Entrepreneurship has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. Many of my business friends and clients feel the same way. In fact, according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non-entrepreneurs.
A key reason entrepreneurs experience more challenges with depression and anxiety is that they are often under more significant financial pressure and stress.
Taking such big financial risks forced me to deal with any and all of the baggage I was carrying in my backpack. My beliefs about money, fear of failure, and beliefs around success and self-worth all came crashing to the forefront of my mind without any warning when I started my business. While not a fun experience, unpacking my backpack allowed me to grow in ways I never could have imagined and set me on a path to learn everything I could about mindset and entrepreneurship so I could support others.
Here are some of the best ways I have learned to support my mental health by staying grounded and avoiding overwhelm while building a business.
Define what success looks like to you. The surest way to stay grounded in your business is to be clear about what success looks and feels like to you, instead of chasing someone else’s vision of success. When we start our business it’s often the freedom of being our own boss we are looking forward to. Taking a day off when we want, picking up our kids from school, or ditching our commute feels like a huge win. When you remember that you are already successful in so many ways just by launching your business and you are clear on your vision of success you will feel successful long before you reach your big money goals.This will help you continue to feel good, even when your business is still growing.
Define what you are willing to do and not do to achieve success. Keeping your priorities straight and letting go of the things that stand in the way of what’s really important is another way to ensure that you are feeling good in your business while working towards your goals. It’s so easy for us as entrepreneurs to start a business to work less, make more money, and enjoy our lives only to work double the hours and feel chained to our business. Defining what you are willing to do, like working 30 hours a week for example, and what you can let go of, like working weekends, will help you align with your vision of success and give you the work balance you need to avoid burnout.
Create a support system around you. Having a support system isn’t just about building a team. Building a business can be stressful and surrounding yourself with people who can support you can make a huge difference. This could look like a partner who can take on extra responsibilities at home if you have a difficult client, a launch phase, or a growth cycle. It can look like hiring a housekeeper, having your groceries delivered, or paying someone to pick up your kids. You can join a coaching program, mastermind, or schedule regular calls with a business bestie so you have someone to talk about your business with and get the pep talks and counsel you need to excel. No one builds their business alone, and you don’t have to earn support, you just have to decide what you need.
Have an emergency plan. One of the easiest ways to get overwhelmed is to not have an emergency plan. Big corporations have extensive plans for unforeseen emergencies and you should too. You can have your time blocked perfectly in your calendar, but if you or a kid gets sick it is like a grenade in your schedule. You can make a plan for what you do if something happens and you can’t make your deadlines or keep appointments. For example, you can create an email template to send to clients when you need them to reschedule their appointments due to an emergency or illness. You can know what your priority list of tasks are so you can shift non-priority. You can keep a list of contractors who can fill in for you. Working in bulk like scheduling your blogs and social media posts for the month will also ensure that business keeps going even when you need a break. These are all ways that you can create a safety net for yourself and your business with a little planning to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
Being clear about what I want, and what is important to me, and setting up systems to keep my business going when I need time off have made a huge difference in how I feel about being a business owner and the sustainability of my business. If you would like to know more about avoiding burnout read this post, How Each Human Design Type Experiences Burnout & How to Avoid it.
In this masterclass you will learn how to get consistent clients without burning out so you can truly create a business that supports you by using your Human Design type.
© 2020 Shana Dewitt