What is the dark side of being an entrepreneur?


You may feel that the life of an entrepreneur is full of glamour. After all, they set their own schedule, have their own rules, and launch their own businesses. They are not supposed to report to a boss. Since these business people look happier and more successful than the average Joe, they have a lot of fans. Today, you can find tons of books and courses that aim to teach people how to become successful entrepreneurs. However, not many people know that there is a dark side to being an entrepreneur. It is not even discussed on TV or social media.

Many entrepreneurs pay a psychological price for the choices they make. Business ownership has a lot of demands. Therefore, some entrepreneurs experience mental health problems. Given below is a description of some common psychological problems that they may face.


Some entrepreneurs burn the midnight oil in isolation. As a result, they are at a higher risk of depression. In addition, they fail to take care of themselves. They don’t exercise, sleep well, or take part in healthy activities. Therefore, their depression continues to build up.

Depression takes a lot of forms and symptoms, such as irritability, changes in weight, and sleep difficulties, just to name a few. Entrepreneurs need to understand the difference between the symptoms of stress and depression. Some of them think that they have stress when, in fact, they have depression. Not understanding the difference between the two can make their depression even worse.

In some cases, the depression level is so high that entrepreneurs can very occasionally take their own lives. So, it is important to keep in mind that fame and fortune cannot prevent you from having mental health issues.

Self-Worth Issues

Some entrepreneurs have self-worth issues. When their business is doing great, they have high self-esteem. However, even small business losses cause them to have low-self esteem.

According to many entrepreneurs, the key to success is hard work. Although this notion is quite logical, the statistics tell a different story. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of start-ups fail after 10 years.

Technological startups are more likely to fail. According to some reports, nine out of ten tech startups don’t be successful. Since some entrepreneurs don’t accept their failure, they suffer from psychological crises and have low self-esteem issues.


Apart from stress, entrepreneurs have to take a lot of pressure. For example, some entrepreneurs suffer from anxiety when they find it difficult to pay their mortgage. Some of them suffer from anxiety because they are unable to spend some quality time with their friends and family members.

Due to constant business issues, many entrepreneurs cannot lead normal lives. Since they have a strong desire to achieve success, the fear of failure prevents them from enjoying their life. In the end, the constant anxiety causes entrepreneurs to burn out. As a result, they are unable to take care of their business, which leads to failure.


By nature, entrepreneurs are obsessive and passionate. Therefore, they have a compulsive desire to keep moving. In fact, they focus on their business to the point of addiction even when they have health issues or relationship problems.

According to the Journal of Business Venturing, a 2014 study found that many entrepreneurs have behavioural addiction symptoms, such as negative emotional outcomes, withdrawal engagement cycles, and obsessive thoughts.

Just like behavioural addictions, such as gambling and browsing the web for hours, entrepreneurs may face negative consequences. Besides, they may have other addictions as well. According to some research studies, any form of addiction may lead to substance abuse addictions.

Adopt a Realistic approach towards Entrepreneurship

As an entrepreneur, if you want to protect yourself from the dark side of being an entrepreneur, you may want to reconsider your approach. Although you can enjoy a lot of benefits as an entrepreneur, having psychological issues is not worth it.

Just because you have some emotional difficulties does not mean you are weak. It is essential to keep in mind that an entrepreneur’s lifestyle may cause you to become more vulnerable to mental health issues.  So, if you want to take care of your mental health, you may want to follow a proactive approach. And if you already have some psychological issues, you should consult a psychologist before it is too late.

Home Grown is the private members’ club that provides entrepreneurial pioneers with unique resources to unlock the true value of their business potential…

We are a global community of visionary entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. Visit our membership page to find out more about what it’s like to be a member of Home Grown.

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