All I want is nothing more To hear you knocking at my door
These lyrics from Kodaline conveys a big message; it’s about the fact that humans are social organisms. We desire to come together. The need to belong is in our DNA.
As anyone who’s been a founder — or wanted to — knows, being a founder can be a lonely and difficult journey. Loneliness is slowing becoming an epidemic and it might lead to burnout.
As per Gallup, isolation can cost you up to 21% productivity. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, half of the CEOs reported experiencing feelings of loneliness in their role.
Founders’ mental health has been increasingly discussed amid the pandemic. However, many founders still feel uncomfortable talking about the issue. IT’S NOT TABOO!
Each of us who participates in the startup ecosystem contributes to the ongoing founders’ mental health catastrophe. This puts each of us in a position to take this as a moral imperative to act.
Here are a few things we can do.
Founders — Connect! Maintain a support network, Join a mastermind group, go out with your friends and your significant other. Social time is not just fun. It improves your performance and makes you more creative, according to Gallup.
Cofounders — Success is not just about how you grew your company, but how you glue together. Spent time together outside of work. Make time for this. Cancel other things. The other things can wait.
Investors — They Know that it’s not the startup that they want to invest in; it’s the founder. VCs poured more than $1.5 billion into the mental-wellness startups in 2020. They’ve started acknowledging the problem. As an investor, make founders accountable for their well-being as much as they owe you investor/update reports. This will lead to better overall return on investment.
It’s super important to build time into your schedule for taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. Make self-care a priority, not a privilege.
A friend once me advised that “Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup”.
Take care of yourself and the people around you!