As a business owner, I know only too well how important it is to keep an eye on one’s mental health. To support Mental Health Awareness Week, David, a Franchise Recruitment Manager from Rainbow International, shares some of his insights – demonstrating his passion to help potential business owners decide whether this route is right for them and helping match up potential franchisees with their dream opportunities.
I work with several business owners in franchise recruitment and I notice one common thing – they are all very tough, and very strong-willed individuals. Stereotypically, most tend not to entertain the assumption that they might be suffering from mental health issues under that hard exterior. However, running a business and the stresses that come with it, can be very trying at times. Owning a business is noted as one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.
In franchising, you are supported by a network of other franchise owners, but the stress can still be tough. In startups, on the other hand, many have contended that it can get very lonely and you can sometimes feel you are without mutual support. And, this is where your mental health can really take a beating.
Mental Health Awareness Week is this week, and I often see pieces around ‘how to improve employee mental health’ but not so much talking about business leaders and owners.
As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe this is because there is the ‘opinion’ that pressures don’t get to them. But they do, I know they do. Therefore, I would like to offer some advice, from my years in recruitment and franchise management, that might help those in this situation who may be suffering in silence.
According to Mind, it’s believed that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Meaning that, statistically, businesspeople are likely to fall into this remit. In fact, in 2017, it was reported that as many as 64 million antidepressants were issued in the UK.
The first thing I would say is, don’t be alone. Even if you don’t identify as having a mental health issue, running a business can sometimes feel isolating…
…even more so if you are self-employed and don’t have any staff working with you. If you’re a smaller business, and your budget allows, I would recommend setting yourself up in a co-working office space, such as WeWork, for example.
Another way to take care of your mental health, and help prevent loneliness from creeping in, is to network. Our franchisees, for example, are a community; there to provide support and advice to one another. It’s this sense of belonging – and the thought of having somebody there for you, to answer any questions or concerns you may have, or even just to have a chat with – that can really help when things get a little rough.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do, is try not to ignore a problem if you feel one arising. Being self-employed, or running a start-up is tough and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed.
Don’t ignore any signs that your mind is overworked. If you begin to feel things are getting on top of you, it’s absolutely fine to take a step back for a short while. Seek help if you need to as there will always be others around to support you.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of Conscious Living by Design™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to clients in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).