The glamour, glitz, and hype aside; entrepreneurship is a heck of a rollercoaster with plenty of challenges – both internal and external struggles – often not talked about, at least not very much.
External challenges such as sourcing for funds, hiring the best people, finding a suitable location, and so many others can be managed by setting up the right processes and execution.
However, this can’t also be said for internal struggles (read: Psychological challenges) anyone on this journey has to grapple with.
Every entrepreneur whether they are greenhorns in the game or they have chalked up considerable experience will with time come to understand that this unconventional path they have chosen is scattered with enormous heart-wrenching obstacles.
And often these “stumbling blocks” are unseen; internal, and personal.
So, to help you stay top of your game, here some of the psychological hurdles you are likely going to overcome as an entrepreneur.
It gets excruciatingly lonely, at times
If you’re not comfortable in your own company; you’re going to find pretty quickly that starting a business isn’t for you – at least in the beginning when it’s just only you.
It is not uncommon to read stories of founders who spent several hours a day all cooped up alone in their basement working on their project.
And in situations where you have family members asking you to get a job that also could be a potential trigger for feeling lonely and alienated.
Though most entrepreneurs fancy themselves to be self-motivated; they will, if been honest to themselves, tell you that, there were moments when they toyed with the idea to give up as a result of lack of motivation.
Often underneath all the shiny success stories are untold stories of frustrations, self-doubts, and rejections. For some, those hurdles were enough to give up; however, somehow they dug in until they succeeded.
One proven trick recommended by most entrepreneurs is to always focus on your why. Why did you start in the first place? What drove you to want to start the business? What goals were you striving to accomplish?
Comparing yourself with others
There’s nothing wrong really in looking over your shoulder once in a while to see what others are doing. It can help you recalibrate, take in new information, and learn new ways of doing things.
The problem, however, starts when it becomes unhealthy with an accompanying feeling of inadequacy or not doing enough or trying to match or surpass others.
Stay on your course. Focus on your hustle. And remember you’re not in competition with anyone but yourself.
Unreasonable drive for perfection
A typical entrepreneur is a perfectionist at heart. However, what differentiates a successful entrepreneur from the pack is their ability to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and then; having the presence of mind to delegate where necessary.
The truth is, for most entrepreneurs learning how to trust others to do their job is a never-ending challenge. And this is rooted in the unwillingness to give up control.
But the reality is to get more done, to ship out the products within schedule, and to scale your business faster you must be willing to share responsibility with your team.
It’s stressful, very stressful
Apart from the high octane, never-ending work mode; the entrepreneurial life often entails forgoing certain social activities, and when you do find time for some social bonding – it becomes tough unplugging from work mode.
It is not uncommon for some entrepreneurs to go for days without proper sleep, malnourished and caffeine driven.
Now, add all these together plus the ever-present stress of running a business, and you’ll have a potent recipe for a stress-filled life.
So, you now know the possible psychological hurdles facing you as an entrepreneur. The first step in mitigating their impact is awareness – which this piece strived to accomplish – the next step is to ask for help where necessary and being willing to make changes to your lifestyle.
Feb 17th, 2019