Entrepreneurship is not always a bed of roses. Depression sometimes comes and haunts you.
I don’t mean to be such a downer. For the past week though, I haven’t been able to sleep well. I guess it’s because of the plans in my head and all the strategies that I have to implement. I know it’s the season to be jolly, but yet what December means for a lot of us Entrepreneurs is one, to look back at the year that had past; two, to close books, end ‘some’ relationships that weren’t really beneficial to our business; and, three, to strategize, prepare and get ready for the coming year. These things may seem as simple as 1..2..3, but the fact remains, that it isn’t as easy as 1..2..3.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately and it doesn’t help that I have this bad cold today. I have been feeling a little bit depressed lately. I’m not the type who shares being ‘down’ with people. I don’t even share it with the people I love. I think that they already have too much going on. I just write about my feelings. That’s the reason why I think i’m addicted to Medium now, because I could feel the raw, unedited emotions of the writers in that platform. Writing relaxes me, so I hope you won’t mind the tone of this post. I don’t think it will go viral anyway.
Today, I googled depression and entrepreneurship and I got more than 1.6MM results. I thought that maybe, Google probably included articles that that discussed depression and entrepreneurship separately, but alas, for the first 10 pages at least, it was really about entrepreneurs struggling to overcome depression and how depression is such a common thing among entrepreneurs. I never thought that this thing could be so prevalent in this industry. I hang out with a lot of startups, entrepreneurs and I have a lot of business partners, clients, etc. who are just starting their businesses or who have been handling their businesses for a few years already, and no one has ever mentioned this. I wondered why this is so, and the first thing that I thought about and got to validate after reading some of the articles online is that entrepreneurs are scared that people may see this as a sign of weakness. Another probable reason is that entrepreneurs think that people won’t understand. These entrepreneurs think that people already don’t get what they do, so how would they even be able to understand how or what they’re feeling.
In a span of an hour, I have read over 10 articles online stating that depression amongst entrepreneurs is real and it exists. Usually, people think that it’s just during the brink of failure, but it’s also during times of growth and expansion. And a lot of these cases of depression amongst the entrepreneurs are kept hidden from the world. Why? Because most of us have that untarnished idea in our minds that entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are superheroes. And this perception cuts across local entrepreneurial ‘idols’, too. Even I had my doubts of releasing this article, because I’m scared of being branded as weak and incapable.
But why did I still release this. Simple. People should know that entrepreneurs like me, even if we make things happen, we are human. Even if we seem like relentless creatures, we still feel. We have feelings of sadness, disappointment, pain, sorrow and yes, weakness. We fall in love with an idea and get obsessed with it. We get jealous and envious, too. We sometimes act irrational, too. If we fall, we will get up to a new day, fighting like nothing brought us down, and if we falter again, we will still stand up and try again the day after, but that doesn’t mean that we did not feel the pain of falling, of failing, of losing.
I won’t sugar coat anything. I will say this and I will not regret that I said this, and I may even use it in one of my talks in the future. The life of an entrepreneur sucks big time, but it is that suckiness that makes us stronger. Yes, I believe all those articles that say that depression is evident in the world of entrepreneurship, and I think it’s because these people are those who go against what is considered to be normal. Entrepreneurship and going for the dreams that you have even with the lack of resources, take a great deal of courage to do.
So if you are an entrepreneur who’s reading this, if you are struggling to break free from a feeling of depression that envelopes you, if you are desperately trying to hold on to a dream that’s being tested, if your goals and ambitions are being questioned by loved ones, if your path seems unclear and uncertain, and if you are trying to find peace and clarity for a solid and stronger 2016, you are not alone. We can do this.
From a fellow entrepreneur,
PS. I am seriously considering becoming a listener in this site http://www.7cups.com/
PPS. Another nice article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2015/07/23/entrepreneurs-dont-lose-yourself-to-depression/