Entrepreneurs are typically some of the hardest working and most dedicated people you’ll find, willing to go further than most to see their dreams come true.
However, just like everyone else, entrepreneurs can be susceptible to precarious vices and dangerous addictions, and even the most driven can see their lives unravel and everything they’ve accomplished lost because of an addiction. Here is a closer look at a few of the ways addiction can lead an entrepreneur to destruction.
Too Consumed with Work to Notice Anything Else
Entrepreneurs can sometimes become so focused on professional goals that they lose sight of anything else. Too busy even to realize they’re spiraling into a dangerous addiction.
Take entrepreneur Seth Leaf Pruzansky for example, co-founder of the organic food company Tourmaline Spring, who stated that the root of his heroin addiction was his “inability to be present with life itself in the here and now.” His story is one of many that showcase how easy it is for entrepreneurs to create a new world for themselves, one that revolves solely around their success to the point that they can’t see the problems in their life that lie outside of their career.
Athletes are not the only professionals who use performance-enhancing drugs to do their jobs. It’s becoming increasingly common for people running startups to use stimulants to fuel their business ambitions. It typically starts with caffeine to stay awake and alert so you can dedicate more hours of the day to work, but that can sometimes snowball into using prescription medications, especially when your tolerance to caffeine grows and grows.
However, taking stimulants that you don’t need in order to function inevitably leads to a crash that may take away your motivation to work. This is obviously bad for business, which can easily lead to taking even more. Can’t get more? Then you either crash all the way—probably requiring stepping away from the business—or go for an easy alternative: taking illegal drugs to avoid a crash and keep your business moving forward.
Serious addictions can come on fast and be extraordinarily tough to break, not to mention the legal implications of sourcing illicit substances.
Many entrepreneurs are inherently drawn to risk-taking behavior; it’s part of what drove them to become entrepreneurs in the first place. If the thrill of launching a new business is no longer exciting enough, an entrepreneur may start looking for other ways to feel that kind of rush. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with this, but if they choose the wrong vice, it can lead to a dangerous addiction. A gambling addiction can be extremely serious, and many lives have been ruined by the thrill of potentially losing it all.
Dealing with Stress the Wrong Way
We don’t need to tell you that being an entrepreneur can be stressful. But it’s vital that you find a way to release that stress. Getting regular exercise, taking frequent breaks, or even going on vacation every year are all great ways to manage the stress that comes with starting a business.
However, some entrepreneurs will start using addictive substances like drugs and alcohol to help them manage stress. And as pointed out time and time again, a big part of the problem with addiction is that it can stem from a solution to a different problem. But continuing to use those kinds of substances after that different problem is remedied leads to addiction, and feeding that addiction will eventually become top priority, coming first before family, friends, and any sort of entrepreneurial aspirations.
The Need to Seek Treatment
As you’ve probably already gathered, it’s easy for an addiction to get to the point where it’s too late to prevent. When that happens, doing something about it as soon as possible is the quickest way to get back on track, which often requires a stay in a rehab center for alcoholics or narcotic users. It’s part of the recovery process and works to help guests manage their compulsions as it relates to their specific lifestyle and aspirations.
With that being said, working to recognize the beginnings of a problem is always best, the same way that’s the best approach to getting a business off the ground.