By: Paula Ruiz, RP
Paula Ruiz is a Registered Psychotherapist, based in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What image first comes to mind when you hear the word entrepreneur? Do you think of people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Arianna Huffington? Do you think of someone who is happy, thriving and powerful?
Usually, when we think of an entrepreneur we often think of an individual who is successful, happy, in control of their lives and living their best lives. In many ways entrepreneurship is a desirable career path. Entrepreneurship can offer flexibility, authority, control in work and an opportunity to create a balanced lifestyle.
Yet, there is another side of entrepreneurship that is often not talked about. Many entrepreneurs are extremely stressed, burning out, and suffer from a range of mental health challenges. If this is you, you are not alone.
Running your own business can come with tremendous pressures, long hours, stress and uncertainty. While being a business owner can bring many rewards and job satisfaction, it can have an adverse impact on mental health and wellbeing.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) conducted a nation-wide survey of entrepreneurs and found that:
Entrepreneurs face a number of unique Stressors.
These include having to take risks, with high stakes. They often have high expectations of themselves and play many roles in their companies. There may be income insecurity and cash flow stress. Entrepreneurship can come with high work demands and the need “to always be on”. Even when they know a break would benefit them, entrepreneurs are tempted to continue working on their time off. Entrepreneurs face the stress of needing to make decisions, working long hours, pressures to succeed. They may have difficulty stepping away from the business, feeling they need to maintain a business presence even if they are not feeling at their best.
Entrepreneurs may blend their personal identity and wellbeing with their business. If the business dips or fails, they can feel like they are failures.
Tips for Maintaining Wellbeing