Have you ever thought that entrepreneurship feels like an addiction? I know I have. I've actually thought about it enough that I was curious to see if the medical definition fit us serial entrepreneurs. Ironically enough, it does.

The Mayo Clinic gives 11 signs that warn you someone could be a drug addict; here they are adapted to entrepreneurship.

  1. Feeling that you have to be an entrepreneur and that regular employment is not suited to you.
  2. Having intense urges to start your own business.
  3. Over time, needing to start more businesses to get the same level of fulfillment.
  4. Making certain you can always do work when you think of it (i.e. obsessive checking of email).
  5. Spending money on your business, even though you can't afford it.
  6. Not meeting obligations and personal responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because you're working.
  7. Doing things to further your business that you normally wouldn't do, such as missing your anniversary or your child's soccer game.
  8. Driving or doing other risky activities when you're working on your business.
  9. Focusing more and more time and energy on getting customers and fulfilling business needs.
  10. Failing in your attempts to stop working (i.e. on vacations, weekends, after 6pm, etc.).
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop working (i.e. on vacations, weekends, after 6pm, etc.).

The Mayo Clinic states that most drug addicts start using recreationally or experimentally and then become hooked. Personally, I started my first business with a full-time corporate job on the side. What about you?

When you look at the parallel that entrepreneurial behaviors can mimic that of addiction, it's a sobering thought. How many entrepreneurs have sacrificed their family lives and intimate relationships in order to grow their businesses? At some point, we probably all have. There is hope though.

While you may not need a 12-step program to regain your sense of balance, here are 12 articles that may help you curtail that addiction to entrepreneurship and get a little more fun into your life:

Good luck!