Millennial Female Founder Struggles
"My work is me."This is how I defined myself when I founded my startup Mailbird. I put in twenty hour days, worked on weekends and my laptop never shut down. Sounds like just another day in every startup right? But that's the problem. I never stopped to think about the drain my business was having on my "emotional capital". The more I focused on building the best email client for Windows, the more I seemed to neglect my physical health. As a person with Diabetes, it wasn't long before my lifestyle took an ugly toll. Entrepreneurs rarely discuss this side of starting a successful business. We all tend to practice the mantra of "fake it till you make it" and showing vulnerability is thought of as a sign of weakness. But with 45% of entrepreneurs saying they are stressed in the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, it's time for us to make this emotional tax, well, less taboo. We need to have honest conversations about the real cost of starting a business to pave the way for better and healthier business habits. The initial Mailbird team in 2012 learning the balance between work and rewards One of the most difficult things that accompanies entrepreneurship is the ability to manage stress. If I think about mega entrepreneurs out there like Elon Musk for example, I believe that they are exceptional at managing stress. We aren't always naturally great at managing challenges that come our way in life and in business, but you learn from them, and you find a way to manage it so you can continue. First thing, is to never be afraid to ask for help. Stress contributes to many diseases for both the body and mind, so learning to not take on too much, asking for help and not beating yourself up over the failures is important for survival. The beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can build a really well balanced work culture to reduce stress.