Being an entrepreneur is anything but easy. Putting yourself out there, growing a business, and trying new things ensures that you will have more than a few dark nights of the soul as an entrepreneur. While some entrepreneurs are comfortable sharing the joys and pains of small business ownership, many opt to only show and share the wins, not the losses—and definitely not the face-plant failures. That’s where depression comes in, and as rates of depression in entrepreneurs is rising and we need to keep talking about it.
As entrepreneurs and supporters of entrepreneurship, we need to do more. Every time we lose an entrepreneur, and yes, there have been many suicides, there is a surge of honesty and openness about depression in the entrepreneur community. That’s why I’m so passionately committed on this front. As rates of depression in entrepreneurs rise, we need to keep talking about it.
Rates of Depression in Entrepreneurs
Let’s talk about the rising rates of depression in entrepreneurs for a minute. As a group, we are more likely to experience depression than the general population. By the way, there has been a substantial increase in depression in the population at large since 1999.
In short, many of us struggle.
You may have read my post about losing my mind when Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade killed themselves. I was determined that this time we would keep the conversation about depression going.
This time, I made a commitment that we would give entrepreneurs the platform and safe space to talk about the challenges in their businesses and with depression without judgment.
I am a huge fan of Rob Bell, and his words kept swirling in my head. He says that if you find yourself walking around shaking your fist saying someone needs to do something about this, maybe that someone is you.
As one person, what could I do?
The Birth of The Depression Discussions
As it turns out, I could do a lot. I could buy a domain and put a stake in the ground for The Depression Discussions™: The Conversations Entrepreneurs Need to Have.
That gave me a landing page, but didn’t enable me to do the outreach I wanted and actually have conversations with people. So, I started a Facebook page for my discussions, which you can find here: The Depression Discussions.
We’re now two months in and the responses and engagement have been overwhelming. I have done six video interviews, with one interview receiving over 3K views and an outpouring of gratitude.
My first interview was with Rich Gallagher. Rich was a long-time contributor to the Carol Roth blog on entrepreneurship where I also write, so his name might be familiar to you. Rich is not only a truly outstanding writer, but he is also a successful speaker, trainer, and licensed psychotherapist. These qualifications made him the perfect inaugural interview for the series.
Rich shared some incredibly useful tips and techniques in this interview, and I hope you find it as valuable as I did.
The Depression Discussions and Where We Go From Here
If you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing that this topic interests you. That’s exciting to me, because the more voices we have contributing to this discussion, the more good we can do, the more stress, anxiety, and depression we can hopefully help manage or alleviate, and the more lives we can potentially save.
Please join the discussion on Facebook, or just hang out and listen if you like—either is fine. You can watch the other Depression Discussions interviews on Facebook or visit the website www.DepressionDiscussions.com. And we’ll regularly be publishing these discussions here on the blog as well. No matter where you find them, we can promise they’ll be worth your time to watch.
A version of this article first appeared on the Carol Roth blog.