July 8, 2024

The Prevalence and Presentation

Entrepreneurship is often celebrated for its freedom and innovation, but the mental health struggles faced by entrepreneurs are less frequently discussed. Studies show that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. The constant pressure to succeed, financial instability, and the blurring of work-life boundaries can take a significant toll on one's mental well-being.

In a 2017 survey conducted by Michael Devaney of the Mindset Project, it was found that 68.3% of entrepreneurs experience mental health issues, with a staggering 31% suffering from depression—nearly four times higher than the general population. Michael shares his personal journey with depression and his motivation for conducting the survey in the latest episode of The Real Bottom Line podcast, where we delve deeper into the mental health challenges unique to entrepreneurs. The episode will be available next Tuesday, so don't miss this insightful discussion.

Michael is also updating the survey to measure the effects of COVID-19, geopolitical strife, AI advancements, and the shift to remote work on entrepreneurs' mental health. "This time around too, we're asking open-answer questions so we can do sentiment analysis. Now, I can actually attach feelings and sentiment to the numbers," Michael explains. If you want to participate in the survey, check out the link in the comments.

Why You Need to Work on It

Ignoring mental health can have severe consequences not only for your personal well-being but also for your business. Poor mental health can lead to decreased productivity, impaired decision-making, and strained relationships, both personal and professional. By prioritizing mental health, entrepreneurs can improve their resilience, maintain their creative edge, and ensure sustainable business growth.

Wendy emphasizes, "The key message here is that you aren't alone if you are suffering from any mental health issues and you're an entrepreneur. You're actually more the norm than not from what I'm reading from Michael's previous work."

Three Key Ways to Support Mental Health

  1. Therapy: Speaking with a mental health professional can provide invaluable support. Therapists can help you develop coping strategies, manage stress, and work through any underlying issues that may be affecting your mental health. With the rise of virtual therapy services, it's now easier than ever to access professional help, regardless of location. Michael states, "The biggest hesitation entrepreneurs have is they don't talk about it to anybody. So the first thing I would do is you need to talk to someone, talk to a therapist."

  2. Naturopathy: Naturopathic treatments can offer holistic approaches to mental health, addressing the mind, body, and spirit. Naturopaths can provide personalized treatments, including herbal remedies, nutritional advice, and lifestyle changes that promote overall well-being.

  3. Eating Well, Exercising, and Creative Outlets: A balanced diet and regular physical activity are crucial for maintaining mental health. Eating nutrient-dense foods can improve mood and energy levels, while exercise releases endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, engaging in creative activities like doodling, painting, or other artistic pursuits can provide a therapeutic outlet for stress and foster a sense of accomplishment and joy.

The Impact of External Factors

The pandemic, economic upheavals, and the rapid advancement of AI have all added layers of stress for entrepreneurs. Michael notes, "We've gone from a pandemic to two very active wars, which really affects the way we see the world. The world feels a bit heavier right now and I'm not sure we fully recovered from the impact of the pandemic in terms of our outlook and our resilience."

Additionally, the shift to remote work has introduced new challenges. "Entrepreneurs want to have that connection with people," Michael explains. "But now, many team members work remotely, and there's a lot of question marks about their capacity and engagement."

Prioritizing mental health is not just about surviving the entrepreneurial journey but thriving in it. By taking proactive steps to support your mental well-being, you can build a more resilient and successful business.

Business Value Amplifier - Sept 18
Wendy Brookhouse

Wendy Brookhouse


Wendy has been getting people to their financial goals faster and easier than before for over a decade. She has known what it’s like to control cash flow from childhood, where her first job was raking blueberries for ten cents a pound.