If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, depression or suicidal thoughts, or feel that you are in crisis, please seek help immediately.
Since 2006, Techstars has helped hundreds of startups succeed, both as businesses and as people. We know that mental wellness is important for everyone, and that the challenges of entrepreneurship tend to appeal to high-achieving, driven people — who also often suffer from stress, burnout, anxiety, and other common mental health problems.
“If you don’t take time to take care of yourself, there is no way you can take care of your team.” — David Cohen
In order to highlight the prevalence of mental health issues among entrepreneurs — and encourage everyone to seek help — we made a four-part documentary series that focuses on the most common mental health issues facing entrepreneurs. A few of our remarkable colleagues tell their stories, and mental health professionals weigh in on the challenges they see most commonly among entrepreneurs — and offer advice for dealing with these problems when they arise.
We believe strongly that every person who is suffering from mental health problems should seek help, and we want to do our part to de-stigmatize mental health issues for everyone, especially entrepreneurs. As David Cohen, Techstars Cofounder and Managing Partner, says, “If you don’t take time to take care of yourself, there is no way you can take care of your team. Prioritize your own well being, and you will be a better leader for others.”
Techstars Cofounder and CEO David Brown is also a strong believer in self-care: “My mother used to say, ‘The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.’ It’s so true. We need sleep, we need love, we need to be replenished. Otherwise, our decision making is impaired. Not only do we make worse decisions, but we make fewer of them. Taking the time to take care of ourselves allows us to do more, not less.”
Highly driven and successful people often suffer from mental health problems, too. Brad Feld, Cofounder of Techstars and Managing Partner of Foundry Group, describes his experiences with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and their impact on him personally as well as professionally, as an entrepreneur and an investor.
Burnout is real — and it hurts many entrepreneurs and startups. Andrea Perdomo, founder and Techstars Network Catalyst for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, shares her experience with burnout while growing her company and her path to finding balance, “So you can continue being your authentic self without letting stress and burnout take over.”
Anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are difficult to live with, and not just for entrepreneurs. Matthew Helt, founder and a Techstars Senior Implementation Consultant of Ecosystem Development, shares his stories about living with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder while building a business and growing a family.
What are the most common mental health problems that entrepreneurs suffer from — and what can startups and founders do? Mental health experts answer these crucial questions, and offer their ideas for how to prioritize mental wellness while also growing a business.