The ups and downs of entrepreneurship are no secret. What IS taboo is something many entrepreneurs struggle with in secret: depression and anxiety.
The ups and downs of entrepreneurship are no secret. As rewarding as it is, it’s also chock full of risk, pressure and long hours that can take a toll on anyone’s physical and mental health. Which is why Inc.com recently ran a post that detailed one of the less-talked about aspects of running your own business: depression and anxiety.
In an article that has generated 37,000 shares and counting, Jessica Bruder dove deep into the harsh but real issues faced by many entrepreneurs — providing both an education into one of the darker sides of entrepreneurship and a much-needed reassurance to those entrepreneurs wondering if they’re the only ones dealing with this.
As the article states:
Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture. We idolize the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Elon Musks. And we celebrate the blazingly fast growth of the Inc. 500 companies. But many of those entrepreneurs, like [financial services company CEO Bradley] Smith, harbor secret demons: Before they made it big, they struggled through moments of near-debilitating anxiety and despair — times when it seemed everything might crumble.
Until recently, admitting such sentiments was taboo. Rather than showing vulnerability, business leaders have practiced what social psychiatrists call impression management — also known as “fake it till you make it.” Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions (No. 188 on the Inc. 500), explains the phenomenon with his favorite analogy: a man riding a lion. “People look at him and think, ‘This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!’” says Thomas. “And the man riding the lion is thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?’”
You can read the full article, as well as tips on how to cope with depression and anxiety on your entrepreneurial journey, here.
Have you experienced feelings of depression or anxiety as an entrepreneur? What’s your response to this article?