Mental Health + Entrepreneurship = Success!

Last Updated on: June 11th, 2020

Mental Health + Entrepreneurship = Success!

Mental health issues are often not talked about, especially among entrepreneurs.

Everyone likes to pretend they are just fine, even when they are not.

I used to be this way. Now, I have the courage to admit that I’ve suffered from severe depression and even tried to kill myself.

But I have also learned many coping strategies over the years, including how to achieve entrepreneurial excellence.

I have also learned that entrepreneurship is a better choice for people with mental health issues (as opposed to working for someone else). Today, we’ll look at why this is.

Is Entrepreneurship Right for YOU?

So, you have mental health issues. But, you also want to become an entrepreneur. You have this big plan, but you are also scared because you don’t know if you can handle it, emotionally or mentally. This is a common feeling for people who suffer from mental health challenges.

Sometimes, mental health issues can make working for others quite difficult, especially if they do not understand what you have to face on a daily basis. Sometimes, it is hard for those who have never faced mental health problems to truly understand what someone who has them actually experience.

According to The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship, rates of depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and addiction are reportedly much higher among entrepreneurs than the general population. Part of that comes through the stress of entrepreneurship, but also reflects the fact that, for many, working for themselves while having mental health issues is just more desirable.


If you battle mental health issues, (1) creating your own business opportunity, (2) being your own boss, and (3) being able to customize a work schedule that suits your needs might be the perfect answer for you.

(1) When you create your own business you have greater control and, to a degree, are able to customize your work experience.

(2) Not having to deal with managers or bosses that don’t understand mental illness can be freeing. You know what you can handle. You know what you need to do to be healthy. They don’t. The more control you have over your situation, the better you can work to take care of yourself. This is a perfect reason to be your OWN boss.

(3) Also, there is the satisfaction of being able to do something you love. You can follow your passion when you become an entrepreneur. Doing so might be what you need to help you get through some of the days that might seem hopeless when you are working for someone else doing something you aren’t too excited about.

Are There Downsides to Being an Entrepreneur?

Of course, there are cons to becoming your own boss, and these have to be considered before diving in with both feet. Starting your own business can be quite stressful. If you suffer from anxiety, mood swings, anger issues, or any other number of problems, they can be aggravated by the stress.

A lot can ride on your shoulders when you are running your own business, and there isn’t always a guarantee that, in the end, it will all work out. It can be a large responsibility to take on and that can lead to more stress!

An article in Forbes’ magazine titled 7 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Particularly Vulnerable to Mental Health Challenges mentions some of the issues that should be considered, but don’t necessarily have to be a barrier to success.

Where to Find Support and Online Therapists

There are many places online that have resources. All you have to do is do a simple search for “online therapists.” Their skilled professionals will help you navigate through symptoms of mental illness and improve your chances of success. You can even use chat boxes to set up an appointment with someone who you can communicate with from the comfort of your home at convenient times that can fit right into your schedule.

You can turn to your friends and family, of course, to help you with your day-to-day problems. In my case, however, my family does not always support me emotionally, so I have learned to do the 5 things mentioned in that article to help me cope.

I have also sought counseling, which helped me deal with my mental health issues.

I Did It and YOU CAN DO IT, TOO!

Most people know I’m an author and a freelance writer. I reap many benefits from being an editor, too.

I also wrote From Nope to Hope, I created this successful blog, and I built up a business that I am proud of.

It hasn’t been easy, but I did it… despite depression, addiction, and other mental health challenges. I am proof that it can be done and that it can be a positive, fulfilling experience.  My business gives me a sense of pride and purpose. I’m also happier than I have ever been!

Indeed, starting and running your own business can be tremendously satisfying. It isn’t for everyone, BUT it might be exactly what you need.

If this is the direction you choose, go into knowing that YOU, TOO, CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!

Mental Health + Entrepreneurship = Success!

This is true for me, and it can be true for you, too!


30 thoughts on “Mental Health + Entrepreneurship = Success!

  1. Hi Lorraine,
    I have struggled with mental health issues my entire life. But, I didn’t know that I was suffering – I just thought that everyone felt the way I did. There were attempts on my own life during my teen years and the depression, anxiety, disorders like OCD (driven by my anxiety) ran rampant through my adult years. I did find that working for others was very difficult.. the demands, the triggers, the inability to get a boss to understand that this just isn’t going well for me – internally. Made the day to day work cycle physically and mentally draining.

    After 10 years in mid level management with a grocery chain I decided to be an independent sales rep & distribution company for a particular coffee. I thought that this freedom was what I needed to be at peace with my work. But, when you’re a vendor bringing items into multiple grocery chains you now have multiple bosses at multiple stores with multiple other bosses. It was such a anxiety ridden mess.

    During that time being a distributor/sales rep I had also started my DJ business based here in Maine. I was working kind of on my own as a distributor but wholly my own boss with my company. Not too long after the realization that this was the best thing for me…. I quit being an independent contractor and have been on my own ever since.

    I am 35 years old and suffer with ADHD (not discovered until I was 32), depression, and anxiety – the anxiety comes mostly in the form of OCD – I am crippled by the things I have done but convinced myself that I haven’t. Therapy after an adult contemplation of suicide brought me to where I am now. I am medicated where it’s needed, therapy has given me an outlet to talk about my stuff, and being a business owner has allowed me the freedom to work in the best situation possible.

    Needless to say – this blog post resonated with me. I’ve always wanted to be a mental health advocate and I never thought i’d be putting all of this information to the public world. If you’re struggling – just know that others are too… and the best thing you can do talk to someone. Online therapy mentioned in this blog. Call a friend, a parent, hell… for me… talking to my 2 year old (who doesnt understand a thing) is just enough to put me at peace. Being your own boss is hard – it’s taxing, it’s stressful, you are the boss/owner/marketer/employee/social media manager/accountant/mail person/and so on…

    My best friend owns his own DJ/Entertainment company and has been at it for 20 years. I am 7 years strong and wish I had figured out that self employment is what I needed 15 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of headache and ground teeth.

    Keep the good content coming.
    Thank you for sharing this info.
    I hope someone found this inspiring!

    • says

      Chris, I am so glad you love your life now!
      The thing is, if you hadn’t gone through everything you went through, you wouldn’t have developed the character you are now, nor would you appreciate your current circumstances!
      Stay strong and healthy!

  2. Hey Lorraine,
    I was researching mental health & nutrition today, and your website popped up. This was the article that I was reading.
    Your initiative demands praise. Great stuff! Thanks. Anyways have a great day. Please keep posting your articles consistently.

  3. says

    “Of course, there are cons to becoming your own boss, and these have to be considered before diving in with both feet. Starting your own business can be quite stressful. If you suffer from anxiety, mood swings, anger issues, or any other number of problems, they can be aggravated by the stress.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Thanks for writing this amazing post, Lorraine!
    Zain Malik recently posted…16 Powerful Tips for Startup Success

  4. The people’s dreams can come true only if the government is made to stand accountable for its actions and decisions. The perfect democratic set-up would dictate that the government officials put Les Congolais interests ahead of themselves and understand that a peaceful Congo is the only way to prosperity and betterment of the world as a whole.

    • says

      Sindika, every country has a government and the government is not always right or fair in what they do. We can’t let their actions dictate our happiness, however!

    • says

      Mavis, thanks so much. I’m sorry to hear you also had trouble but I am glad that you are now feeling better and are on your way to being the most successful you can be! Congratulations!

  5. says

    People with mental health problems consistently identify stigma, discrimination and social exclusion as major barriers to their health, well-being, and quality of life. I think entrepreneurs can help raise awareness of it.

    • says

      Dr. Dawn, you make some good points. I agree, too. Entrepreneurs CAN help raise awareness of it! That is why I often discuss this topic in my blog posts!

  6. shweta says

    I am really happy for you.
    Also the way you have explained Mental Health relating to your life has helped understand me the article very well.
    Thanks for sharing the article.

  7. Fantastic post I have issue,s with intermittent physical problems which is why working for myself is perfect for me, I never realised how beneficial this was mentally until my teenage daughter died unexpectedly, I suffered from the effects over months and still have bad days. But the little wins I get when my website gets more visitors etc really give me a lift. I would encourage sufferers of physical or mental issues to consider working for themselves at least give it a try.

    • says

      David, I’m so sorry for your loss!

      I’m glad you have been able to find pieces of joy in blogging and in working for yourself.

      I have health issues and so I have found that flexible hours (and making my hours myself) are SUPER BENEFICIAL for me. I couldn’t work for anyone else at hours they set! I like the freedom that working from home offers!

      In fact, here are some of the benefits I am currently reaping…
      Maybe this will inspire you to create your own list for your blog!

      If you do, please send me the link so I can read that post!

  8. says

    Thanks for the blog, for helping me to figure out how to fight the battle of mental health issues and being able to customize a work schedule that suits your needs.

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