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Beyond Burnout: How founders in fast moving startups manage mental health

By October 19, 2021March 18th, 2024No Comments

To mark World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we reached out to our network of founders to get their take on burnout and mental health in fast moving startups. This post was created in collaboration with Calmer, a startup that empowers entrepreneurs to nurture good mental health and wellbeing. Visit their website to read the full article.

Burnout has become something of a corporate buzzword. Tales of twelve hour days were met with accusations of busy bragging. Breakdowns were covered up, anxiety attacks disguised as nosebleeds, and emotions were hidden at all costs. Thankfully, that’s all behind us.

Mental health awareness woke us from the nightmare of ’60s corporate America. We are awake, clear minded and compassionate. Besides, we work in the startup scene, where everything’s bean bags, series A and chai latte’s – we’re all fine.

Wouldn’t it be great if the blog just ended there? Let’s sit for a minute in that feeling and enjoy it.

Obviously awareness is only the first step in a journey that keeps going round, retreading the same path, until it’s truly embedded into our culture. Mental health in the workplace isn’t just about being nice, or accepting that sometimes we get stressed, it’s about making real practical changes – both on an organisational and individual level – to account for our needs as complex emotional creatures.

It’s about embedding the idea that the fulfilment of its employees is as much a responsibility of a company as its bottom line. It’s about putting your money where your mouth is and investing in your people and, for small businesses, it’s often really really hard.

Founders are famously a unique breed. We can confirm this rumour as a fact. At Outfly, we’ve worked with hundreds over the years, and they really are different. The isolating effects of leadership have been written about extensively, that as an entrepreneur loneliness is coupled with unparalleled uncertainty and, increasingly, an overwhelming responsibility; not only for your growing teams’ income, but for their mental health as well.

We spoke with a few of our clients, who form members of our extended network of founders, to find out how they deal with their own work/life alignment, how they defend against burnout, and how they’ve built processes to protect their teams as they grow.

Visit Calmer to view the full article.