Anything can become addictive, from smoking to gaming to gambling. What about starting your own business? Can entrepreneurship become an addiction too?
Although entrepreneurship may seem like a promising career choice for some, serial entrepreneurs (those who create multiple businesses) can be more than business savvy and entrepreneurial. According to a study published in the Journal of Business Venturing, habitual entrepreneurship could be a form of addiction.
You or someone you know may be addicted to entrepreneurship. Business News Daily reached out to career coaches and psychologists for their top tips on how to spot signs and symptoms of entrepreneurship addiction. Here are 10 warning signs you should be aware of.
- You neglect your family.
Your family and friends are taken out of the picture. Neglecting your family and other life is the biggest sign of work addiction. Your interpersonal relationships will suffer if you place too much emphasis on the new venture. It doesn’t matter if you have a dysfunctional marriage or kids who act out and resentful, it is a sign that you are addicted to your work. Shannon Kolakowski is a licensed clinical psychologist and author.
- Stop taking care of yourself.
You neglect your health and work long hours, eat poorly, skip exercise, don’t care for your sick – all to make your business more profitable. Kelly Tonelli, licensed clinical psychologist
- Start new projects without completing others.
span data_preserver-spaces=”true You feel the need to start a new business or if you have businesses, before your existing business goes out of business. Peter J. Economou is a licensed professional counselor and the founder of The Counseling and Wellness Center.
When you are unable to engage in entrepreneurial activities, you feel anxious and irritable. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed psychologist, author, and professor.
- You feel like you can’t stop.
They feel that their drive to create something new within themselves is unstoppable. It’s like a freight train. Jennifer Martin, founder and CEO of Zest Business Consulting
- You engage in desperate behaviors.
“They do things that are not their normal behavior, such as manipulating other people to obtain the funding they require.” Colleen Mullen is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Coaching Through Chaos.
- Don’t listen to anyone.
They have poor listening skills. They are quick to jump out of conversations that diverge from their interests or benefits, but will often talk about their work and projects for hours. Roy Cohen, executive coach, career counselor and author.
- Your work affects your mood.
You may experience mood swings due to the successes or failures of your startup. Gilbert Chalepas is a licensed clinical psychologist
- You enjoy starting businesses but not running them.
You are able to generate great ideas for starting a business. You are passionate about creating, planning and innovating. That’s all there is to it. Daphne Mallory is a speaker and family business expert.
- You keep going despite financial struggles.
You don’t always have financial success in your ventures. But you continue to work, instead of getting a job. Susan Bartell, author and psychologist
Tips for managing your addiction towards entrepreneurship
These signs are easy to recognize. The good news? You can manage your addiction to entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your problem.
Alcoholics Anonymous developed the 12-step program, which is used in most addiction treatment programs. Admitting that you are suffering from an addiction is the first step in recovering. Although this may seem like an easy step, it can prove to be one of the most difficult. This is even more difficult when the addiction is to something you enjoy in moderate amounts, such as entrepreneurship or exercise. It is easy to justify your addiction by claiming that it is beneficial for you.
- Recognize negative impacts.
Before you can change your behavior, you need to evaluate how it negatively affects your life. This is what will motivate you to make changes. Are you unhappy with your relationships? Are your relationships suffering? Are you not feeling as well as you should?
- Set boundaries.
Once you have identified the negative effects, it is time to set boundaries to reduce them. It’s best to take it slow and then work your way up. You can schedule a short amount of time each day to spend with your family and friends, even if you are having a difficult relationship. You might plan one healthy meal per day if it is your health. It may be necessary to establish working hours and follow them. You should establish boundaries that you are comfortable with and then increase them as your strength increases.
- Practice mindfulness.
Addictions.com reports that mindfulness is an integral part of many addiction treatment programs. When you are addicted to something, your brain is often on autopilot. Mindfulness allows you experience the moment with self awareness, allowing you to react instead of react.
- Seek support.
It is important to receive support from those you care about. Many people find the support they need from their family and friends when they are honest about their problems. Counseling is another option. You may require inpatient or outpatient treatment for severe entrepreneurial addiction.
Healthline reports that support groups can be very beneficial for many people suffering from entrepreneurship or work addictions. Anyone who is struggling with entrepreneurship addiction can get help from Workaholics Anonymous.
Healthline recommends that you have a mental assessment. Entrepreneurship addiction could be due to underlying mental disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder.