Young entrepreneurs burning out

A recruiter and business coach has suggested that the increasing number of school-leaver entrepreneurs is leading to a rise in “mid-life crises” occurring around age 30.

A recruiter and business coach has suggested that the increasing number of school-leaver entrepreneurs is leading to a rise in “mid-life crises” occurring around age 30.

Mike Irving, of Perth-based Advanced Business Abilities, pointed to the fact that technology is allowing young people to start their own business from an ever-younger age. However he said this is leading them to burnout faster than ever before.

“I’m seeing a growing number of 30-year-olds that have spent the past decade working 90-hour weeks, achieving great results in business yet questioning what life is all about,” Mr Irving said.

“In the past, a midlife crisis was a 50-year-old feeling trapped in suburbia so they’d buy a Harley, change their hair or have an affair, but often stick with the same career till retirement.

“Nowadays, pressure and long hours can trigger a midlife crisis in a 30-year-old business owner who has often achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time.”

Mr Irving said he is no stranger to this feeling, confronting his own meltdown just before turning 30 having run a business from the age of 21.

“In front of staff I was a strong leader but behind closed doors I felt burnt out and dissatisfied with my success,” he said.

“These are common emotions felt by entrepreneurs but rarely spoken about in business circles because no one wants to admit their business isn’t doing well or appear weak because they’re struggling to manage their success.”

According to Mr Irving, the younger onset of a mid-life crisis may behind many cases of depression, as well as having more wide-reaching ramifications in business.

“I suspect an early midlife crisis is partly behind the rising number of career changes people have, with Gen Y estimated to have 10 in their working life,” he said.

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