So, I went to an entrepreneur peer support meeting last week. Someone jokingly asked if this was a group for “workaholics anonymous”. Very relatable. Sometimes owning your own business and working day and night becomes an addiction.
Something you feel you need to do, but also something you want to do. I'm passionate about my work and it's easy to get caught up in the hustle. Just one more task, I tell myself.... then I'll take a break.
A recent CMHA report is shining light on entrepreneur mental health and the stats don’t lie. We're a stressed out, overworked bunch. We're at higher risk for developing mental health issues and report high degrees of stress in business and personal life.
Some of this is our own doing. I've seen and felt these negative effects first hand in my life and can truly understand the difficulty in finding balance between my professional and personal life. The loss of friends, the disconnection with my partner, the anxiety and unexpected issues accompany every day. It's not what anyone signs up for.
Entrepreneurs need help. We're doing things people tell us can’t be done.
It's saying "yes I can" when people say, "no you can't" and moving forward while scared.
Our identity is often directly connected to the success of the business.
There's no manual on what to do and how to work through challenges, it takes thinking outside the box.
It means being creative, curious and open to surprises and chaos.
It's a crushing weight on your shoulders to make sure things succeed.
It’s following your dream with all your heart and not wavering when things get tough.
It’s taking risks and learning from bad decisions.
It's striving for excellence.
It's being brave and determined.
You don’t want to fail, and especially not in front of other people
Finally, its working harder than you ever thought possible while feeling great joy and satisfaction.
This leader needs support for the long term. I'm not sharing this because I feel like a victim in any way. I made a choice to start a business and became very excited by the opportunity to re-define mental health supports in Saint John. I'm sharing this story to spread awareness and understanding - helpers also need help. There's no shame in this.
We figure out a lot on our own as business owners, and we're very resourceful but sometimes that’s not enough. It's ok to ask for help.
The way I look at it is, I'm human and I'm affected by the stress of being a business owner.
I'm also going to do things to help myself. This means building relationships and a support network of people who get it, implementing self-care strategies DAILY, setting boundaries with work, lowering my expectations and taking things one day at a time. Life is short. Get help if you are struggling. ~ Laura