Entrepreneurship might seem like a glamorous career choice; and in many ways, it is. However, this independent path can have its downsides. Working alone, or representing your own brand, is a major responsibility, and many entrepreneurs face emotional challenges, from loneliness to fear.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we interviewed experts about common emotional struggles in entrepreneurial journeys to prove that you are not alone.
Entrepreneurship is often a solo endeavor. Sometimes, this is ideal for those who don’t want to answer to anyone but themselves, or who enjoy working at their own pace. However, all the alone time spent building your brand, the off-hours spent dealing with clients and paperwork, can isolate you from the rest of the world.
“Before we realize it, we can easily spend 18 hours a day, every day … hunched over the computer in whatever workspace we choose,” said Samantha Siffring, TBH Business Consultant and Coach. “We can literally even be in public, but mentally feel like we’re in a world of our own online. Because online connections are often not as authentic as in person, it’s easy to not feel seen or understood which leads to isolation.”
Saule Atantay, a leadership coach who works with women entrepreneurs, added that loved ones often can’t relate to your situation, which breeds a disconnect too deep to fill.
“They probably cannot help you at times [when] you and you alone must make an important business decision,” Atantay said. “I’ve experienced it myself and the weight of responsibility is huge, especially when you have employees that depend on you.”
But while you might feel alone, you never are. There are millions of others in your shoes. Sometimes, all it takes is opening up and putting yourself out there.
“I found out that most established successful entrepreneurs are very open for connection and interaction and more so, they enjoy sharing their own stories of growth,” said Atantay.
Among the chaos that is your work life, you also need to prioritize your health and happiness. If you’re dragging your feet or fighting back tears at the end of the day, your passion and spirit will wear thin. You won’t just lose your charm in business, but you might also lose relationships with loved ones. Those connections are more important than a hefty check or lengthy client list.
“I encourage anyone who is busy building a business to take a break at least once a week to connect in person with someone you’re able to be completely vulnerable with and experience unconditional acceptance from,” said Siffring.
It doesn’t have to be the same person each week, either: Siffring says she rotates her weekly connections between her best friend, her husband, her book club and a “mommy friend,” planning a get-together with each once a month.
“Sometimes I have more, but these once a week connection points keep me grounded,” Siffring added.
Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10790-emotional-effects-of-entrepreneurship.html