In a recent Q&A with health entrepreneur, doctor and founder of Proactive Heath Solutions, Dr Fundile Nyati, I asked the following question, “would you say entrepreneurship attracts people prone to struggling with mental illness or does it cause it?”
Dr Nyati had just given a talk on “The Importance of Holistic Health as A Key Success Factor for COVID19 Pandemic Disruption Survival” at a virtual event for The Innovation Hub and one of the things he spoke on was how entrepreneurs can be prone to depression, anxiety and the like.
Having grown up in an entrepreneur’s household and having started, worked in and shut down multiple small businesses, I was curious about this entrepreneurship “chicken or egg” question, as in which comes first.
Dr Nyati’s response was that, paraphrased, entrepreneurship brings with it unknowns, pressures and challenges that can cause and aggravate mood disorders.
With everything that is going on in the world today, and the increased challenges facing those of us who live on the survival line from a business or professional perspective, there is a sliver of positivity, if one can call it that. A friend pointed out that, as entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent consultants, etc, we are better wired to dealing with the uncertainty. It is a continuation – albeit particularly challenging – of the hustle that we go through daily.
If anything, it is easier to talk to people we owe money to because we may have been having these conversations already, balancing cashflow, looking for work, marketing our wares, etc. To be honest, it wasn’t something I had thought about until it was pointed out to me, but I can’t imagine how being retrenched, having been in a job for a whole career, feels. Trying to figure out what’s next while dealing with the anxiety, the fear, the doubt.
I keep reminding myself that, while it hasn’t been on the scale of a global pandemic, I have navigated my way through times as trying as this one, and it will get better. Until the next time. Or, perhaps, this is the last time.