The journey of entrepreneurship, though rewarding in some aspects, can be one of the most psychologically draining experiences one may ever face. According to today’s status quo of existence, the perception of corporate anxiety is well known, supported and actively spotlighted that ascension of the corporate ladder is a dream fully realized. Is the same ecosystem available to entrepreneurs? No. It is the complete opposite. Our culture idolizes successful entrepreneurs and expects that they use their psychological lows to fuel their innovations and breakthroughs. Furthermore, they are expected to display mockery of their struggles to prove perseverance and inspire the next wave of entrepreneurs and transform industry paradigms. Yet this societal expectation comes at a price- a price tag that only entrepreneurs pay with their mind.
In an article by Inc magazine titled The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship, “entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks -lost customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, staffing problems- all while struggling to make payroll.” There are traumatic events all the way along the line, and it impacts their mental health. With this reality, it brings us to question the mental condition of social entrepreneurs. Unlike an entrepreneur who solely focuses on a market opportunity and a business model that monetizes that opportunity, social entrepreneurs have to go a step further and do all of this while running a fine line between profit success and social impact. Their pathway is more complicated than that of a typical entrepreneur and as a result, will have more intense moments of psychological distress. In this article, we address three key reasons why the path of social entrepreneurship is a tougher path, and ways to overcome them.