Being your own boss is awesome. It’s also mentally tough.
We make all the decisions. Hurray. At last, we no longer depend on a boss telling us what to do. On the flip side, we have to make all the decisions and solve every problem. What do I do? What if I make the wrong choice? The amount of thinking and overthinking can be exhausting at times.
Some days, the noise is deafening. There are the bursts of creativity and excitement when we’re feelin’ it, to the depths of uncertainty and despair when things aren’t going well. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride but with everything you own and every part of your soul. Managing the mind is a constant battle.
Bottom Line or Bust
Financial stress is at the top of the list of things we worry about. When we forfeit a salary, we also trade the peace of mind that a regular pay check brings. Like predators that need to survive in the wild, we now have to go out there and ‘hunt’ every dollar. How hard or how long you work no longer matters, the only thing that matters is results.
When we experience a setback, the pressure of ‘perform or die’ can really get to us. We not only have to deal with the financial consequences (= poverty!), but also the guilt that it’s all our fault. We’re big-fat-ugly losers because we’re dumb and stupid – and now we’re going to be poor, starve and die. Awesome.
Entrepreneurs are overachievers by nature so when we’re not achieving at the level we expect, it’s extremely frustrating. This can happen in a job too, but with your own business, the stakes are higher. Everything is on the line.
Lack of Community
When you leave a job, you also leave a social environment. As an entrepreneur, you can no longer walk down the hall and find a colleague to commiserate with or bounce ideas off of. Unless you have a business partner, we don’t have anyone to share the experience with. We don’t always realize how lonely it can get. Building a strong support system is key. It can be a mentor, business coach, a group of entrepreneurs. People we can talk business with and that will ‘get it’. Sometimes, we just need someone to listen. We often end up finding our own solutions just by discussing the problems out loud. It helps bring clarity.
Entrepreneurship is associated with being strong and confident, it’s almost taboo not to feel that way all the time. But no one does, it’s a journey of highs and lows. It’s important to be aware of the mental challenges and set up a system, daily routines even, that allow us to focus and perform at our best.