Letter to my younger self: you’ll cry with pride

Stuart Macdonald, founder of ManíLife peanut butter, got through a bout of depression to fulfil a dream

Dear Stu,

I’m writing to you from one of the many cafes that will become your office 10 years from now. That bubbling discomfort you’re feeling at 15 still persists.

Related: Letter to my younger self: you never want to become the bully

It’s time to stop pretending to be an accountant. You make a rubbish accountant.

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How to be resilient: ‘self-awareness is fundamental’

Practise mindfulness, join support groups and take time away from technology were some of the tips from the experts in our live chat

Entrepreneurs must be able to bounce back from disappointment. It’s a career choice rife with rejection: failure to secure a bank loan, missing out on investment and poor sales are just some of the potential hurdles you can face.

But, for many, resilience is a learning process. So how can you develop this trait? In our live Q&A on how to build resilience, our expert panel discussed strategies for managing stress, building a support network and improving work-life balance.

Related: Ask the experts: how to build your resilience – as it happened

Related: Reeling from a failure? Perhaps an attitude change could help

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Ask the experts: how to build your resilience

Join us from 1.00pm to 2.00pm on Wednesday 31 May BST to talk to our panel about how to adapt and recover from adversity as an entrepreneur

How to join in the discussion
Make sure you are a registered user of the Guardian (if not, it’s quick to register) and join us in the comments section below on 31 May.

Do you easily adapt to stressful situations? Are you quick to recover from failure? The more confidently, and honestly, you can answer yes to these questions, the more likely you are to be resilient.

It’s a trait valuable to business owners, whose careers can be rife with knock backs. Indeed, four in 10 businesses cease trading in their first five years, according to an analysis of Office for National Statistics data by Ormsby Street.

Submit a question
You can post questions in the comments section below during the chat. Or you can send questions in advance, or during the discussion, by emailing smallbusinessnetwork@theguardian.com or by tweeting us at @GdnSmallBiz with your question. You can also post questions in the comments section at any time before the chat and the panel will take a look when it begins.

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‘Late payments took me to a frightening place’

Late payments are estimated to cost the UK economy £2.5bn a year and a new study reveals the impact they have on the health of entrepreneurs

Holly Jade O’Leary was working as a consultant for a startup when the stress of not being paid for more than four months culminated in what she describes as a “complete mental health breakdown”.

“It took me to a frightening place. I was hallucinating, hearing voices and unable to sleep or concentrate,” she says, adding that she didn’t feel like she could tell anyone. “When you’re a small business, you’re passionate about your work and what you’re creating … you don’t want to make it publicly known that you’re struggling, or that you’ve made a mistake choosing someone to work with who wasn’t trustworthy.”

I’d been working for years to save up enough to buy a house and had to put that in to cover cashflow

Related: Late payment dispute is ruining my health and crucifying cash flow

Related: Small business minister: late payments are an outrage

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How to manage stress and prevent burnout

Entrepreneur Victoria Walford overcame PTSD and now helps other professionals avoid burnout. She shares her stress-busting tips

A cycling accident 11 years ago left me with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I suffered flashbacks to my accident at work and at home. With the help of psychological treatment, I learned how to manage my condition and went on to launch my own bakery business.

We can start learning how to deal with stress by understanding the situations that act as emotional triggers for us. Emotional triggers affect us all. Yours could be a comment directed at you or a situation you find yourself in that wouldn’t particularly bother another person, but that has the potential to upset you for the rest of the day.

Related: Battling end-of-year burnout? Bring some hygge to work

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Entrepreneurs have to push themselves but anxiety crept up on me

Tania Diggory was running a successful events company when she battled to overcome uncertainty and anxiety. Now she helps other entrepreneurs cope

As an entrepreneur, you take big risks to make your dreams a reality. The incredible opportunities that have come my way simply wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to explore my potential.

At times though, this has come at a cost. Three years ago, during the second year of running my events business, I started to experience anxiety attacks.

We shouldn’t feel ashamed of the struggles we go through to achieve our goals. It takes courage to live this lifestyle

Related: ‘Mental health is not only about darkness and depression’

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