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The library of essays of Proakatemia


Kirjoittanut: Aileen Marie Flores Nunez - tiimistä Kaaos.

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Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.




The startup grind takes a major toll on founder mental health. Based on the data collected from over 400 start-up founders and CEO’s, 72% of founders report an impact on their mental health. 44% suffer from high stress, 37% from anxiety, 36% burn out, 13% due to depression and 10% from panic attacks. (Startup Snapshot 2023). Surprising and alarming as it is, this situation is extremely due to the many challenges that startup faces every day like bringing creativity and innovation to the marketplace, contributing industrial transformation, exploring every opportunity, managing the entire business process, coping up the challenging market and other stressful entrepreneurial responsibilities. The same report mentioned that 81% of founders are not open about their stress, fears, and challenges (Startup Snapshot 2023).  


With the data mentioned, it is extremely the best time to discuss the well-being of entrepreneurs in general, whether you are a startup or yearlong running entrepreneur. As entrepreneurs are prone to high stress, let us examine closely the stress paradox. Finding the hard truth condition of the various aspects in running a new venture and keeping the business going in an uncertain macro-economy which have a large effect to founders’ well-being particularly mental health. With this, we will have insight into how we can be able to cope with mental health issues, get help, and how to bring balance in life. An entrepreneurial journey should give real value to you and should not take your life away from you. 


  The Stress Paradox 

 Starting and running a business is challenging and demanding over your time, finance, social and health aspect. Yes, it is true that it is joyful and interesting as you are doing your own business. However, the process and experience could be overwhelming as the pressure is there, taking the risk, and thriving in the business world. How does stress build up? As more time is needed to deal with every aspect of your business, it demands more hours and less rest and sleep and along with it while taking every risk, more uncertainties create more worries. This would become a vicious cycle and affect one’s physical and mental health. As business is the top priority, entrepreneurs have no time to engage in any exercise or physical activities and would rather devote their time and energy to run the business. It is true that in any business success, hard labor, and kinds of sacrifices are there, as the saying goes and became any entrepreneur’s mantra, “No pain, no gains.” Entrepreneurs believe that any struggle and hardship at present are worth any future success. Moreover, these kinds of struggle stories served as motivation for any startups and taking for granted any mental health issues it affects along the way. As an optimist, entrepreneurs claimed they enjoyed the entrepreneurial journey despite all the odds for any failing experience, true entrepreneurs never quit, and venturing into another business is for a go despite going the same process again.  


Effects of Uncertain Macro-economy 

 The post covid-19 pandemic pumped up the height of even further economic challenges such as high rates of interest for funds, cost-cutting, lay-offs, cheap capitals, political instability, and impending recession. With these conditions in the global market, each day becomes harder for every entrepreneur. It is a daily challenge to look for a way to ensure that their venture has a way to get through any tough situation. There is an immense struggle against the volatility of the economic market. Entrepreneurs then develop the fear of failure, implicating a strong drive to succeed. Another to mention is about taking risks. As there is no way not to take risks in this uncertain economy, every entrepreneur is fraught with danger. Both situations lead to developing more stress and anxiety in any founder. 


 Ditch that Stigma and Get Help 

 Mental health is critically important for everyone, everywhere. Mental health is an integral part of our general health and well-being and a basic human right. (WHO 2022). Unfortunately, entrepreneurs failed to communicate their stress. Regarded as creative, innovative, and motivator, there is the stigma of being open to having mental health issues and getting professional help signals weakness and imperfection as a founder. As a lonely job, the expectation of success in the business, and projecting the image of perfection contribute to the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Unfortunately, not all pains and injuries are visible (Marks 2021), thus people suffering from mental illness or emotional crisis, are hard to recognize immediately. So, if entrepreneurs are not open about their mental crisis, then it is likely that suffering inside will continue and when support is not provided on time, this will lead to more serious conditions. Entrepreneurs need to realize and acknowledge this truth. Now a days, as society is becoming aware of mental health issues and maintaining ones well-being is as important as getting your entrepreneurial success, professional mental providers should be available in the community, and massive support from friends, family, and business partners is another great help and most importantly, entrepreneurs must be self-aware of one’s mental health condition and should consider it a top priority too. To deliver high productivity and contribute to economic growth, founders need to be in great mental health.  



 Becoming aware of possible mental health issues of being a startup or future entrepreneur is a serious matter to consider. The rollercoaster journey requires a strong mindset and resilience to get through any storm. Mental health is an extremely significant aspect of sustainable entrepreneurship which I should keep in mind. Keeping a balanced mental and emotional condition should be a competence necessary for me as soon as I become a business leader. Taking care of my well-being creates a positive impact on my business. Thus, I need to make a point to ask for help when needed and acknowledge my limitations and vulnerability. I should take time to engage myself in any physical activity, get good rest and enough sleep and be able to create a support system. Find training and activities that will enhance my emotional intelligence and promote mental health. As a startup, I would like to amplify mental health awareness to my team and the community where I am now, able to lift others and deliver maximum productivity. I hope to be part of a community able to inspire and inform change. Truly, entrepreneurship is joyful but stressful, but we must remember that we work to live and not the other way around.  






Paul Marks. Breaking the Mental Health Stigma in Entrepreneurship 

TedxBedford. Watched on 12.4.2023 



Startup Snapshot Report. 2023. The Untold Toll: The Impact of Stress on the Well-being of Startup founders and CEOs 

Read on 20, 2023 



WHO Report 202. World Mental Health Report:  

Transforming Mental Health for all. Read on 24.4.2023 






































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