The mental health costs of building a new business

By Jonathan Moules.

David Baird became an entrepreneur because he wanted to do something positive. But he had no idea how high the cost to his mental health would be. He launched Selocial — an online community to support artists and musicians like himself — in 2014, bootstrapping the operation until it had a few thousand members. But the pressures of building a business left him stressed and unable to sleep, factors he believes contributed to the collapse of his first marriage. It even led to him living out of his car for a couple of months. When he eventually saw a doctor, he was diagnosed with chronic depression. “People like me are afraid to talk about this because they think their peers will think badly of them,” Mr Baird says. “You have to have this positive attitude all the time.”

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