You know what they don’t tell you about entrepreneurship — the hardest part is managing your mental health.
And yes, I just dived right into the deep end because there’s no reason to sugarcoat it. The entrepreneurship journey is hard AF! I don’t care how social media makes it seem, it is difficult. And honestly, it’s not even the business part that’s difficult, it’s the mental discipline you need to keep going.
If you are new to entrepreneurship — meaning you don’t have any family and/or friends you’ve witnessed firsthand do this successfully — you are literally starting from ground zero. No one tells you how difficult it is to start from that point. I see why the data shows that 20% of new businesses fail within their first year and 50% won’t even make it to their five-year mark. That means if you and I start a business today, in 5 years, one of our businesses will fail if it didn’t fail within the first.
Starting from zero requires you to literally build everything up brick by brick – INCLUDING YOUR MENTAL and that’s extremely difficult when you do not have a blueprint. I wish my parents already had a business in motion where all I needed to do was pick up where they left off. Unfortunately, that’s not how this story goes.
What makes it even harder is, that when your peers are not entrepreneurs, they don’t really know how to support you mentally. Even their words of encouragement sound like bombs over Baghdad. “It’ll get better” “You’re going to be just fine” “This is just the beginning”. I know they mean well and I understand the need to see the big picture but I currently live in the present where everything is overwhelming. There are so many moving parts on this journey and getting a hold of your mental health is essential for survival.
For all those that are trying to figure out how to get a grip, I challenge you to (1) revisit your why and (2) intentionally do things that help calm your mind. There was a reason you started this journey and if that reason means anything to you, it will always keep you focused on the big picture. In regards to doing things that calm your mind, I know from personal experience that anxiety takes center stage when too many things are trying to make themselves a priority. It starts to feel like there is always so much to do, always so little time, and never enough manpower. So I like doing things that calm my mind and keep me in the present. For me, those things look like working out, going for a walk, a bike ride, a run or a swim, doing puzzles, journaling my thoughts and prayers, and setting up a time to do absolutely nothing.
It is perfectly fine to want to quit but it is not okay to not put the effort into trying to take care of yourself. I live by the motto “if you are not at 100%, nothing you do will be at 100%.” So when you get a hold of your mental, you realize that anything is possible and then you can give this journey the energy you need.
I will be doing another post about ways you can manage your time to prevent being overwhelmed but in the meantime, let’s focus on learning how to breathe and building our mental discipline.
Until Next Time,