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5 Mental Health Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

5 Mental Health Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

If you ask a successful entrepreneur what they owe their accomplishments to, chances are they’ll credit an innovative idea, savvy business plan, or strong sales and marketing. These factors can definitely be instrumental at helping new businesses grow and flourish— but they’re not the only ingredients of entrepreneurial success. In fact, it could be argued that without the following five mental health habits that describe highly successful entrepreneurs, new businesses are more likely to struggle in the longer run:

Using Fear as Leverage

It’s common to think of fear as a negative emotion, signaling that it’s time to hide, flee, or cower in the face of a threat. Yet fear can also serve as positive motivation to take smart, decisive action that’s in one’s best business interests, or to find opportunity where others only see risk. In these ways, highly successfully entrepreneurs befriend fear, using it to their advantage rather than letting it inhibit them.

Learning From and Letting Go of Failures or “Lost Opportunities”

So much of our growth and learning comes from trial and error, and this is arguably no truer than in the world of business startups. Successful entrepreneurs don’t expect every deal to work out or to work out exactly as they predict. For example, while a deal may fall through, the contact you made could lead to more revenue from something better in the future.

Successful entrepreneurs take failures in stride: After they get knocked down, they get up, dust themselves off, and try, try again. In that process—you may knock on a hundred doors and only one opens—you become more resilient and learn what works and what doesn’t.

Seeking Out the Company of Positive, Inspirational People

Our social environment and the people we choose to spend time with can greatly impact our attitude and outlook on life.  Successful entrepreneurs are intentional about befriending others who exude positive energy, share a vision for success, and are affirming and supportive.

A Healthy Lifestyle

This may sound basic, but as entrepreneurs and change agents, you need sufficient gas in your tank to get things done. This requires a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular exercise, a nutritious diet, good sleep and hygiene, and staying up to date with annual doctor’s visits. If you have been drinking to deal with stress, consider cutting back. Seeing a therapist can also be an effective self-care measure for managing the emotional stress of founding and running a new business. Highly successful entrepreneurs do what it takes to stay on their “A game” and optimize their focus, drive, energy, and determination.

Flexibility and Openness to Change

Sometimes we can become too fixated on only one path or one way of doing things.  Highly successful entrepreneurs recognize the inevitability of change and the need to adjust to changes in the economy, technology and consumer culture. They accept and even welcome the inconvenience of tweaking a plan or vision, knowing full well that the rewards will be sweeter because they saw a better path and took it.


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by Beau Nelson // Dr. Beau Nelson heads the Clinical Services department at FHE Health, a nationally recognized behavioral health provider treating addiction and mental health conditions. Learn more about FHE Health’s treatment programs here.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.