Most people don’t have their shit together (Maggie Patterson on Staying Sane)

Small Business Boss in WritingI first heard of Maggie Patterson online, only to later find out that (at the time) she lived in the same rural area as I did.

I took some courses from Maggie, then was a participant in her mastermind for three years early on in my time as a group psychotherapy practice owner.

She’s been my main teacher in the area of entrepreneurship.

One of the things I appreciate most about Maggie is she’s a no-BS woman who values mental health and has 15+ years of real-life experience both as a solopreneur and agency owner.

She brings all of this and more to her take on Staying Sane.

Most people don’t have their shit together

Maggie Patterson, A women entrepreneurI’m Maggie, and I own a content marketing agency as well as a mentor for service-based business owners. I’ve spent my entire career in communications, and I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

What is your mental health story and why does mental health/wellness matter to you?

Over the last few years I’ve realized that a lot of the things I thought were “normal” were actually the result of small-t trauma, as well as anxiety. Plus, I’d been contending with seasonal affective disorder for years, and things were just compounding.

After dealing with the death of a family member, I found myself increasingly anxious and realized I was not really okay. Since then I’ve been in therapy and have learned how to manage my anxiety and related mental health issues. It’s been such a relief to understand why my brain functions the way it does and that I don’t have to just accept it.

What does mental health mean to you? How do you define it for yourself?

For me, it’s about having the tools when I’m not okay to cope and manage my anxiety. It’s also meant that I acknowledge it and am constantly aware of how it may be factoring into my day-to-day decision making and my relationships.

How do you care for your mental health/wellness today?

Thanks to therapy I have a number of tools including meditation, journaling and others that I can rely on when anxiety pops up, or I can feel myself starting to spiral. Also, sleep and self-talk are things I use on a day-to-day basis in order to ensure I’m taking care of myself.

Person taking notes

What is the main mental wellness tip you have found useful?

Using a thought journal has been a really helpful way to sort through what’s a fact, and what’s well my brain doing it’s anxiety thing and concocting all kinds of outlandish stories. Many times now I don’t need the journal as I can stop and unpack my thoughts to discern that’s real, and what’s made up.

If there was just one thing you could share about mental wellness with women entrepreneurs, what would it be?

You don’t have to deal or be stronger or hustle more.

I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, and I wish they knew how common mental health struggles are within that community, especially as owning and running a business can be a rollercoaster. You don’t have to deal or be stronger or hustle more. You need to take care of your mental health as it’s the most valuable asset you have as a business owner.

Most people don’t really have their shit together–they just look like they do.

Plus, other entrepreneurs? They get it. They’re more like you than you probably realize.

Most people don’t really have their shit together–they just look like they do.

More about Maggie

Maggie Patterson is a communications strategist who’s obsessed with BS-free small business growth strategies. She owns a content marketing agency, Scoop Studios, where she and her team work with small to mid-sized companies to help them reach business goals through compelling content. She also mentors service-based business owners through Small Business Boss and hosts the BS-free Service Business Show.

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About the author 

Shulamit Berlevtov  -  Shulamit (she/her) is the Entrepreneurs' Therapist. She is working passionately to mitigate the entrepreneurial mental health crisis through keynote speaking and educational workshops and by supporting women entrepreneurs 1:1 to prevent burnout and preserve their peace of mind as they ride the emotional rollercoaster of running a business.

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