The Wall Street Journal published a story last week on the mental health challenges of startup founders.
Over the past few years, this topic has finally started to get some of the attention it deserves. But the pressures of building a startup, and the impact it has on the health of founders, is still talked about far too little. It certainly sits in the shadow of the ‘hustle culture’ and ‘crushing it’ stories that take up most of the space around startups.
According to recent research, entrepreneurs were 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition. Entrepreneurs have to face high startup failure rates, investor expectations of high growth rates, and an ever-changing business landscape that can quickly crush the initial assumptions that were the foundation of their idea.
Meanwhile, these high expectations and the founder’s sense of self-worth that is tied to the success of their venture keeps these mental health issues in the dark. No one wants to admit that they are struggling, for fear that simply acknowledging the problem will derail their company and plunge them into failure.
Most choose to suffer in silence.
I don’t typically link to stories behind a paywall, but it appears for now the WSJ is keeping this article available to nonsubscribers. It’s worth taking the time to read it today.