Bezos, Gates, and Musk are all legends in the business space. The reverence and attention paid to these entrepreneurial icons are embedded in our everyday conversations and consciousness. We share stories of their success, which depict triumph in the face of insurmountable odds, with few footnotes on the hundreds if not thousands of creators that did not scale to such heights. But the mundane reality remains that these entrepreneurs’ journey is lonely and fraught.
The reality of being an entrepreneur
What is happening is that most entrepreneurs and creators are being squeezed between the pressures of investors, clients, and their sense of responsibility. As a result, the lines between the creator and the creation are blurred.
For entrepreneurs, the importance of your startup eclipses the importance of taking care of yourself. Studies have shown that founders find it difficult to carve out time for physical exercise and rest, making their mental well-being the lowest priority.
One critical area of support is constantly overlooked: mental wellness. Unfortunately, there are few dedicated resources for supporting the mental wellness of creators and innovators and helping them to balance the demands of their jobs and businesses with their health. Many of those that exist are based out of the US and the EU, with few structured programs or support networks for Asia and its rapidly expanding community of innovators.
To a study conducted by Michael Freeman -Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, entrepreneurs are highly susceptible to mental health conditions, with founders recording the highest number of cases.
Listening to your mind and body and recognizing when to take a break or adopt a self-care routine is difficult for many of us and especially difficult for creators who often oscillate between the emotional highs and lows of hopes of success and fears of failure. As a result, many questions what is “OK” and how they get there. The short answer is to trust yourself and find time and ways to quiet your mind and listen to yourself.
It is OK to reach out and talk to someone and ask for help when you notice changes in energy levels that only you perceive. This is your mental wellness; part of awareness building is establishing your baselines and benchmarks. But it’s not all on your shoulders. A gamut of services and solutions are out there to support you.
We at Everyday Empathy strive to create a non-judgmental space that encourages the development of self-awareness and insight in each founder we work with. We navigate their thoughts and feelings to a rightful place for them and ensure they don’t feel the least discomfort while talking about themselves.