It’s no secret that starting one’s own business takes courage, and branching out on your own can be a stressful and, at times, uncertain journey.

As some of the current entrepreneurs’ mental health statistics show us, entrepreneurism can carry with it an element of risk to our mental health if we don’t take the right steps to look after ourselves.

As an entrepreneur, you may find it hard to switch off, as there is always something to do and it can be hard to be disciplined when it comes to your work/life balance. Many business owners may find themselves working late into the night or at weekends, leaving them little time to relax. On top of this, there are the finances to think about; projections, forecasts, tax, etc.

It is no mean feat becoming an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer with your mental health. There are many strategies you can try and steps you can take to prepare yourself should you embark on this challenging yet rewarding career path.

Building and sustaining a business can be, although hugely rewarding, at times lonely and stressful. Whether you work alone or run an empire where your employees depend on you paying them each month, it can be hard to juggle the workload of the entire business. Therefore, it is imperative that business owners understand the necessary skills involved with maintaining positive mental health for themselves and the workforce as a whole.

Our guide is here to take a closer look at the impact of an entrepreneurial career on mental health, plus offer some key tips for how to manage your mental health as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs and Mental Health

Current research shows that 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly impacted by mental health issues, compared to 48% of non-entrepreneurs.

One of the main areas that can impact an entrepreneur’s mental health is a lack of support, particularly if working alone. This paired with the risk and pressure that can come with running a business can become overwhelming for business owners if left unchecked. That’s why it’s vital to ensure you understand how to recognise the early warning signs of mental health issues and burnout, so you can effectively tackle any issue before they escalate.

The truth is, without the right strategies in place, being an entrepreneur can be isolating and stressful, possibly leading to burnout and mental health issues if left unsupported. On top of this, with the rise of the hustle culture, it can be difficult to start prioritising your mental health in the professional world. 

Unfortunately, hustle culture has created a professional landscape where success has become such a priority that other aspects of life — such as hobbies, self-care and family time — can sometimes take a back seat. However, this can be changed! The more entrepreneurs are able to access the right tools and information to manage and discuss their mental health, the less stigma and silence we are likely to see surrounding the issue.

Some key ways entrepreneurs can manage their mental health, according to Forbes, include: 

  • Utilising community, friends and family for support
  • Committing to a daily mental health practice (e.g. journaling, yoga, meditation, breathwork, exercise)
  • Outsourcing within your business.

Mental Health Within an Entrepreneurial Workplace

Unfortunately, sometimes stigma can still pop up in the business world around mental health, and this can create problems for entrepreneurs who are struggling to manage their own mental health or support their employees. 

The best thing employers can do to support their staff is to provide an environment where it’s okay for their employees to ask for help should they need it, as well as encourage them to look after themselves more proactively. This may include things like mindfulness, meditation and exercise classes, as well as Business Mental Health First Aid Training.

By creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing these topics with their managers, the stigma around mental health can be reduced.

Related Reading: The True Benefits of Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace

How To Look After Your Mental Health As An Entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re struggling with your mental health you should never hesitate to reach out for support. There are many steps that can be taken to effectively look after your mental health as an entrepreneur; here are some of our top entrepreneurial mental health tips:

Tip 1: Train in Mental Health First Aid

If you’re running a business and employ people, you may want to consider MHFA training. An expert Mental Health First Aid course is designed specifically to help business owners and staff understand mental health issues. It also teaches business owners and employees methods of support for when someone is in need. This will allow you as a business owner to help yourself and your colleagues in times of need.

Tip 2: Have Access To Wider Business Mental Health Training

Making sure that you understand what’s happening is the first step in gaining control over your mental health again. This means understanding more about anxiety, depression, and many other mental health conditions. Once you have that information, you can find the best support for yourself. 

Providing workplace mental health awareness or MHFA Champions training will ensure that you or your whole team has the skills to help employees who are struggling with mental health issues at work.

Tip 3: Encourage Any Employees To Get Professional Help

Employees should feel that they can approach their boss if they are feeling unwell in the workplace, whether that is for anxiety, depression or another mental health issue. By encouraging this type of dialogue you’re breaking down stigmas around mental health and showing employees that you’re there to help them if times get tough.

Looking For Expert Business Mental Health Training?

At Great Minds At Work, we offer a range of accredited Business Mental Health Training courses to both entrepreneurs and employees in Mental Health First Aid, providing everyone with the tools they need to look after themselves. Our courses can be taught in person or online so don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your workplace needs.

For more information about our accredited MHFA courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.