Hey Entrepreneurs, how do you keep yourself from getting depressed?

Hey Entrepreneurs, how do you keep yourself from getting depressed?

By : Dalia Paratore Harrison

Starting your own business may sound exciting, and when you tell your peers or your friends, many will show the proper amount of enthusiasm for your new venture.  Being an entrepreneur can sound sexy and, especially in the US this is much celebrated as it feeds into our national perception of the American Spirit. But truth be told, this is a hard and often lonely process that involves a high degree of stress and sacrifice.  Two thirds of entrepreneurs report feeling depressed at least once a week and discussing this topic may be considered taboo or shameful.  However, especially now with the new challenges brought forth because of the pandemic and the multiple shut-downs, it is more important than ever to talk about self-care strategies.

Health: if you run your health into the ground you will not be productive.  Schedule physical activity into your day and make it something you enjoy. I took up martial arts as a way to keep myself active and relieve stress.  Maybe you enjoy biking, walking, yoga?  Whatever it is, make it a part of your routine.  It will enhance your concentration, produce endorphins and improve your sleep. And don’t neglect to nourish your body.  It may be tempting to grab junk food but you will pay for it in the long run.  Eat healthfully and make sure you don’t self-medicate with alcohol.

Education: It goes without saying that a business owner should be continually learning and this can fit your time and budget.  There are free or inexpensive events, seminars, webinars, etc. that can teach you new techniques, skills and tools.  This will have the added benefit of allowing you to network, especially if you work remotely, alone or with limited staff. Meeting and talking to other people is beneficial to your business and to your mental health.  Even if these meetings are via the web it will be helpful. Just avoid comparing and contrasting to a negative effect.

Networking: There are two purposes to networking: to reach potential customers or to reach potential peers.  It’s critical to make sure that you’re creating brand recognition and, depending on your service or product, a strong digital presence may not be enough.  Networking is a great way to generate business leads, whether it’s a new partner for a future project or a new customer.  You can attend conferences and events, you can offer to volunteer as well which will make you more aware of what’s going on in your community while doing something that serves to “give back”. Even if some of these meetings are help via Zoom, Skype or Google Meet it still will help you stay connected.

Small Biz Owner Associations: by joining organizations, especially those that are industry specific or small business oriented, is a great way to meet peers, cross-promote and learn about trends.  Be sure to evaluate what your goals are and consider how active members of the group are.  Not only will this help your business but it will keep you from feeling isolated.

Find a Mentor/Consultant: Wonder about the importance of mentors in business? More than 9 in 10 of small business owners say mentors are a big key to their success.  Not only do they provide experience, perspective and support but you may also have access to their network.  Hiring a consultant to serve as your mentor (which is a prime reason to hire one) will help you focus your business and your efforts in the most productive way.  Having this experienced, outside perspective will help you adjust your goals, streamline your efforts and give you more time to focus on what makes you the most profitable and balanced.

Personal life/Balance: This primarily comes down to perspective and boundaries.  You started a business because you had a goal in mind and one of these most likely involved taking control of your life.  It’s key to remember that your business is not you.  Don’t neglect your family and your friends; you need them and they need you.  Go out dancing with your spouse.  Go to the park with your kids.  Have dinner with your friends.  Make sure that they do not become an afterthought.  At the end of the day, most people's regrets do not involve career, they involve the people that they love. Even with this pandemic there are ways to connect.

Business Plan:  Not having clear goals can lead to depression. Have you put your vision down on paper?  Do you have a plan, with goals, KPI’s, contingency plans and scalable growth?  You also have to plan for black swan events (pandemic anyone?) Have alternative courses of action for that rainy day.  Remember that this plan is a work in progress and can be modified as you continue your journey as an entrepreneur.  But you must have clear goals and metrics or you’ll get stuck.  And you may need financing to get there.  If you have a well-crafted business plan you can approach lenders with confidence.  By having a business plan you’ll feel some control.

Well-being involves self-awareness.  Make sure that you remember who you are, where you come from, what you enjoy, whom you love…and all this will translate into being a well-balanced business owner.  As cheesy as this sounds, this will help you pave the road to success.  And remember, most people can’t do it all alone.  Reach out and either enlist help or hire help.  You don’t have to do this all on your own! Outsourcing has become the go-to strategy for small to medium sized business owners. Paratore Enterprises, Inc customizes our research, pricing and strategy to meet your needs. We can even help you craft your Life-Work holistic plan.

To find out more about what we do and how we can help guide you, please contact us at info@paratoreenterprises.com or https://paratoreenterprises.com/#contact

Paratore Enterprises, Inc team has over 50 years of experience in providing strategy and consulting in marketing, sales and business management for organizations in the Defense and Tactics space, as well as retail and commercial markets. We provide know-how in vendor relations, trade show/event tactics, dealer of record implementation, competitive/differentiator analysis, sales leadership coaching and development. We enable companies to better target their audiences, improve reach, reduce churn and improve pipeline management.


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