The psychology of startup founders

From The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship by Jessica Bruder:

According to researchers, many entrepreneurs share innate character traits that make them more vulnerable to mood swings. “People who are on the energetic, motivated, and creative side are both more likely to be entrepreneurial and more likely to have strong emotional states,” says Freeman. Those states may include depression, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of motivation, and suicidal thinking.

From While struggling to build companies, some founders also quietly battle depression by Dennis Keohane:

One common theme among the numerous founders and entrepreneurs I spoke to for this piece was the struggle with the aloneness and anxiety that comes with leading a company. ‘It’s such a roller coaster, and you are not able to ride either good or bad. You just yank the excitement out of the whole thing, because you have be steady.”

“The way you have to be able to manage your emotions is not to ride the highs and the lows,” said [CustomMade co-founder Mike] Salguero. “That’s where anxiety comes from,” [CustomMade co-founder Seth] Rosen added. “That’s why you have anxiety and depression. You can’t ride the highs and ride the lows, it’s just too hard.”

(1) Compare to Ben Horowitz’s remarkable description of what it’s like to be a CEO.
(2) I wonder whether as CEOs and managers we underestimate the importance of talking about personal issues.
(3) Thank you Aharon Frazer for the second article tip.

5 thoughts on “The psychology of startup founders

  1. Pingback: Startup founder psychology: Between euphoria and terror | A Founder's Notebook

  2. Pingback: The most unrecognized and under-appreciated way VCs help startups | A Founder's Notebook

  3. Pingback: You can train yourself to think positively | A Founder's Notebook

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