Crucial Insights on Mental Health for Entrepreneurs–Recognize, Recover, and Recharge

May is mental health awareness month. And while being an entrepreneur is an exhilarating journey it can also be a rollercoaster ride for our mental health. As we navigate the highs and lows of building our businesses, sometimes our itty-bitty-sh*tty-committee chimes in. It's crucial to prioritize our mental well-being and equip ourselves with the tools to stay resilient.

The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster:

As entrepreneurs, we're no strangers to stress, uncertainty, and pressure. The demands of running a business, coupled with the constant hustle and grind, can take a toll on our mental health. It's easy to get caught up in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and neglect our well-being.

Recognizing the Signs:

So, how do you know when the entrepreneurial journey is taking a toll on your mental health? Here are some signs to watch out for:

Overwhelming Stress: Do you wake up thinking about work, go to bed thinking about work, and every moment in between? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demands of running your business and unable to switch off from work? This type of mental looping does not serve you well. Persistent Anxiety: Are you catastrophizing the future of your business, thinking everything that can go wrong will go wrong and you’ll never be successful?

  • Burnout: Are you feeling exhausted, depleted, and emotionally drained from the relentless pursuit of success? When your resources outweigh the demands, you may find yourself snappy, unable to focus, and losing motivation for the day-to-day jobs.
  • Isolation: Though a cliché, it’s true–it’s lonely at the top. When push comes to shove, you alone are responsible for the P&L. Which can make the day to day decision lonely and isolating because no one will ever have the whole picture the way you do.
  • Impaired Decision-Making: Have you seen The Good Place? You know Chidi, where he gets stomach aches every time he has to make a decision? Are you struggling to make clear-headed decisions and feeling indecisive or paralyzed by fear?

Moving Through It:

If you're finding the challenges of entrepreneurship overwhelming, remember that you're not alone. There's support out there for you. Here are some steps you can take to navigate through:

  • Reach Out for Support. Don't hesitate to lean on your support network—whether it's fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, executive coaches, or mental health professionals. The serial entrepreneur Scott Galloway calls this your cabinet. Have three to five people you can call on to help you problem-solve outside of your company, family, and close friends. Sharing your struggles and seeking support can provide valuable perspective and relief. You're taking a powerful step toward your well-being and success by reaching out.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it's okay to struggle. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend in need. If something goes wrong, don’t dwell or spiral. Recognize why it went wrong, know you did your best with the information you had at the time, and now that you know more, you get to do better next time.
  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout and maintain balance. Prioritize self-care and make time for activities that recharge your batteries.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you're struggling to cope on your own, consider seeking professional help from a therapist, counselor, or coach. Therapy can provide valuable tools and strategies for managing stress and improving mental well-being. Even an executive coach who has been on the rollercoaster and knows the ride can provide support and tools to help you ride the wave. Don’t hire a coach who has never been there, done that, and survived to thrive!

Preventing Recurrence:

Once you've weathered the storm, taking proactive steps to prevent a recurrence is essential. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Prioritize Self-Care: Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Take breaks, exercise regularly, eat nourishing foods, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Practice Stress Management: Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Stress is neither good nor bad. It's your perspective on it. You can choose to take a challenge-response or a threat response. A threat response keeps you in your amygdala, while a challenge response moves you into your neocortex for optimal problem-solving.
  • Stay Connected: Nurture your relationships and stay connected with friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs. Social support is a powerful buffer against stress and isolation.
  • Monitor Your Mental Health: Stay attuned to your mental health and be proactive about seeking help if you notice any warning signs or symptoms reemerging.

Rather than playing doom and gloom of what isn’t or could be, I’ve seen leaders embrace the suck in the moment and move through. My clients say mental health isn’t a switch. They report that it’s not bad or good. That it’s taking everyday steps to create psychological safety for them, their family, and those in their business.

By developing safety, belonging, and purpose for yourself and those around you only then can your well-being and mental health truely stand the test of entrepreneurial life.

Take care,


From Suck to Success

In From Suck to Success, Todd uses his own experience in professional purgatory to propel your business upward by embracing Massive Curiosity coupled with Massive Accountability.

We care about your data. Read our privacy policy.

Screenshot of From Suck to Success Book Cover

Latest From the Blog

Read Todd's latest tips on building connection through psychological safety.