Reflection on ‘The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”

Recently published in Inc Magazine was a profound article: The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship by Jessica Bruder. What was interesting about this article is that the author touched up on things not understood by the majority of the people and the difficulties entrepreneurs face…sometimes life altering.

Jessica showcased to the world that Entrepreneurship can be psychologically damaging and that it takes a lot of mental strength to keep going on. The price paid for attempting the “dream” can be costly both personally and financially. There are been couple cases of suicide as well.

The part that struck me the most is this quote by Toby Thomas, “’It’s like a man riding a lion. People think, ‘This guy’s brave.’ And he’s thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?’” It’s a part that resonates well with me because it may seem like I’m doing ok, living on my own and doing my own thing but the world outside doesn’t how much struggles we take on per day.

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Heck never mind living in another country and the cultural differences, the lack of family and a “home.” I don’t even know how long I can stay in Hong Kong with the high cost of living, the lack of Angel investment and the minor entrepreneurship spirit (There are entrepreneurs here but they still behave in the old Chinese conservative spirit). People expect you to be a leader, to be on the path to success but success does not come easy. I’m barely surviving at It Is (which I admit sometimes distracts you from thinking about the big things).

One of the commenter wrote, “Only those who have gone through this, entrepreneurship experience can understand this. Reality, which nobody admits in public. When you are struggling, you cannot admit your failures. Only when you become successful–in the eyes of the public, you may talk about whatever pains you have gone through.” I mean as an entrepreneur, how could anyone else, besides an entrepreneur, understand you? The struggles, the stress, and the clear uncertainty you face.

I’ve been depressed, overwhelmed to the point of burning out, some days I feel like just quitting and going back home however internally, the flame that keeps me going has not burned out yet; partly with the help of close friends that who are able to counsel me, cheer me on, and keep me going.

Today I’m speaking on this topic because I feel that writing and letting others know can be a great way to take some of the mental stress away (that and good sleep). I do encourage fellow entrepreneurs to share with the rest of the world, if not for themselves, to let out what you go through and give hope to others going through similar circumstance.

JM

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