There is no denying that owning a business of any kind comes with tremendous benefits. The ability to set your schedule, provide for you and your family's needs, expand globally if you so choose—to have a positive impact on the world, and forge connections with some of the most incredible people on the planet, to name a few.
However, being an entrepreneur can also present mental and emotional challenges. The ability to separate how you handle the ups and downs of your business from those of your personal lives can be challenging.
Unfortunately, entrepreneurs run the risk of experiencing things like anxiety-related disorders and depression. These conditions can be exacerbated by the lack of balance between work and personal life, high demand for success, fear of not achieving success, exposure to the risk of financial loss, and other factors.
So that you can be the best you every day, here are 9 reasons you, as an entrepreneur might benefit fromseeing a therapist.
1. To become more authentic.
In the business world, you're constantly getting critiqued. You're repeatedly getting rejected. You're also figuring out what works and what doesn't. There are so many eyes on you. Some of those eyes might be the same ones that didn't believe in you when you initially started. You can get so focused on what other people think and what other people want that you might lose sight of who you are. And the one thing that you need is to recommit yourself to yourself and your original mission.
Domonique Townsend, the founder of WeOptimize Work, said, "Fulfilling the mission that speaks to my heart was important for me. We often are very scared to openly say what we want to do and aspire for ourselves, fearing what others think. One of my core missions is to support working moms—without fear of how that might be limiting to my business. But I had to stick to the mission, the why. And not be afraid to fully speak about what I'm passionate about, who we serve, and why we serve what we serve. And doing it confidently, being aware that there are criticisms in the world. But I believe in this because I've experienced this."
Customers often can sense when there's an imbalance between who you are and what you're selling (or serving). Seeing a therapist gives you a safe space to work through some of those inconsistencies so that you can reconnect to your integrity and reconnect with your authentic self. Being in therapy allows you to practice dropping the masks that you wear. And once you step into your full you—you'll become magnetic.
2. To become comfortable with uncertainties.
Uncertainty is a big part of entrepreneurship. From wondering when the next sale will be, to whether or not people will purchase what you offer, to how well the state of the market affects your business. We're still in a pandemic, and many small business owners are still unclear about the state of their companies. How do you manage massive amounts of uncertainty?
When you see a therapist, you can work through why accepting uncertainty is challenging for you. Uncertainty is a natural part of life. No one is meant to know how everything will come together. But struggling with the idea of it could hinder your growth as an entrepreneur. You might find yourself fixated not on all the things that can go right but all the things that can go wrong. You might find yourself not wanting to take action because fear restricts you. Therefore, seeing someone will help you to embrace uncertainty so that your business can flourish.
3. To learn how to set boundaries.
Learning boundaries early on in your entrepreneurial journey is essential. We've heard from many founders who said yes to everything when they first started because they either didn't know how to say no or didn't learn how to value their time. Giving your time and energy away freely is a direct path to burnout. And when that happens, there isn't any space for you to innovate and strategize. You leave no room to think clearly.
Working with a therapist will identify the blocks that get in the way of you setting boundaries. When you have clear boundaries and feel empowered to use them, you can focus on being more productive and impactful in your business.
4. To learn how to prioritize your self-care.
As an entrepreneur, you might find yourself working 24/7 in your business. We often speak to our founders, who have worked 12+ hour days. That's not sustainable. It took a profound mental shift (or deterioration of their personal lives) to realize that they need to prioritize themselves more. There is no business without you.
A therapist can help you identify different ways for you to prioritize yourself. They can help you remove yourself from the weeds of your business so you can focus on high-level tasks. But most importantly, therapy helps you to see why you matter before anything and anyone else.
5. To learn how to delegate.
In the beginning, you'll wear many hats as an entrepreneur. This is no doubt a great way to learn all the ins and outs of your business. But if you want to scale, you'll have to begin to delegate tasks and hire out. When we speak to founders 10 out of 10 times, they say, "I wish I delegated sooner!" You have a zone of genius that needs your attention. There are tasks within your business that take you out of that zone of genius. If you continue to work in all areas of your business, you'll eventually burn out, which will hinder your ability to grow.
Working with a therapist can help you identify why it's difficult for you to begin the delegation process. Often, the block between you and delegation is an overidentification with your business and discomfort with letting go of control. The sooner you get a handle on this, the sooner your business will grow.
6. To help eliminate perfectionism and procrastination.
You have some incredible ideas and products that you'd like to share with the marketplace, but for some reason, you haven't. Deadlines continue to be further away, and you still haven't launched. Entrepreneurs tend to struggle with either perfectionism or procrastination—often both. However, both concepts are rooted in low self-esteem, avoidance, self-criticism, etc. You and your business grow through iterations and not perfectionism.
A therapist can help you to identify the root of either your perfectionism or procrastination. Together, you can develop a plan that will help you launch your products, your service and strengthen your sense of self so you can feel confident to move forward in your business (and life).
7. To help strengthen your communication skills.
A big part of business success is communicating effectively, whether with your team, partnerships, and customers. If your business becomes a revolving door of employees, you don't have a strong work culture. If you notice strained business partnerships or partners are rescinding their offers, then it might be how you're communicating with them. If your retention rate is low, it might be how you're communicating with your customers.
When you work with a therapist, you can learn more about your communication style and how you can communicate with communication styles that are different from you. You'll practice these skills with a therapist and get a better understanding of the breakdown in communication between you and those around you. The quicker you understand how to communicate, the more that people will want to work with you.
8. To understand how to work through imposter syndrome.
Ehime Eigbe, the founder of SweetKiwi, shared how despite all of her success, such as launching in Whole Foods and landing countless other major partnership deals with major brands still struggled with imposter syndrome. It seemed like the more success she gained, the smaller (and more anxious) she felt.
This is quite common in entrepreneurship. Seth Godin does a great job of breaking down imposter syndrome. It's rooted in our childhood experiences and trauma with multiple layers. But understand that the more you step into your purpose, the louder it gets. And as Seth Godin says, create anyway.
Working with a therapist can help you to develop techniques that will teach you how to manage that imposter voice that continues to show up. Remember, what gets suppressed becomes louder.
9. To help with isolation and loneliness.
There's a significant amount of isolation and loneliness in entrepreneurship—especially if you're a solopreneur. Usually, many entrepreneurs are the first ones to start a business in their families. Therefore, the support or understanding might not be present. This has detrimental effects that can hinder your social and communication skills, your perception of yourself, your mood, etc. You know that connecting with a community will help, yet you might find yourself struggling to find or connect with one.
A therapist can help you identify the barriers that get in the way of you creating deeper connections while also helping you manage the isolation and loneliness that comes with running a business and feeling like no one understands.
As a business owner, you'll probably agree that it's essential to uplevel your skills to strengthen your business. However, what about developing your social and emotional skills? This often takes a backseat to everything else, yet we know that your mental health is the key to having a thriving and successful business.
You're not immune to the stress that comes along with juggling entrepreneurship and a personal life. You can find resources here and here to get started. We hope these 9 reasons will inspire you to seek out the support you'll need on your entrepreneurial journey.