Founders and Entrepreneurs Need to Talk About Mental Health
Forbes published a scary statistics in which they said 72% entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non entrepreneurs. This is astonishing and we need to do something about it, NOW.
I think the main issue here is that more and more entrepreneurs and startup founders should talk about mental health to raise awareness and also point out that this job is hard.
Unfortunately, media only show the shiny part of the entrepreneurship. When they raise money, pre seed, seed, series A etc. which is a great milestone for any founder. Even in these milestones, you can imagine how much grinding and failure founders experiencing.
Plus, these milestones are not the goal or achievement. These are just another starting point in the growth journey. When a startup raise $1M in seed fund, this means that they borrowed this money to actually grow the business and ideally give it back to investors.
And there are lots of startups that cannot do that.
Success is a responsibility. Once you achieve a milestone like that, the pressure will be more as well and everybody expect you to achieve more.
Dan Murray-Serter, in an article in Forbes said that in my 9 years, I’ve failed 4 times, and had 2 successes, and am currently scaling my latest company, Heights, which launched to the public in January of this year — 2020, great timing indeed. During this time, I have suffered from 3 major mental health problems.
Entrepreneurship is a rocky road.
You, as a founder, need to be ready for all things going wrong. Every single decision you make might be wrong or at least, it is not right now.
Resiliency, is one of the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs for good reasons.
Let’s not forget. The aim is to be happy.
Happiness is such an important concept and founders aim is also is to make out world a better, happier place.
Also, the researchers found that 49% of entrepreneurs surveyed were dealing with at least one mental illness (such as ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, addiction, depression, or anxiety) and about one third of entrepreneurs struggle with 2 or more mental illnesses.
Me, myself as somebody diagnosed with ADHD, know exactly how hard it is to focus on one topic, specially when you are in a Zoom meeting!
However, the key here is to use your week point and use it to you advantage. This means for me as an ADHD business executive, I define multiple projects for myself both at work and in my personal life so I can distribute my attention across multiple subjects. Hence, multiversing!
I am not talking about multi tasking, meaning doing few things at one time, but to deep dive into several projects in different areas. e.g.: coaching and consulting, reading philosophy books, educating myself on climate change, and reading math just for fun!
My idea here regarding mental health is that we, as entrepreneurs must play in our advantage.
Turning the dark force into a power house and use this force to build.
Another sales executive has started a conversation in Reddit and have indicated that working in sales specially after COVID, is very different and caused him not be able to smash his sales target.
Now, what we can do about this?
I have created this PowerPoint as a content from my post on Facebook Groups which about 30 entrepreneurs reached out to me with their suggestions on how they deal with mental health in their own way.
Feel free to download the file from my blog.
Let me know how you deal with mental health as it is an important topic and I will touch based on this again.