Mental Health is About Protecting Your Company’s Most Important Asset: YOU as the Founder
Life in America can be hard as many of our traditional communities have broken down. We live far away from our families. Many people don’t even know their neighbors or go to church. Work is your community now. Because of this, you need to ensure that your work life makes sense for you. It’s so easy to grind yourself to the ground. Easy to be guilty when you want to take a break. This is more so with business founders. Most founders end up taking too much responsibility.
They put their constituents like customers, employees, partners & investors first.
Many founders put themselves last. They don’t take care of themselves. And this is why so many of them burn out.
This is far more endemic than we think and no one in our macho work culture talks about this. Not when everyone is posturing and talking about “killing it”. This has to stop as it serves no one well. This is why I’ve become such a fan of Tyler Tringas and the Calm Company Fund movement & community. At their awesome Founders Summit in Mexico City, things like Mental health were front and center of the discussion and how to build a company that fits your own personality and goals. For the record, not everyone’s idea of entrepreneurship is the Silicon Valley Unicorn-chasing rocketship, even though this is the garbage being pushed on founders these days through the media.
There were so many great lessons and workshops and discussions that would take more than this post to describe. But I will leave you with a few important questions & exercises that were raised at Founder’s Summit that every founder should ask themselves.
- What is your One Thing? Ie. What is it that you are working for. Is it Freedom? Is it Money? Is it Fame/Glory? It’s very important to be honest with yourself.
For me personally, it’s clearly freedom, which money is an enabler of. I will never be beholden to anyone or work with or for anyone I don’t respect.
2. If money was not a problem: what would you do? What kind of life would you live?
This is something in line with the “Perfect Day Exercise” I described before (https://hardfork.substack.com/p/the-perfect-day-exercise). This really set me on the life I live now.
3. What would you do if your doctor told you, you only have 5–10 years to live?
This is crucial to help you think about how to make some small and big changes for the long term. And if what you are doing now is accretive to that long term life you want to live.
4. What would you do if you only had 24 hours to live?
This question should make you think about what you are doing now. Life is fleeting. If you are not doing what you want to do now, when will you do it?
These key questions helped me to crystallize and figure out my own personal life mission and I think they will for you.
This Mission for me ultimately is about having a positive impact on 10 million people around the world through my investing, writing, public speaking and mentoring. But this of course is to be balanced with family, health and fun. My personal mottos are “I do WTF I Want” & living out “My Life is Dope and I do Dope Sh-t!”
I hope all founders really do think more about the type of business and consequently, the kind of life they are building. This way they can build happier and sustainable outcomes.
And as it is December 25th today: Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!