Startups · Entrepreneurship

How do you deal with the emotional rollercoasters of running a startup?

Amol CAPM® Sr. Consultant - SAP EAM/PM/WCM

September 14th, 2016

I had heard about them from other founders before I decided to take the leap of faith. However, now that I am actually in the middle of building a startup I am experiencing the myself and to be honest they are not very pleasant. Especially during the fundraising process. Any ideas on how to deal with them?


Amol k

Brett Gentry Program | Product | Operations | SaaS/IaaS Engineering

September 14th, 2016

Exercise regularly, especially cardio, avoid depressants like alcohol, get sleep, take naps, work when it makes sense not by the clock.  If you keep yourself in good health that will help a lot.

Annick Fuchs Startup lawyer in the Silicon Valley and Europe, ex Director Legal PayPal

September 14th, 2016

Mediation. Every day. For 30 minutes. In addition to what others have said here.

Anonymous

September 14th, 2016

You don't need a coach or a therapist. You need social time where talking about work is off limits once or twice a week, lay off the coffee, lay off the alcohol, and get a punching bag to hit with a baseball bat (it really works). The roller coaster is part of the ride, and when everyone tells you to hire someone to tell you "it's going to be alright", or to ask you "how do you feel?" when they have never experienced the roller coaster, ignore them.

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

September 14th, 2016

Startup team need an expert and mature support as coach, mentor, whatever to share experiences and show that emotional holler coster is absolute normal and will be present on there entrepreneur lives.

Jerry Mahabub Chairman of the Board and CEO at Astound Holdings, Inc.

September 14th, 2016

I agree with everything Brett said. Also, a good way to handle this is to take some of the pressures off of your shoulders only. Whether a formal or informal, an "advisory board" made up of people whom you have the utmost of trust. They privately in the background share in emails, sometimes you may even decide to share attorney-client privileged emails by forwarding to them. Then you have anywhere from 4 to 10 people (no less than 4 and no more than 10) all with varying backgrounds, no money is paid to these people, however, you may decide to offer them some warrants, or options from your employee incentive pool (which you/the board should set aside these shares now in to some sort of pool) if formally adopted by the company through board resolution, or, if you want to keep this group at arms length from the board of directors (which I recommend) then you could always gift/transfer a small number of some of your own personal shares (but make sure you have them sign an irrevocable proxy voting agreement meaning they have an economic interest but not a voting interest, and DO NOT do this during the time of an official company offering of any kind or you violate pretty stupid SEC rules and regs) to your informal advisory board. They will all need to execute an NDA (obviously) and most important is make sure you communicate with them through a personal email account, meaning if you forward anything to them, not use your company email account. I think that is your best bet, it is what I have done, and I have been though, and continue to go through every possible battle a small minority group of shareholders combined with put note holders (as a group with an evil mission to destroy anything and everything) could put a Founder through - often times its made me consider wanting to literally hang myself. If it were not for my informal advisory board, I probably would have - Don't ever let anyone bully you around, but be careful and methodical about every step you make, because lawyers are watching, and god forbid they ever become shareholders of your company! Last, when choosing an "informal" advisory board, it is not a disclosure item, they are there for your emotional and sometimes mental focus/business support, and is considered a mental health group of friends, so it is personal and select "friends you consider family" and "family you consider friends", people who no matter what possibly could happen will NEVER turn their backs on you. Hope this helps.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 14th, 2016

You don't need a therapist, you need a coach - not a well-meaning collection of friends - but a coach who knows how to support the business and emotional needs of a growing business and its leaders. 


Choose your coach carefully. You don't need a life coach or "unconditional support" - you need someone who knows how to make businesses thrive and scale.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 14th, 2016

Here is Eric Schmidt of Google has to say about coaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7qnTMvw92U ... just sayin' 

Donavon Urfalian A.I. Engineer / Entrepreneur / Founder & CEO @ Umazed / Kodo Startups

September 14th, 2016

So a startup doesn't have money to pay a therapist. So you think hard on the emotional turmoil and work through the emotions and find the insight, the understanding you need, to move forward. It is overwhelming, so you have to focus on what's the next action to take, if you laser beam focus you can figure out what the right thing to do is, just work through the contradictory emotions until things make sense. It is hard, there is no other way then to laser been focus and think things through by finding the sense in the emotions.