I was sitting in Coffee Cafe when a friend of mine said, “Hey did you hear the billionaire killed himself?” I could think of at least a billion reasons why that could not be true. It was not only the truth, but common.
Names like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade come to mind as people classified after the fact as crazy rich. The truth is no amount of money does makes people immune to depression. Those who are madly intent on making it big may also go mad in the process. Entrepreneurs are more prone to stress than the average employee. Long after the typical employee’s day ended, the entrepreneur’s day continues until their eyes are closed. This constant pressure leads to states of depression. We must be more daring about discussing mental health.
There are five Truths that entrepreneurs must dare to face in order to fight off depression.
1. What comes up will surely come down; And vice versa.
From the great Steve Jobs to Bill Gates, no entrepreneur’s position is reached and stays set. It is a constant up and down movement until you are no more. All entrepreneurs need to know this. When your story hits a low just keep going and eventually you will win. The only question is if you are willing to fail the number of times it takes to win. When you can fall down and get back up with the same amount of enthusiasm as you did before the fall then depression will stay away from you.
2. When entrepreneurs have a higher purpose, they keep a higher outlook on life.
Tie your company ambitions to anything bigger than you. This makes your success or failure never about you. I made a personal choice to donate a portion of my profit to charity each year. No matter how well or bad I did that percentage was going to be given. When I experience setbacks, it came with a shared lost with the charity of choice. I never carried the burden squarely on my shoulders alone. And when I had to get back up my charitable purpose was there as my support. Have a higher purpose.
3. Failure is never the end but a new chance to begin.
I met a man in Amravati, once a rich business man. He lost all his money and everyone talked down about him. We discussed how his initial success was not luck. Since it was not given to him then surely, he could take it back again. With this new outlook he bounced back and reached higher levels applying the lessons he learned from his fall from financial grace. He dared to look his own truth in the eyes and reaper the rewards from both truth and dare.
4. Chase two rabbits and you won’t catch one.
Entrepreneurs are the most optimistic people before the ball. There are constant ideas which flood their mind. Making it nearly impossible to not pursue. However, the more things they pursue at one time the more likely they will fail. And this failure normally comes in pairs. The entrepreneur that focuses only on one thing will experience at worse only one lost.
5. You aren’t crazy to not seek help. You are crazy if you don’t.
There is medical depression and situational depression. Medical depression may be treated through counseling or medication. Situational depression stems from a continued lost or unplanned setback. In both cases life can become dark and only a psychiatric professional. The stigma associated with psychiatric help causes us to challenge society with Truth & Dare. Being a psychology major in college I was able to study first hand the depths of mental illness.
In 2016 over 230,000 people committed suicide in India. 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year. And of these 17% are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. We must dare society to fight back against depression. We must speak the truth that depression can strike the old or young and the rich or poor. If it strikes you, then there are five things you can do to overcome.