Navigating the Psychological Effects of Entrepreneurship

By David Kiger

A fear of the unknown may be enough to keep some people from taking the leap to entrepreneurship. For those with the confidence and passion to push forward and start a small business, many other hazards can emerge and take a serious toll.

The psychological effects of entrepreneurship can be significant, and go beyond simple day-to-day business matters. Jessica Bruder explores this in a story for Inc.com, including how some avoid showing vulnerability in favor of the “fake it till you make it” approach. She uses an analogy — “a man riding a lion” — from Toby Thomas of EnSite Solutions to illustrate the point: “People look at him and think, ‘This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!’ And the man riding the lion is thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?’”

Here’s a look at some of the fears and psychological elements that can go with starting a business. Not all are universal, of course, and they can be overcome on the road to success. Being aware of them beforehand may help a prospective entrepreneur to have a more realistic perspective.

Fear of failure

There are inevitable pitfalls when starting a business. Mistakes are likely for those going out on that limb for the first time, and these slip-ups may lead to a pattern of negative thinking that could hinder potential improvement. In a story for Entrepreneur, Jacqueline Whitmore examines ways to fight this fear, including developing a “growth mindset.”

“View failure not as the end of a journey, but a step in a long process toward your goals,” she explains. “Don’t berate yourself when you make a mistake. Instead, ask yourself, ‘What lesson can I learn from this?’ Take that new knowledge and put it to good use. When you make a mistake, reflect, learn and try again. Eventually, you will succeed if you persist.”

Stress overload

Stress comes with the territory for entrepreneurs, just as it does in any occupation. The stress that comes from a startup may be an entirely new experience, however, and the responsibility that goes along with that may seem intimidating. Part of dealing with this is just learning how to accept it, and not run away from it, as Rhett Power writes for Success.com.

“Never kid yourself into thinking that entrepreneurship is easy,” he writes. “The pressure can be overwhelming, and until you learn how to manage and control the resulting anxiety, you just have to prepare for the gut-wrenching feelings coming your way in the early stages. Say your phone rings on the weekend or after hours. It probably means trouble, but you can’t ignore it — nausea or not. You’re in charge, so take a breath, answer the call and deal with the situation.”

Health concerns

When troubles at the office are daunting, the last thought that might occur to a small business owner may be to go exercise or stick to a healthy diet. But there is a connection between work-induced stress and poor Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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