QUEEN’S ROAD: So it is official. Bengaluru is a startup magnet, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. But the statistics do not show how tough it is for first-time entrepreneurs to seek seed funding and get things going.
Gaurav Munjal, CEO, Flatchat, says, “I quit my job and started the company two years back. One needs to be passionate about that field. Convincing my parents was one of the challenges I faced as one could not start a company for the wrong reasons.”
Vishal Pandya, CEO, Reconnect Energy Solutions, says, “Depression is very common among entrepreneurs as when the business is down, you worry and if it is up, you want to do better.The fluctuating emotions can take a toll and lead to depression. So what you can do is to stay focused and calm. You should be confident and believe that adversity is going to make us better and lead us forward.”
Ritesh Dwivedy, co-founder of Petoo.in, says, “A business goes through a lot of ups and downs, and it is easy to get demotivated. If you have a co-founder along with you, it helps when you are down. Perseverance and dedication is required in entrepreneurship. If you believe in the business, results will follow eventually.”
Raghavendra, co-founder of Qikwell, says, “My first hurdle was to convince my family and convince myself. An entrepreneur has problems in getting employees, the regulations in India are not very startup friendly and people who take risks are not rewarded in India. An entrepreneur should know how the ecosystem works and one should not get demotivated.”
About the psychological peril involved in being an entrepreneur, Meera Haran Alva, a consultant psychotherapist says, "There is a lot of risk involved when you start your own business. There are expectations from the family as well. When the business is not working out properly, you let down a lot of people including yourself. The whole idea behind young people starting their own business can be traced back to boring and stagnant jobs. But then the financial strain, lack of satisfaction and demotivation lead to depression."
She further adds, "I had a patient who quit his job and started a startup company, but eventually things did not work out which led to stress due to financial issues.”
Karuna Baskar, director, 1to1 help.net, explains why entrepreneurs suffer from depression. She says, “Entrepreneurs have to balance many roles and may face setbacks in terms of competition, lack of funds, disputes, loss of clients. This results in a feeling of being constantly over extended and not being able to relax. By its very nature, entrepreneurship involves risktaking, and since there is a high risk of failure, they are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression when things go wrong." She adds, "Besides this, entrepreneurs push themselves and may neglect their health, skipping meals or not eating healthy, getting inadequate sleep and not taking the time to exercise. "
Keep a tab on your feelings
When sad feelings last more than a few weeks, it could be a sign of a mood disorder that needs medication. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood and feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, guilt, helplessness are signals that help is needed.
Withdrawal from formerly enjoyable activities or relationships, low energy and excessive tiredness, inability to concentrate or remember details, moving and speaking slowly or being fidgety and indecisive are all red flags.
Watch out for changes
Changes in sleep patterns, insomnia, early waking, oversleeping, noticeable change in appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain must be attended to.
Nip negativity in the bud
Feeling like you’re a failure and that you have let your family down is not going to help. Thoughts that you’d be better off dead or the impulse to hurt yourself must be immediately shared with a therapist or replaced with a positive thought.
What would help
- Limit commitments and set realistic goals and expectations.
- Make time for your loved ones. Relationships with family and friends can help fight off depression.
- Exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep are very helpful.
- Recognise that there is more to your life than business. It is important to feel satisfied in areas unrelated to work.
- Learn from the process and move on. Be open with your feelings.
- Seek therapy.
All this, says she, results in lowered resilience which can trigger vulnerability in moods. Also it is likely that some of their unique character traits of heightened emotional triggers, excess energy, drive and motivation have the flip side of causing strong feelings of despair, depression, despair, hopelessness and worthlessness.”