Running a business can be stressful and may come with entrepreneurs’ mental health challenges. Entrepreneurs are often isolated and alone, especially at the start when they’re nurturing an idea until it becomes something. If they live and work alone, they can go for days without talking to anyone except their barista.
I’ve been there – this has been my life. So I know how lonely it can be as an entrepreneur. It’s hard to keep the faith when you’ve only got the cat to talk to. Even card-carrying introverts can find themselves climbing the walls.
But it’s not just physical isolation that causes entrepreneurial loneliness – it’s also the mental burden of creating something new. Being uncertain whether you’re making the right decisions and feeling like no one else understands. You can feel very alone some days.
So it’s essential for entrepreneurs to stay mentally healthy and avoid loneliness. Here are some tips that have helped me.
Entrepreneurs’ mental health: Find people who get it
People with nice stable jobs (as if there were such a thing!) don’t get why you’d want to take “such a huge risk”. So you can’t talk to them about your concerns or you’ll worry them – or they’ll try to talk you out of it.
You need to find people who are in the same boat as you. To find your people, you could:
- join social media groups for entrepreneurs
- go to business events
- join an industry association where you can have a regular drink and chat with like-minded people.
Entrepreneurs don’t see the world the way most people do, so we need to stick together!
Maintain your relationships
However, I’m not saying you don’t need family and friends – you really do! It’s easy to let relationships slide when you start a new venture because it takes all your time and energy. Don’t give up your relationships.
Make time to get out and physically see your loved ones. It’ll give you a chance to talk about something other than business. You might even be able to support someone else with their problems – and get out of your own head for a while!
Stay physically and mentally healthy
Our physical state can affect how we feel. Many lonely entrepreneurs use food as a comfort or stress-buster. Don’t go down this slippery slope – eat well and you’ll feel better for it.
Also take time to get out, even if it’s just a walk once a day. You’ll feel part of the world again and the endorphins will be good for your brain.
Finally, prioritise your sleep. Problems can seem bigger and harder to solve when we’re tired. Sleep, good food and exercise will keep problems right-sized and help you make good business decisions.
Get a business coach to support your mental balance
This great option will solve several problems at once: it’ll give you contact with another human, great business advice and a sense of perspective. If you find the right person, they have been where you are and can celebrate your wins with you. You might even get to where you’re going faster by having them on board.
Get support or professional help
Loneliness can turn into depression if it goes on, so consider a professional to help you maintain your perspective and mental health. You might find a regular counsellor useful. Or, if you have a particular faith, you might prefer a spiritual mentor. Monitor your mental health and know when it’s time to reach out.
Find support with the Mental health and well-being support for business from the Australian Government.
Maintain your perspective
Overall, it’s essential to maintain your perspective. Being an entrepreneur is a marathon, not a sprint. What you’re trying to achieve is off in the distance, so be patient.
A bad day is just a bad day, not a sign that you should give up your dream altogether. But when there’s no one around to tell you that, problems can seem larger than they are. Using these tips will help you keep the entrepreneurial loneliness and entrepreneurs’ mental health challenges at bay so you can enjoy the process of building your dream.
Want to know more about entrepreneurs’ mental health?
Contact me to enquire about working with me or just to ask any burning questions!