreneurs experience bouts of depression as they undergo a period of isolation while trying to think of the right business model while not having adequate time to take care of themselves. They are often used to the mentality of “time is money” which often deprive them of sleep, leisure, exercise, and other activities that could lift them out of depressive state. Entrepreneurs often try to cover up their depressive state by opting to work more extended hours. At times, they take their depressive symptoms to mean stress, which could aggravate the symptoms.
- Self-Worth Issues: Many entrepreneurs self-worth is closely linked to their net-worth. When they are experiencing a boom in their business, their self-esteem will also be boosted accordingly. However, when they encounter the downside of the industry, and they couldn’t meet up with their targets, they become so demoralized, and they struggle for identity. Because they have conditioned their minds to think only of success as the only option, any setback they get could result in a mental health crisis.
- Anxiety: Entrepreneurs face a whole lot of pressure on a daily basis. The weight could come in different forms such as your plan to service a particular debt, and it rests on your ability to win a contract bid. It could even be a fame-related pressure, whereby you are trying to find a way to balance it with your busy work schedule. All this could lead to heightened anxiety. If such is left unchecked for an extended period, it will eventually lead to burnout.
- Fear of the unknown: Some entrepreneurs have developed a paranoid mind to the extent that they begin to have trust issues even about their trusted associates. This has caused the failure of many businesses
Steps to Prevent and Address Burnout
- Let go of toxic people, places, and beliefs. This could be a family member, friend, negative thoughts, or places not conducive to your growth. “You must get rid of what you want to get what you deserve.
- Unplug. Put up your “Do not disturb” sign. Unplug from social media. Unplug from your cell phone. Unplug from technology. Take at least 15 minutes each day to unplug.
- Nourish your body. Eating and drinking water will only fuel your physical wellness but it impacts your overall level of functioning. Eat at least 3 meals a day to keep your metabolism going. And drinks lots of water.
- Exercise. What has held you back from exercising? Transcend that obstacle today and just do it! Exercise is beneficial for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes for 5 days.
- Seek professional help. Mental health professionals can assist entrepreneurs in addressing an array of presenting symptoms contributing to burnout and provide therapeutic support to facilitate an improvement in level of functioning.
Products and Services for Entrepreneurs
Ms. Jefferson’s products and services for entrepreneurs include psychotherapy, coaching, books, workshops, speaking engagements, and a podcast show. Click here to learn more.
About Destination Greatness
Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.