To the Entrepreneur or Business Owner Living With Anxiety


You are not alone. You can be successful.

If you’ve just started your journey running your own business, don’t panic when the honeymoon stage is over. You’ve created a website and started emailing companies you think need your help. You’ve inhaled every business book and blog in the market.

Then, suddenly, everything feels like it’s falling apart.

No one is replying to your emails.

No one is following you on social media, and you’ve practically shouted from your e-rooftops who you are.

Needing some inspiration, you dig around the web and become bombarded with business coaches and gurus who say:

Accept rejection and move on. To you that means, you’ll have to somehow stop your brain from ruminating about what went wrong, if something could have been done better or if you could be better.

Be mentally tough to make it as a business owner. Now you start to roll your eyes. You click around from site to site, seeing the same well-dressed and perfectly manicured gurus saying to be strong.

Ha — I’m sure it’s pretty simple for you to stay strong when you don’t have to take a sedative every night just to fall asleep.

And the toughie: You finally make your mental fragility known — you tell a colleague or mentor. They tell you: Never talk about anxiety or any kind of mental illness when you’re an entrepreneur online. Potential clients could read it and decide not to work with you.

As a black woman with an unusual name, chances are people will click away from my website with bigoted and negative assumptions about my work ethic, attitude and intellect. I certainly can’t hide those parts of me.

So why should I hide my story?

Not to say you need to have “Freelance Writer With Anxiety For Hire” written on your business cards, but the beauty of entrepreneurship is that you don’t have to explain your bad days with a supervisor. You can have them and keep pushing forward. I’m open about my anxiety (and I’m actually writing a book about entrepreneurs with anxiety) because placing this mental illness within something tangible makes me feel as though I’m owning it. I’m not letting it get in the way of my dreams as a writer and virtual assistant.

Having anxiety is one part of who you are. It doesn’t lessen your business savvy or creativity. Everything the average entrepreneur possess for success, you have it, too.

You may have to overcome some larger hills because of your condition, but the destination is the same as everyone else. Looking backward, you can congratulate yourself even more for what you’ve accomplished. What you’ve been through will seem extraordinary.

You are not alone. And you are successful.

Follow this journey on Nerdy Thirty Something.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a love letter to another person with your disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

‘Humans of New York’ Features Man Who Thought Anxiety Wasn’t ‘Real’

You never know when life will turn the tables on you. Today, Humans of New York, the wildly popular photo-based Facebook page, posted the story of a man who made fun of a woman with anxiety in high school. What he learned since then made him give her a call. (function(d, s, id) { var js, [...]

When I’m Worried I Don’t Pray Enough When Life Gets Chaotic

My first thoughts in the year 2016 centered around prayer, mostly that I don’t do enough of it. My paths are paved with the best intentions. Each season of the year I dutifully pick up the accompanying prayer book from church and imagine my family gathered around the dinner table, opening up to the daily prayer and reading it [...]

The First Time Anxiety Convinced Me I Was Breaking

The first time I experienced acute anxiety I was 20 years old and sitting on the couch watching television. The storm of anxiety snuck up on me, and I was suddenly in its eyeball, my body lifted up from the cushions and whirled frantically around like a rag doll in a cyclone. There were people just [...]

When Your Childhood Is the Elephant in the Room

In the first 25 years of my life, I suffered two mental breakdowns and countless bouts of depression and anxiety. It took me many therapy sessions to discover and come to terms with why I was so monumentally “messed up” as a young adult. The beauty of the human mind is in its ability to [...]