6 Ways Your Mental Health Is the Key to Your Success in Business


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About one-half of all entrepreneurs suffer from at least one form of mental health problem during their lifetime, according to a study conducted by Michael Freeman. 

It is really difficult to stay positive and highly motivated all the time. Particularly as an entrepreneur. According to a study by Michael Freeman, it is clear that the traits that drive entrepreneurs to succeed can also drive them to depths of darkness pervaded by a black fog. Entrepreneurs experience almost every emotion with intensity. From the adrenaline rush of launching to the heart-wrenching grief of failure, with panic churns. The terror of feeling like an imposter.  Jitters of the highs and the calm energy of getting things done at 2 am in-between. A great percentage of the time they look to positive maxims and highly motivational aphorisms to keep going. 

As an entrepreneur, you are the key asset in your business and the driving force of your team. Therefore, you need to take care of your mental health in order to meet the challenges of leading a business to success else, doomed to stagnancy. 

Today, there is a lot of research and case studies that point to the negative correlation between entrepreneurship and mental health. To succeed in a society that glamorizes entrepreneurship, here are six (6) ways your mental health is key to success: 

#1 Entrepreneurial Life is Stressful

The life of an entrepreneur can be very stressful and we are easily stuck in a never-ending cycle of putting out fires forgetting to kick back and connect with the masses. We tend to think about work even when we are supposed to completely unplug. Also, we are notoriously sleep-deprived, undernourished, over-caffeinated and finally constrained – with very little emphasis on self-care or any coping strategies for fun. Many of us are highly predisposed to addiction. Very vulnerable to developing unhealthy relationships to success or other tendencies to numb the stress. 

Therefore, regardless of the fact that you are running a massive empire or you are a solo entrepreneur running a small business, spare some time to exercise to improve mental fitness. Give your body the best chance to support you mentally and physically through challenges and stressful situations you may encounter. 

#2 There is Pressure of Success

There is a saying that success comes with a price and entrepreneurs are acutely aware of this. All the stress and pressure to succeed can lead anyone to their breaking point. It can be quite difficult to balance business and wellbeing as higher your rise because there is greater pressure to perform and self-doubt keeps knocking. 

The pressure to succeed a lot can bread isolation and self-neglect. For a business to take off, it requires a lot of time and mental capacity to manage. This tends to lead many entrepreneurs to push aside things such as social interactions that may provide an anchor or support for their mental health. 

Therefore, don’t let the things that bring richness and joy to life be consumed by business. Invest some effort to self-care, family or simply moments of stillness to recharge and rejuvenate yourself. If the pressure is left unchecked, it can topple the balance between drive for success and mental health. Ultimately leading to burnout and eventually, full-blown mental illness. 

#3 Social Isolation

As mentioned before, it is quite difficult for us to balance our business and wellbeing, thus we tend to pour ourselves into our work leaving to isolation. This is particularly so during the early stages. No one understands us and we more often than not, feel unsupported for taking a non-traditional path. This may lead to depression since most interactions are often networking or sales focused, lacking the vulnerability necessary for authentic connection. 

All we need most the time is to hear that we are “doing a good job” not “get a ‘real job’” to provide some level of reassurance not further the loneliness, frustration and shame. 

#4 Feeling Like An Imposter

A lot of entrepreneurs feel like imposters which fester feelings of shame. In order to cope, we develop impression management tactics in order to be considered competent by customers, investors – basically everyone with an interest. We need to be perceived as infallible. Constantly putting up a strong front further perpetuates the shame and disconnection experienced, discouraging us from seeking help. 

Impression management hinders the development of a sense of self, which leads to insecurity and identity confusion. This will kill your business faster than you think. Don’t suffer silently, hiding away and opting to put forth optics to cover our weaknesses. You are not alone! Internalise that. We all have weaknesses and sometimes, we all feel like we don’t belong sometimes. Also, we all aren’t always ready or know everything. Most importantly, no one sees you as an imposter. 

#5 Facing Uncertainty

To manage our anxiety, we entrepreneurs create to the illusion of certainty to hide the of feeling powerless. Since, we are susceptible to higher levels of uncertainty, anxiety and responsibility, we tend to constantly optimistic even when things don’t look good. 

Therefore, to face uncertainty, our strength and resilience are what gets tested the most ergo invest the effort to get familiar with yourself. You are the greatest asset, the driving force – you will discover that all your characteristics function as both strengths and weaknesses. To soldier on, get the courage to identify and admit your vulnerabilities. Remember, that it is in the deepest darkness that we open our eyes to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

#6 The Marriage of Self-Worth & Company Success

Many of us tend to attach our self-worth to our businesses. This is particularly so because we tend to lose ourselves to building our businesses and thus become detached from ourselves, our loved ones and friends. This attachment is a manifestation of perfection that leads to anxiety driven by the constantly changing company forecast. 

Consequently, try to divorce yourself from your business by not to be dependent on its ever-changing forecast. You can do so by turning your focus outward to family, friends or being a mentor of someone else. This will reap incredible benefits for your own mental health. In providing the satiating nourishment that can catalyze improved mental health to help your reach greater business success. 


The consequences of poor mental health can be catastrophic. The emotional darkness that lingers can pervade not just your professional life, but also several other areas of your life. So, in becoming aware of the ways in which mental health can negatively affect your performance as the asset of your business, you can steer your health in a progressive direction. This way you can achieve success beyond what you thought possible with a far greater sense of purpose and satisfaction.

Image credits: Top by Madison Inouye from Pexels

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.



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