The dark night of the entrepreneur’s soul: Coping with depression

depression

Question

I am a struggling entrepreneur who is fighting to survive and grow.  I work very hard, sometimes 24/7, often at the expense of my personal and family life.  I sometimes feel everything is about to collapse.  There are days I am paralyzed with worry over my investments, my decisions, my day-to-day operation.  At times, I get too scared I have financially over reached, that I don’t want to take another step.  But at the same time, at this stage, I know I can no longer give up.

In my younger days, I had infrequent bouts of depression.  I am afraid it is coming back again.

 

Answer

Launching a company is full of ups and downs and the entrepreneur must be emotionally and physically strong enough to cope with uncertainty and the demands the start-up business exert on his time, on his life.

There are, however, a few things a business owner  can do to help keep his life from spiraling out of control.

Here are some tips we gathered from www.inc.com:

  1.  Don’t neglect relationships.  Make time for your loved ones.  Chill out with them, find time to relax, laugh, talk about things other than business.  Family and friends are powerful weapons in fighting depression.
  2. Limit your financial exposure.  Set a limit for how much of your own money you’re prepared to invest.
  3. Keep fit and healthy.  Sleep well, work out, eat healthy.
  4. Live a well-balanced life.  You are not your business.  You are more than your company.  You are a father, husband, member of the community.  Other dimensions of your life should be part of your identity.
  5. Be open about your feelings.  When you’re willing to be emotionally honest, you can connect more deeply with people around you.  At least, try to find people with whom you can confide your anxieties in.

Lastly, be open to professional help, when necessary.

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