How We Talk Founder Mental Health Differently Than We Did 20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago, entrepreneurs used different words to describe what we now call mental health challenges.

Stress, depression, anxiety, burnout, and nervous breakdown were the words we used back then.

We didn’t talk about it much. But it was there.

Thankfully, there is more conversation and awareness about mental health issues with startup founders and tech leaders who have a lot of responsibility.

It still is really hard to prepare anyone for the drastic emotional ups and downs, the loneliness, and the extreme stress of running a growing company–or a company struggling to grow.

I think ambitious entrepreneurs choose to face difficult business challenges despite the personal emotional stresses we know they will create.

We want to grow ourselves by growing our business.

Some founders talk about their mental health challenges openly.

Like founder Seth Radman who created two software companies and successfully sold them both while still in his twenties.

“Yeah, I’ve really struggled with a lot of things throughout my entrepreneurial journey. And I try to share these things to just be more open about what it’s actually like to be a startup founder,” Seth shared on the Practical Founders Podcast.

“Because I think a lot of people look towards the media and they see people raising $200 million and buying a Lamborghini in Silicon Valley. And they maybe get a twisted view of what it’s typically like to build a startup.

“So I try to share my experiences to help others realize, hey, if you’re going through this, too, that’s normal. It’s still hard, but it’s normal.

“For me, the biggest challenge I went through was right after Crescendo was acquired. I wasn’t really expecting to exit so early. I decided to sell the company because it was a great offer and I was struggling to scale it further.

“But it becomes such a big part of my identity. And having a company acquired has been, you know, seemed like this big, elusive goal that every founder wants to achieve. And then I did it. And then I wasn’t sure what to do next at all.”

Find out what happened next and how Seth manages his mental health on the Practical Founders podcast at practicalfounders.com.

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