The Psychological Costs Of Entrepreneurship According To A Therapist

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Entrepreneurship is an exciting career path that an increasing number of people are deciding to pursue. Roughly 8% of the global workforce are trying to establish and run their businesses. Most people glorify entrepreneurship, sometimes unjustly, as a way to achieve wealth, success, and fame. However, almost no one except a therapist understands the tremendous stresses placed upon these founders.

Mental health is an aspect of our well-being that has been historically overlooked by practically everyone. Recent trends now see people becoming more aware of the importance of self-care and emotional support. However, the entrepreneurial world still has a lot of catching up to do in this aspect. In many cases, the work of startups and businesses perpetuate cultures and beliefs detrimental to emotional well-being.

Work-Life Imbalance

The stereotypical portrayal of an entrepreneur is a hustler who does whatever it takes to succeed. In this model, most people place productivity on a pedestal. Founders are made to believe every second count, that rest equates to unproductive time, and the competition will overtake those who don’t work at their best all the time.

The business world is full of people who unabashedly admit to sacrificing their well-being for the sake of their businesses. Consider Elon Musk, who once described a typical daily routine of coming home by 2 AM. Many people aspire to be as successful as their role models, and their poor work-life balance is sometimes used to justify their insufficient self-care practices.

People are encouraged to work around the clock. Even during evenings and early mornings, many founders are busy processing emails, researching market trends, or completing tasks on their to-do list.

Forcing yourself to work tirelessly may temporarily bring excellent results. However, the lack of rest increases stress levels, making it harder to make rational decisions and to regulate emotions. Chronic stress leads to a higher risk of developing depression and other mental health conditions. Around 49% of entrepreneurs will develop a mental illness at least once in their life.

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Uncertainty & Risk

Entrepreneurship holds its appeal due to its disruptive nature. In this field, people are free to experiment with new business models in the pursuit of innovation and profit. Being able to forge your path is a fulfilling experience for many people.

However, innovation comes with uncertainty and risk. Many startups fail within a year of starting operations. There is no assurance that current businesses will still be standing a few years from now. Founders need to continually manage this uncertainty by ensuring the foundations of their business are secure. Nevertheless, unpredictability will never disappear, imposing a constant source of stress on founders.

Conflating Identities

Founders tend to identify strongly with their businesses. Being the ones responsible for turning ideas into business models, founders essentially become creators. They can become attached to their startups, and they can start to conflate their private identity with their professional one.

This setup becomes harmful when founders start to associate troubles in their startups with their self-efficacy. When their businesses take a turn for the worse, they may see it as a reflection of their incompetence. Over time, this train of thought can erode their self-esteem and overwhelm them with stress.

Expectations

Whether explicit or now, business founders are always expected to project strength and confidence. They believe any projections of vulnerability can turn off investors and clients. Hence, they are forced to suffer silently and to suppress their emotions.

Media makes the situation worse through their reporting on successful entrepreneurs. Some outlets overemphasize the successes and fail to report the struggles these people encountered. This reporting fools people into believing their obstacles are unusual when practically everyone in business faces these.

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Protecting Your Mental Health

As shown, entrepreneurship comes with several psychological costs. However, entrepreneurs are not powerless against their struggles. They can start by challenging the concept of the stereotypical entrepreneur as a tireless hustler. They need to realize those founders are still humans who need to take care of their physical and mental health.

Action should also proceed at the community level. The overall culture of entrepreneurship needs an overhaul. Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to accept their vulnerabilities instead of hiding them. Founders should be inspired to emphasize mental well-being in their businesses, whether by allocating budget towards mental health projects or by hiring mental health professionals.

Finally, founders shouldn’t be afraid to use some of their earnings for themselves. Taking vacations now and then and rewarding themselves should also be part of their priorities. Furthermore, signing up at the BetterHelp app is an excellent idea if merely taking a vacation is not enough. It’s okay to do all that and more — you deserve it, after all.

Tips To Promote Mental Health Awareness To Your Employees

Keeping your employees not only physically fit but also mentally and emotionally ready is the key to grow your business successfully. Employees and the workforce are undoubtedly the lifeblood of your company, no matter how small it may be. Not everyone may be aware that mental health is responsible for such fitness. Every psychologist suggests that there are easy ways that leaders can do, without any complication, to raise mental health awareness to their employees so that they don’t end up needing to sign up to platforms like BetterHelp before they even hit the six-month milestone in the company.

Here are some of the measures you, as a leader, can take to guide your teammates:

Practice Verbal Recognition

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Recognition does not always have to be material. Especially if you have a low budget when it comes to extra spending, verbal recognition will do. Believe it or not, your employees value it highly when they are being praised, particularly by their superiors. It is like an assurance that they are in the right direction and doing a great job.

“Harsh words are just as damaging whether they come from someone else or whether they come from you,” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD. As mentioned, saying a “great job” will cost you nothing. Giving positive feedback can brighten someone’s day and make them say that it’s all worth it. Studies report that giving such verbal recognition has positive impacts on employees, especially if the work is fast-paced and stressful than others. It’s also essential that we, leaders and employers, keep in mind that it is the easiest way to build positive relations with your employees.

Breed Positive Relationships

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Most of the time, for medium- to large-sized businesses and companies, it is our next-in-ranks that supervise our employees. In turn, we leaders and big bosses should also foster positive relationships with the supervisors. Never forget to remind them as well about the importance of their attitude to their inferiors as it will also be your image to the majority of the workforce. “Bring the right people into your life.” A reminder from Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Organize Mental Health Talks

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Your employees may not be aware of the importance of mental health to their well-being. Perhaps, most of them still have the attitude of “it is just simple stress that will pass eventually.” This mindset is dangerous because it is an indication that they do not know how to take care of their overall health in general.

If you have a human resource group or person, talk to them about having someone speak about the topic of mental health. It may cost you a little, taking into consideration the venue and the resource speaker itself, but treat it as part of your accomplishment in the company. Your employees will enjoy it as it will also be their “break time” from paper works and stressful environment. “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist said.

Provide De-Stressing Activities

Organize or initiate team buildings even once a year to a place far away from the office. It is also a way to bond with your employees outside the business and other than the professional setting. Talk with each other and share things about your personal lives and aspirations in life. In that way, the employee will have a mindset that your company is a good one which values and nurtures their growth as an individual.

Providing summer activities is not just the only way to value your employees’ mental health. Also, make it a goal to provide facilities for relaxation in the office. You can set up a beautiful and homey room where employees can have coffee and take a break on even for five minutes.

You can also set up table games in one corner so employees can de-stress a little before going home. There are also spa and gym corporate packages in the city that you may avail of for your employees’ wellness. Moreover, it may also attract employees because they will see your company as one who values them.

Attend Mental Health Talks

Further, your knowledge about mental health. Attending mental health talks is essential because other participant leaders may share what they know and the problems they encounter with their employees. This way, you can familiarize yourself and learn more about dealing with different people’s mental health.

You can also bring with you the supervisors of your company. It is crucial that your next-in-ranks who supervise your employees and become your image to them know how to deal with them nicely. Note that no matter how approachable you may be, if your supervisors do not know how to do the same, then your efforts will be futile.

The success of every business depends on the output of the employee, considering the quality of the work done, the efficiency, and the accuracy of the work exhibited. Remember: healthy employee results from a leader who values all their health aspects as much as the business itself.

How Business Leaders Can Help Improve Mental Health

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One of the greatest enemies of man is mental illness. It has a huge impact on how we feel, think, and act. Catherine Cleveland M.S., LMHC-P elaborates that “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” Believers must break the view that depression and other associated conditions are only to be addressed privately and in the dark. However, other groups, particularly business leaders who are faced with simple and complicated challenges every day of their lives, understand and consider mental health as a concern that should be shared by everyone.

World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated yearly, has successfully built public awareness and education ever since it started in 1992. It has helped in slowly reducing the stigma on mental health problems and made online counseling with BetterHelp and other platforms more acceptable. However, there is still so much we need to do to alleviate these problems. These include:

  • One out of five American adults are diagnosed with mental disorder yearly, and only about 40% receive treatment.
  • Mental illness is among the leading causes of disability for Americans aged between 15 and 44.
  • Mental health is one of the main causes of absenteeism.
  • Over $1 trillion loss in productivity can be attributed to mental illness, and more than 300 million of these individuals are those with depression.

Since the workplace is one of the most common environments where depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are seen, business leaders must remember these elements to promote mental health and build overall better health for their organizations.

Trust

A huge study on team performance that lasted for two years found that mental safety was an essential factor in establishing effective and unified teams. Mental safety meant that team members feel secure to take risks and challenges and be vulnerable in front of each other. As it is, vulnerability is not a quality that stands out, but taking risks is, and to be able to do that, one allows himself to be vulnerable.

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In almost all jobs, teams are required to share and collaborate on ideas, which is risky. Only teams that are built on trust can benefit from the free flow of fresh ideas, where employees and even their bosses share what they think to attain the best outcome. Therefore, investing in trust produces higher performance and enhanced mental health.

Autonomy

“Major life transitions can bring up a lot past memories, increase anxiety, disorder eating and body image, and even though it’s “the happiest time of your life”, depression and other mental health symptoms are known to flare up.” Brie Shelly, MS, LMHC, RYT said. Most employees who are experiencing mental health problems at work would say that they feel a sense of powerlessness and a loss of control. It is a fact that when we are mentally and emotionally healthy, we are in control of ourselves – our destiny, our decisions – and that is what business leaders should strive for their employees to feel. When they have a sense of autonomy, they feel good about having the freedom to decide for themselves granting there are specific limitations to this freedom. When the workplace encourages autonomy, employees are engaged, committed, and productive. Effective leadership fosters a culture of autonomy.

Flexibility

Work and life aspects must not compete but should complement one another. Ideally, employees should show the same level of eagerness, commitment, and energy in all aspects of their life. To make this possible, business leaders should support their employees and provide them with flexible work policies for them to be able to deal with all areas of their life happily and successfully. This will also lead to them feeling freer and capable of meeting their professional as well as personal needs with less pressure.

For some, flexibility can just mean the liberty to work flexible hours. For others, it can be the freedom to work from home on some days. Whichever it may be as an employee, the vital part is that leaders comprehend and accept that sometimes it doesn’t matter when or where the work is done, as long as it’s done – and it’s done well.

Resilience

Having a strong spirit and tough skin is probably one of the most important qualities that a person must possess. It is one’s capacity to not only thrive despite the difficulties from life and work but to come out a better and stronger individual as well.

This element is visible in organizations and companies that invest in the health and welfare of their employees. It is crucial that executives find ways to uncover the needs and goals of their employees and customize an effective strategy that works for the whole organization. Some of the best methods that have shown to achieve this include resilience training, coaching, and stress management workshops. Undeniably, a sound body and mind are more resilient and slow to break amidst stress and frustration.

Takeaway

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“The most helpful definition of being positive is having hope and confidence in one’s ability to handle what’s tough, along with remembering that nothing is all negative all the time,” explains Jo Eckler, PsyD, a therapist in Austin, Texas. Indeed, an individual’s mental health shapes how he makes decisions and how he can relate to the people around him. A strong organization that possesses the qualities mentioned above will surely thrive, survive, and emerge successful and productive.

 

Why It Pays Off To Use A Staffing Agency For Your Growing Business

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When your family is growing as fast as your new business, no one can genuinely expect you to prioritize one over the other. Both aspects are essential in their own right, after all. You are working hard so that your kids can live a life without financial worries. At the same time, however, you need to spend some time away from the office to strengthen your relationship with every member of the family.

Continue reading Why It Pays Off To Use A Staffing Agency For Your Growing Business

5 Booming Businesses That Are Worth Trying

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Are you one of the millennials who craves to contribute positively to the economy? Or are you within the 30-50-year-old range that has tried and tried but failed in the business world? Well, here’s a list of business opportunities that have been studied and proven to be booming this year. You might want to check them out and consider making a plan to start up small. Who knows? One of these businesses might be your ticket to success.

Before anything, we remind you that small businesses won’t get you to the millions, not for a month or even a year. But perhaps your initial goal is that you want to be your own boss and you want to provide simply for your family. Once you’ve done that, you can progress to thinking about the millions – and start other businesses as well.

 

Trending Business Opportunities

  • Home For The Aged. Over the next 15 years, the senior population will have increased by 23%, according to the census in Canada (source: verwellfamily.com) . In the United States, similarly, the baby boomer generation will be nearing retirement. This information provides a great opportunity for senior-related businesses such as senior or retirement homes. You can start with leasing or buying a small property to cater to seniors in your community and the neighboring communities. If you want to make it easier for you, you can choose from the available franchises that have a structured program and facilities that can construct and make the necessary standards for you – no hassle.

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  • Artisan Products. If you love making DIY crafts or jams or whatnot, why don’t you make a business out of your passion? Artisan or homemade or crafted products are consistently growing leaps and bounds in the market. Most artisan businesses start off from the homes, picked up by customers, then progressed to delivery, and then sold by bulk in the supermarkets.
  • Personal Storage Lease. Yes, Storage Wars helped with that. The personal storage unit business continues to boom across the United States. This is because of the increasing foreign workforce, more practical homeowners, and the current trend to acquire more things. Handymen like plumbers and electricians also keep their tools in storage units instead of their stores or homes. As the owner, you must make sure that you provide proper lighting, security and the appropriate environment to keep possessions safe. And you can get funds for that from the rental, which is way more than you expected. 
  • Food Trucks. Most states are just filled with colorful trucks and customers lining up to get a taste of grilled burgers, tacos, or any food that can be sold and cooked from a food truck! But now trending is food that’s fresh, nutritious and organic. You won’t go wrong when you sell healthy, because people now are more and more health-conscious but will remain food lovers for life. GMonkey is an example of a flourishing eco food truck business that sells vegetarian food to its Connecticut community.

 

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  • Mobile Pet Grooming. The young and old alike have pets in their homes to play with or as companions. But mobile pet grooming can be very helpful for seniors who can’t go out to have their pets checked or groomed. This also works for busy couples or families who don’t have time to bring their dogs or cats for cleaning.

  

With luck – and a little preparation and due diligence – one of these businesses just might be the perfect step towards growing your income this year and the years to come.

Tips In Looking For The Perfect Business-Friendly Community 

Everything boils down to the perfect location. A business’ success can be summarized in two points: the perfect location and a good business model. Without a good location, even businesses with a seemingly perfect business model can go bust. That’s why many businesses try so hard to look for the right location. It does not matter if it would take months to scout for places. Good businessmen understand a location’s importance to their business’ longevity. 

 

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How To Help Overcome Grief In The Workplace 

It is inevitable that one of your co-workers deal with grief brought about by a loss of a loved one. However, there is no universal workplace manual which will provide you with a step-by-step process to address your co-worker’s grief. Grief is a typical response to loss. However, it might lead to mental health disorders. Hence, it is crucial that you help them with their healing process.

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Continue reading How To Help Overcome Grief In The Workplace 

The Basics Of Partnerships In Startups 

Virtually all significant endeavors are products of collaboration. With a few exceptions, many of today’s big-time companies started out with several people sharing similar goals and then deciding to work together to achieve the same vision. Work is indeed easier when you don’t have to do everything alone. Indeed, collaborative thinking abounds in the world of business, as evidenced by the frequent mergers and partnerships we hear in media. 

 

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5 Business Improvement Ideas For Your Startup 

Turning your dreams into a reality of having a business is not easy — making it successful is definitely harder. Nowadays, startup companies have been springing out from everywhere. There’s a 47% increase in the number of startups from 2007 to 2016. Some startups turn out to be successful while others fail.   

 

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  Continue reading 5 Business Improvement Ideas For Your Startup