The Beginnings of the Life of An Entrepreneur
Whether you’re looking to hit the ground running to become the next big empire in the industry or simply want to make your passions into a sustainable job for yourself, no one is doing themselves any favors by stressing so much they get sick. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are some of the most important people in the market but they are also some of the most stressed and pressured people, as they put their dreams on the line in hopes of succeeding.
Break the Cycle
Because many entrepreneurs are quick to fall into a fast-paced routine requiring an extreme amount of work in a small amount of time, they often choose to ignore signs of burnout and keep a fast pace. Entrepreneurs are in the pursuit of becoming the success story of coming from nothing and claiming a “hero status” that comes with the American dream. Toby Thomas (CEO of EnSite Solutions) used the analogy of a man riding a lion to explain the pressures that come with pursuing the American Dream. “People look at the man and think, This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave! And the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?” This is also a better way to exemplify the saying “fake it till you make it” where confidence is required to be portrayed in hopes of ensuring yourself and those around you that your company is well endowed. Although entrepreneurial passion is the gasoline to any company driving forward, with every high comes an equally strong low. Often times hypomania (experiencing an elevated, energized mood that comes with various changes in overall mood) is found in entrepreneurs. This causes them to be susceptible to the fall which could lead to clinical obsession, allowing for feelings of anxiety and depression to become amplified under pressure. There are some scary numbers for statistics on how entrepreneurs are more susceptible to mental illnesses. From being 2x more likely to suffer from depression to being 3x more likely to suffer from substance abuse, these could come from a number of life changes that come with becoming a full-time entrepreneur. Even worse, owners often combine their own identity with the identity of their company creating an identity crisis; making them believe if their company fails they are a failure. In becoming your work you are forgetting who you are and what separates your being from your business. Mark Woeppel describes his experience with this, in saying “I used to be like, ‘My work is me,’ Then you fail. And you find out that your kids still love you. Your wife still loves you. Your dog still loves you.”
Here’s to Staying Sane
It’s hard to remember to breathe when you feel your dream is on the line. You must also remember there’s no road to success that will ever cost you your own health and wellness in the long run. To keep your business in full health and successful you must also take care of yourself. Cynthia Graham gives us the cautionary tale of her own life and shares how she found the way to balance her entrepreneurial life and personal life. It all comes down to one main principle of separating yourself from your business, check out our previous blog about Cynthia’s speech on how to get your perfect balance.