How Can We Help Our Local Entrepreneurs Deal With Depression?

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When I wrote a blog post about my personal depression experience a few weeks ago, I had no idea that so many entrepreneurs are in a similar boat. Below is an excerpt from a piece I read today by John-Paul Iwuoha, an amazing African Entrepreneur and Writer.

“Did you know that almost 50 percent of entrepreneurs struggle with depression and anxiety?

I have always known entrepreneurs suffer from emotional rollercoasters.But I never knew the problem was this serious or severe.

In fact, studies have found that nearly three-quarters of entrepreneurs and business owners have concerns about their mental health.

And several top CEOs are now opening up about how they’re battling with problems like bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and OCD.

But do you know what is really surprising?

Most entrepreneurs prefer not to talk about this problem because we want to be seen as “normal”.

Our society tends to glorify the success and achievements of entrepreneurs.

That’s why most entrepreneurs are not comfortable talking about their struggles.

We don’t want to be seen as failures in the eyes of others.

But the fact is, starting and running a business comes with a lot of pressure that most people around us just don’t understand.

We shoulder personal risk, work longer hours, and encounter higher stress than most other people do.”

Let’s pause here. Reading John-Paul’s words echoed and rang so true. So, my one question is HOW CAN WE SUPPORT OUR LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS?

I’ll offer a few suggestions:-

  1. Understand that they are on a hard path and be supportive morally with your words. When they do well, appreciate them and when they do a bad job, let them know but in a way that builds them rather than tears them down. Offer useful and helpful suggestions for improvement. They are on a path of growth and will get better and better.
  2. Please, please, please don’t ask for unreasonable discounts. By the time an entrepreneur sets a price for a product or service they are rendering, they’ve calculated a number of costs and included them in the overall price. By asking for an unreasonable discount, you are eating away their profit and leaving them in a disadvantageous position.
  3. Do NOT delay with your payments. Please. When you do, communicate. Don’t just keep quiet. We don’t run charities, we run businesses, at least that’s what we are attempting do.
  4. For your family and friends that are entrepreneurs and may be struggling, don’t tear them down even further. Find out how you can help.
  5. Be a bit more understanding when your entrepreneur friends aren’t being the most social creatures. I will tell you first hand that THINGS CAN GET SO HARD from all angles. Offer to meet them where they are, if you can and when you can.

FINALLY, to my fellow entrepreneurs, I will end with this caption from an article on inc.com.

“TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS ASSET YOU HAVE.”

This says it all. At the end of the day, you need to be well. Take breaks for you. Breath. Laugh. Love. Relax a little. Sleep well. Eat well. (I’m speaking to myself too)

At the end of the day, YOU are the most important NEED you have and you NEED YOU TO BE HEALTHY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY.

*We’ll make it.

With love and concern, Keziah.

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