I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, I was hoping my business consultant, wouldn’t notice.
I tried my hardest to hold back my tears and not to let my voice crack. My thoughts, “I must appear strong, put together, like I have my whole life and my entire business under control.” After all, I was paying her, to help with my business, not the personal drama, that was getting in the way of my business.
We were talking about the “business”, but I felt overwhelmed with “being an entrepreneur.”
I felt exhausted, fatigued, frustrated, couldn’t concentrate, felt down about my performance, the business model…didn’t feel good enough to help anyone.
In 2019, the World Health Organization, listed Burnout Syndrome in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) it is an occupational phenomenon.
Burn out, impacts many professionals and entrepreneurs mental health. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, between adolescence and the age of 50, “a woman is twice as likely to experience an anxiety disorder than a man.”
The entrepreneurs dilemma
Your personal life has no place in your business, right?
Wrong! As a therapist, I know that it’s not always easy, to separate your personal and professional life (I tried myself).
Starting a new business is a learning curve for most new entrepreneurs. The pressure required to be successful, becomes overwhelmingly heavy, when you add on emotional baggage, health issues and life circumstances.
It’s especially difficult to maintain a sense of emotional stability, when there are extenuating circumstances, like a death.
And what about breakups, divorce, anxiety, depression, financial difficulties, family conflict and the day to day stresses of entrepreneurship?
Without adequate emotional support or coping skills, some life circumstances, can crash your entire business.
The old business hustle mentality is killing us
Many business coaches are not formally trained in mental health, mindset or human motivation. They are trained in business models and systems for growth, which is very technical. Some coaches are promoting the “hustle” mentality, work 24/7, don’t sleep, stay plugged in, online all day, every night, as the way to make millions. This is unhealthy behavior, over a prolonged period (even for a millionaire).
The CEO of Thrive Global and founder of The Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington, began advocating for entrepreneurs’ wellness, after she collapsed from exhaustion and woke up in a pool of her own blood. As unfortunate as that was, it is not uncommon for professional women to run themselves into the ground this way, because of the hustle hard, super woman mindset that has been programmed into our psyche for decades.
There are some business coaches, encouraging the 24/7 hustle mindset and missing important information about their clients, like some clients were struggling with trauma, anxiety or depression. These women have masked their emotions well and it shows up when they are not productive in their business.
A coach that’s trained in mental health, can identify when a client needs therapy, because business coaching cannot address what therapy can.
I’ve had clients, invest in my programs, after working with a traditional business coach, because they still felt “stuck.” As a result, they didn’t implement what they learned or earn any money.
Some coaches may provide quick tips and tricks that worked for them, but doesn’t work for their clients. Empowering someone with “rags to riches” stories, is pseudo empowerment, when it doesn’t equip the client, with the coping tools, to do their own personal work.
When a business coach resorts to shaming clients, getting frustrated with them or ignoring those who are not getting results, this contributes to “business anxiety”. This is toxic and not backed by any evidence based theories. Clients can become afraid of business and avoid it all together.
It ends up leaving their clients frustrated, because they don’t get their desired business results. Creating a confirmation bias, that they will never succeed in business. This can crush a new entrepreneurs spirit.
Life support for women entrepreneurs
In my private online therapy and coaching practice, I have worked with women who were intelligent, talented and well qualified to launch their business idea, but doubt, fear and lack of emotional support, were mental barriers. I’d help them to work through their deep rooted anxiety about business. Once, they identified the problem and felt equipped with emotional coping skills, they were ready to conquer their business!
Many women entrepreneurs, feel alone, like no one understands how they feel. They desire a coach that will give them space to grow personally and professionally. They usually feel fearful of comparison, judgment and the shaming that takes place frequently on social media, in the “entrepreneur space.”
On a daily basis, new entrepreneurs are bombarded, with ads and messages about how “they can change your life in 30 days or 5 steps” and how easy it is to become a millionaire, in your new business. (This has got to stop). I believe it is possible for you to become a millionaire, but growth takes time. I encourage clients, to do a social media detox for this reason and plan social media engagement hours to reduce their anxiety.
The Conquer Network for Women Entrepreneurs is a supportive community that addresses the entrepreneurs’ total life and business. This is for professional women, who are launching, online and service based businesses and need support with their emotional wellness and business start-up basics. Brick and mortar businesses owners may benefit from the emotional wellness component.
In 2020, aspiring women entrepreneurs in online service based businesses, will have a safe non-judgmental network to grow their business and emotional wellness!
Women can express their emotions about being entrepreneurs, developing a business mindset, transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, juggling family life, relationships, parenting, fitness, chronic illness and of course mental health!
Joining The Conquer Network is simple and it’s convenient for busy professionals. When you join, you have access to live group coaching, online seminars and a mastermind group, right through an app you download on your phone. The cost of a monthly membership, is half the cost of just one meeting with a business consultant and the level of emotional support is invaluable. Women have an opportunity to experience the network for 2 weeks in a free trial. Any successful woman in business will attest to the importance of a strong and supportive network.
Entrepreneurship can be an emotional roller coaster, but it’s not as intimidating going through business start-up, when you have a supportive network of ambitious women and an “Entrepreneur Therapist”!