Entrepreneurs’ mental health and stress management started to be more widely discussed amid the pandemic, but for many seasoned entrepreneurs, the topic is still taboo. Now that the world seems to be inching toward a new normal, some founders, investors and mental health experts find themselves asking whether we need to consider mental health moving forward if it wasn’t an issue before the pandemic.
“Entrepreneurs bring in a lot of vulnerability into their jobs, and when combined with the risks they are required to take, the vulnerability can be exacerbated when those risks don’t work out,” said Michael Freeman, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and founder of Econa.
So how do we address these issues and train entrepreneurs to sharpen and maintain their mental acuity, particularly when things get tough while fundraising?
“With mental health, as is true with many things medical, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Freeman said. “For entrepreneurs who want to prevent mental health issues, they need to start by taking a lifestyle risk factor assessment.”
According to Freeman, there are five ways entrepreneurs can support their mental health.
- Exercise, and make sure you sweat.
- Get and keep friends that have nothing to do with business.
- Eat well, and eat strategically.
- Address mental health concerns in weeks, not months.
Based on her experience, here are five more ways entrepreneurs can manage their mental health while fundraising.
- Find a counselor or therapist to help navigate your increased stress level.
- Give yourself an out.
- Leverage your team
- Remain flexible with your plans.
- Be intentional about the type of stress you’re willing to deal with for money.