Mental illness, the challenges and benefits of solopreneurship

 Mental illness, the challenges and benefits of solopreneurship

The challenges of starting a business are the same for everyone, whether they live with mental illness or not. However, a greater level of commitment and discipline is required when facing mental health challenges.

Benefits of self-employment include: getting to follow your passion, working a flexible schedule, and being your own boss.

Routine can be exceptionally challenging if you are living with a mental illness. For example, depression can significantly affect your workflow—some days, it may feel difficult, if not impossible, to get anything done.  A deeper level of commitment and discipline will be required to complete your tasks and maintain your routine.

Working from home can also be lonely.  If you’re dealing with the challenges of social anxiety, depression or another mental health issue, it can be incredibly difficult.  Working from home can act like excuses that will require a higher level of commitment and discipline to overcome.

What do I mean by this? Well, since you barely have to leave the house, you are at risk of reinforcing self-imposed social isolation. It is essential to be aware that home offices can provide the perfect excuse to stay behind the walls of your own home.

Exercise is another activity to help break up your day. Not only does it provide several essential health benefits, but there is also a vital social component. Why not try that new cardio class or yoga? I promise you’ll return to your home office feeling more focused and productive.

Another way to curb social isolation is by scheduling time for face-to-face interaction each day. We are social beings, so we need contact and feedback from others. At the end of the day, you have to find an approach that works for you.  The Covid-19 virus can create an even more significant challenge.

There is another essential point to mention. As a successful solopreneur, you have to love the challenge. Passion will help you get through all of the tough stuff that comes with self-employment. It also makes getting up in the morning much easier. No one will tell you to get up and go to work every day; it’s your responsibility and choice. But if you are passionate about your business, it will just be another day doing what you love!

However, as powerful as passion can be in driving your business, it’s essential to realize that passion is no guarantee of success. When you pair passion with hard work, success is more likely to be achieved.

For people living with mental illness, the additional commitment and discipline will play a significant role in the success of your business. If you think you’ve got what it takes, and you’ve done your homework, then solopreneurship could be an excellent career move.

Its time, female entrepreneurs break the stigma of mental illness

Its time, female entrepreneurs break the stigma of mental illness

Why do entrepreneurs have a higher tendency to experience mental health challenges?

There are many reasons, but here are two:

Stress: Not surprisingly, stress ranks right at the top!! With that stress comes a  multitude of other problems like working non-stop, sleepless nights, and not eating healthily (or worse is skipping meals). Basically, self-care is ignored.

Isolation: Being an entrepreneur, and specifically a solopreneur, can be very isolating. Typically, in the early stages of starting a business, entrepreneurs wear multiple hats and juggle a mountain of priorities. It’s also likely that they surround themselves with friends and family living a nine-to-five existence who don’t necessarily understand the entrepreneurial struggle. The risk of depression is compounded by Isolation.

One way to stop the stigma around being an entrepreneur and mental illness is to start a conversation.

Having an open dialogue about the challenges of mental illness can raise awareness and can educate the entrepreneurial community. It’s also critical to create an environment for entrepreneurs to speak openly about the challenges they face. Thank goodness, more and more entrepreneurs are addressing their emotional well-being and making it clear that entrepreneurs aren’t immune to mental health challenges.

As an entrepreneur, having a trustworthy support team is essential.

It is essential to have mentors, coaches and friends.  Being active in Mastermind groups is another great way to share your struggles. The fellow entrepreneurs can have a deeper understanding of the challenges you’re facing and offer invaluable insights or solutions. It’s critical to be truthful with yourself and don’t be reluctant to reach out for support.

Entrepreneurs are more likely to display extreme confidence and optimism all of the time.

Regrettably, that means that when things don’t go as planned, they tend to suffer in silence. What gives mental illness and its challenges power is shame and the feeling of having to hide the thoughts and feelings.

In her famous Ted Talk, Brené Brown speaks eloquently about how vulnerability can eradicate shame. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s an act of courage. By embracing vulnerability, entrepreneurs can finally free themselves from shame, get the help they need and empower others to do the same.