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Why Entrepreneurs Should Prioritize Their Well-Being When Starting and Running Businesses

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We have all witnessed a significant increase in entrepreneurship among young adults over the past few years, and this number is only expected to increase in the future. Indeed, as we look around us today, it is becoming increasingly clear that entrepreneurs are becoming fearless leaders of change in our current economy. While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with both severe economic instabilities and disruptions to global economies, the period has also seen a surprising increase in the number of business owners, especially in places that favor startups. , such as the United Arab Emirates and other major markets around the world.

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According to a report by data platform MAGNiTT, total funding for startups in the MENA region increased by 64% in the first half of 2021. This trend was mainly driven by the loss of employee jobs and the closure of companies. businesses around the world, which has created a surplus of talented individuals, as well as a market gap in emerging consumer demands. This led to a period of “creative destruction”, where companies and individuals were forced to adopt new business models and innovative solutions to replace old ways of working and adapt to the current economic situation. Entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and seized it, economic uncertainty and enforced downtime seemingly giving them the courage to take a leap of faith to take matters into their own hands.

However, while starting a business has many benefits, including economic independence, innovative solutions and economic diversification, to name a few, there is also a very important factor that few people talk about in the entrepreneurial world, it is the price of entrepreneurship. It is now more important than ever to openly discuss the issue of entrepreneurship and mental health, especially with the current situation of an ongoing global pandemic. After all, starting a business isn’t easy, in many ways, and it might not be for everyone. But those who have decided to take the plunge need to understand the real side effects of starting a business, so they can truly build and maintain a healthy business and a healthy inner self.

In a recent survey by UC Berkeley, 72% of entrepreneurs involved in the study said they struggled with mental health issues. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, because it’s no secret that starting a business comes with a lot of mental strain. The problem is that while business owners constantly work very hard to ensure the success of their business, they often overlook the most important thing in running a business: their mental well-being. And that’s something I learned the hard way, having started my entrepreneurial journey at a relatively young age, and at a time when entrepreneurship wasn’t as “in” as it is. now.

Related: Why investors should care about the mental health of startup founders

When I ventured into the world of startups, I was a very ambitious and driven 27-year-old woman, and I was ready to dive headfirst into the business world – but I was unaware of the importance of maintaining my mental well-being through it all. I was very excited about starting my own business and wanted it to be as successful as possible. As such, I still worked extremely hard, sometimes up to 16 hours a day. In fact, I used to spend all my free time building my business, aiming to achieve the vision I had set for the business. But I became a mother to my first child in the second year of starting my business, and that made the journey even harder for me.

Over the years, I continued to focus all my efforts on building a successful business, but once that became a reality, I was hit with another harsh reality, which was that I neglected my mental well-being throughout the process. . I eventually reached a point of mental and emotional exhaustion, because I was preoccupied with my ambition to build a successful business, as well as be a good mother and a good wife. . I found myself exhausted and unable to perform any of the tasks I needed to support my business or daily life – my brain’s abilities had apparently shut down. I found myself unable to interact with my business partners and employees, my creative process stagnated, and I felt completely isolated and stuck. And that’s when I realized I had to change both my lifestyle and the way I run my business.

So I learned the hard way that if you don’t focus on your sanity from the start, you will lose a lot more than yourself. However, after this shocking realization, I started seeking help from a life coach and decided to change my lifestyle. That’s when I decided to prioritize my mental well-being because I believed that a healthy mind leads to a healthy life. This was a very big wake-up call for me at the time, because it completely changed my traditional view of mental health, as well as how I ran my business from there – mental wellness has now become my number one priority. Additionally, we began to prioritize the mental, physical and emotional well-being of all our team members, and this was reflected positively in their attitude and performance at work, as well as in the way they address and overcome external constraints.

In conclusion, the key takeaway that I would like other entrepreneurs to recognize from my story is to always prioritize your mental, physical, and emotional well-being from the start of your journey. Don’t let your thirst for success get in the way of taking care of yourself every step of the way – you don’t want to reach a breaking point and see it ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for. And finally, make sure you have a strong support system around you and make it a point to seek outside help whenever you feel you need extra support. Finally, for my female colleagues running their own businesses, my advice would be to always trust and channel your intuition throughout your entrepreneurial journey, because that is where our true power lies as women entrepreneurs.

Related: Warning signs: How to tell if your staff is on the verge of burnout (and what to do about it)

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