Entrepreneurship & Mental Health - Don't fake it until you make it.
You don't have to fake it until you make it!
Early in my life, I saw what a strong businesswoman looked like; she raised me. My grandmother owned her grocery store, a small business in a Mexican village; she started with little money and sold vegetables on a table.
By the time I started living with her, she had her own business, one of the very few women in the village, by the way. #GOALS
Seeing a woman business owner was second nature to me; I never questioned if it was possible or not; after all, I had an extraordinary role model to look up to.
As exciting as entrepreneurship has been to me personally, it isn't all sunshine and butterflies. We entrepreneurs experience worries that some others don't, there's no secure paycheck, and providing for our families depends on the sales or clients we acquire. I mean, we were hit with a pandemic. Do I need to say more? 😁
Here's a dark secret that nearly every entrepreneur has dealt with: the mental health struggles and the aftermath of such crises.
What you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at me is that I've struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a little girl. My first panic attack I remember vividly, I was seven years old. I am 36 now (I think 12, I lost count after 21); since then, I've been on and off medication and therapy. I am sharing this because:
1. There's no shame in it.
2. Because I'm all about ending the stigma.
3. Because mental health is part of life.
So, what happens when you mix entrepreneurship and your mental health? In my case, I have continued to thrive, but not without a few emotional crises here and there and the proper support. During and after those crises, I considered selling the business because I was very overwhelmed; I thought about closing it for a while, going out of business, you name it, I thought of it.
Whether you're an entrepreneur or not, you could be dealing with mental health challenges, and please know:
- There's no shame in asking for help.
- You don't have to fake it until you make it; that nonsense works in the world of zero reality. Life isn't a social media platform.
- Not everyone will get it, but your feelings are valid.
- Identify your support system.
- If you are starting a business or want to, please know that it takes time. The profits, big team, expensive laptop, fat bank account, and if these are your things, the private jets, designer wardrobe, dream cars will take you time. Still, get started.
A few last words on the "fake it until you make it" advice we all hear from time to time.
It's never about faking anything; this is where the unwanted and unnecessary pressure comes in. Some business owners go as far as claiming imaginary revenue figures to impress others, to make themselves believe the money will come.
Just because "fake it until they make it is a way of life. Has it helped others? For sure, but why add unnecessary pressure to an already stressful journey?
Some of the most successful people I've met never fake it; in fact, they don't even talk about it because they understand it's okay to succeed in silence.
If you're interested in joining the entrepreneurial world, don't be shy about your struggles, people need and want to hear your story. People relate more to real stories than fiction and fantasy tales. Most importantly, be a revel and liberate yourself from the thought that you need to fake something.