From Burnout to Balance: Startup Founders Discuss Mental Health on The B-Sides Podcast

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In an episode of The B Sides, a podcast by Bessemer Venture Partners, Tzahi Weisfeld, Vice President and General Manager at Intel® Ignite, talks with Yariv Ganor, a psychologist specializing in mental health for founders. Together, they discuss the often-overlooked topic of startup founders’ mental health. This podcast lays out practical steps for founders. The key takeaway: Business success doesn’t have to come at the cost of your mental and emotional wellbeing.

The Unique Mental Health Struggles of Startup Founders

As discussed in the podcast, startup founders are a unique breed, often driven by a relentless pursuit of success. However, this drive can lead to extreme stress and even burnout. Yariv Ganor points out the value of having a partner who can both challenge and complement you, noting that the absence of such a partnership can be emotionally taxing, particularly for those unaccustomed to failure.

Breaking the Stigma

Despite the growing awareness, the podcast discussion reveals that the stigma around mental health support persists. This is detrimental not only to the founders but also to their startups. Yariv introduces the concept of “mental equity,” arguing that a founder’s mental well-being is directly tied to their ability to deliver results, making it a key consideration for investors.

Practical Steps for Founders to Maintain Mental Health

Tzahi outlines three steps for taking care of mental health:

  • Build a Peer Infrastructure: Sharing experiences in a group setting can mitigate the loneliness many founders feel.
  • Seek Professional Help: Therapists are becoming more attuned to the unique challenges faced by founders.
  • Carve Out Time for Self-Care: Dedicate an hour a day to focus solely on your well-being.

For a masterclass in balancing entrepreneurial success with mental health, tune into the full episode of The B Sides podcast featuring Tzahi Weisfeld and Yariv Ganor.


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