No one told me that entrepreneurship would feel like riding a roller coaster - the highs are exhilarating, but the lows can feel like pressure is constantly building. While I definitely prefer the highs (hand down, absolutely no contest lol), I’ve learned that both are normal and necessary for growth.
Mental health for entrepreneurs hasn’t always been a topic that’s talked about a lot. We see photos and videos of the benefits, successes, partnerships, trips, and speaking engagements, but not everyone shares the work, disappointments, challenges, resilience, adjustments, and downright stubbornness (sometimes called commitment) it took to get there.
There can also be disappointment when those that are closest to us don’t quite understand what we’ve been called to do or when they don’t show up the way that we thought they would. It is a process to accept that our family and friends may not be our target audience or client and that’s okay. It’s also an opportunity for us to share other ways they can support - sharing a post, referring us to a friend, encouraging us, buying a meal, inviting us to get out of the house/office are all ways they can support us in business.
As leaders we have the responsibility of seeing the vision first, and to walk out God’s instructions with obedience, even if that means walking alone at times.
These are all normal entrepreneurship hurdles. The keys to managing them well are 1) knowing that you’ve been uniquely qualified and designed to handle leadership, 2) being intentional about how you care for yourself and approach business, and 3) trusting God to work it all together for your good.
What we choose to do every day is inherently risky. There’s no guarantee that things will work out as planned, that people will show up, or that services will be purchased. The only guarantees we have are that God will be with us and we can choose to show up and give our best every day.
To help make your journey a little easier, here are some of the tips I've learned to take care of yourself as you build both a life and business you love.
Know that entrepreneurship is inherently uncertain. Expect highs and lows, and learn how to positively respond to each one. Everything doesn’t have to be good for you to be good.
Accept you will feel the effects of your success and failures/lessons exponentially more than you would as an employee. Ownership carries more responsibility, but it also brings more opportunity for impact, to be creative, and for fulfillment.
Be ready for your insecurities and unresolved issues to surface. Don’t run from them - work through them and grow. Entrepreneurship requires you to “grow up” and “do the work”; there is no escaping it if you want to create a positive environment for yourself, your company, and your clients.
Be open to how things unfold. You have your plans and work, but it’s always up to God to provide increase. Focus on what you can manage and trust God to take care of everything else.
Find a community of people you can trust and share your entrepreneurship and CEO journey with, like The Corporate Consultant Community. Sharing stories and experiences helps you not feel so alone and creates a safe place to share your experiences and expertise, be encouraged, celebrate your wins, and gain support.
Work with a mentor, a therapist, and/or a coach &/or consultant like The Corporate Consultant, to help you navigate challenges, strategize with corporate principles and scriptural foundations, and maximize opportunities. Learn how to leverage their expertise for your benefit and growth in a fraction of the time.
Show up in life and business as yourself. Let your charm and quirkiness shine through! The people who need your unique perspective want to hear from you (the real you). Your quirks are your points of connection. Don't underestimate or diminish them. Let them shine through!
Rest. Rest comes in different forms and ways, but the key is to find a break from production and productivity. Make space for reflection, pampering, relaxation, creativity, and fun. Carve out space to just BE.
Be flexible about your methods, but stubborn about your goal. Give yourself space, and grace to change, pivot, and adjust as needed to reach your life and business goals.
Embrace the power of prayer and alone time with God. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. Don’t let the blessings He gives you take His place. Prioritize getting to know God's Character, Voice, and Word. It can fill, energize, and encourage you like nothing else!
Remember, your life and business are canvases you get to paint with God. This is your masterpiece to co-create. Take care of yourself, serve well, and stay close to God. Everything else has a way of working itself out.
If you need additional support in creating a life and business you love, visit www.lorinrcarter.com/bookonline to book your Complimentary Clarity Call to see how we can work together to reach your goals.
Bonus: Here's a video summary on this topic - Entrepreneurship & Mental Health.