From smoking cigarettes to playing video games, just about any substance or activity can turn into an addictive behavior. But what about starting a business? Can entrepreneurship become an addiction, too?
Entrepreneurship may be a great career option for some people, but serial entrepreneurs (those who start multiple businesses) could be more than just business-savvy and adventurous — habitual entrepreneurship can actually be a behavioral addiction, according to a recent study in the Journal of Business Venturing.
Think you or someone you know might be addicted to entrepreneurship? Business News Daily asked psychologists and career coaches what they think are the top warning signs and symptoms of entrepreneurship addiction. Here are 10 signs to look out for:
1. You neglect your family.
"Your family and friends are put in second place. The biggest sign of work addiction is neglecting your family and outside life. When you prioritize the rush of starting one new endeavor after another, your interpersonal relationships suffer. Whether it's a struggling marriage, kids who are resentful and acting out, or not having had a day off in a year, these are all signs that your work is an addiction." — Dr. Shannon Kolakowski, licensed clinical psychologist and author
2. You stop taking care of yourself.
"You neglect your own health — working ridiculous hours, eating horribly, skipping exercise, not caring for illnesses — all in sacrifice to make your business more successful." — Dr. Kelly Tonelli, licensed clinical psychologist [Feel Addicted to Being an Entrepreneur? Researchers Say It's Real ]
3. You start new projects without finishing others.
"The need to begin a new business (or definitely if it's businesses) before the previously established business is out of the hole and into the red." — Dr. Peter J. Economou, licensed professional counselor and founder of The Counseling and Wellness Center
4. Doing non-work-related things is frustrating to you.
"You feel anxious or irritable when you can't engage in activities related to your entrepreneurial pursuits." — Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist, professor and author
5. You feel like you can't stop.
"They feel like the drive within themselves to create something new is
unstoppable — like a freight train." — Jennifer Martin, business consultant and founder of Zest Business Consulting
6. You engage in desperate behaviors.
"They do things outside of their normal behavior (e.g., manipulating others) to get the funding they need." — Dr. Colleen Mullen, licensed marriage and family therapist for Coaching Through Chaos
7. You won't listen to others.
"They tend to have poor listening skills. They will talk endlessly about their work and projects but are quick to tune out when the conversation veers away from their interests or benefit." — Roy Cohen, career counselor, executive coach and author
8. Your mood is affected by your work.
"Experiencing frequent mood swings related to successes and failures of your startup." — Dr. Gilbert Chalepas, licensed clinical psychologist
9. You like starting businesses, but not running them.
"You easily generate ideas for launching a business — never actually existing from one, just starting one — [but] nothing about running the day-to-day operations excites you. You love to plan, create and innovate. That's it." — Daphne Mallory, speaker and family business expert
10. You keep going, despite financial struggles.
"You don't necessarily have financial (or another form of) success at your
ventures, but you keep going, rather than getting a job." — Dr. Susan Bartell, psychologist and author
You can read more information about this study on entrepreneurship addiction on Business News Daily here.