Our monthly All Founders Need Therapy sessions are part of our initiative to help founders boost their mental health and morale.
This program engages founders in a small group forum where they can vent amongst themselves about problems only they can understand.
“We know it’s lonely at the top, so we host this event to show founders that they’re not alone.“~ Joey Womack, Founder and CEO of Goodie Nation
We were grateful to have had 15 founders express their thoughts and feelings during our February 2022 All Founders Need Therapy session. Because it’s a private forum, we’ll keep the identities of the attendees anonymous.
Since the February session happened near Valentine’s Day, the group went with a romantic relationship theme the session.
The founders had an extremely candid conversation about their relationships. The attendees represented all types of relationship statuses including recently married, recently divorced, married for several years, dating, and single.
The conversation took on a tone of sharing relationship challenges and offering solutions based on personal experiences.
Here’s a deeper look into those conversations.
Challenge 1: Time Allocation
Because the founders are striving towards building multi-million dollar companies, many have found it difficult to allocate time to their partner or children.
Some of the founders admitted that they fear this challenge might hurt their relationships or prevent them from advancing their relationships into something more serious.
Solution 1: Scheduling
The founders who have been married for 10-20 years acknowledged their own struggles with this issue but shared their solutions to the challenge of allocating time to loved ones.
The founders said intentionally scheduling time to spend with a partner is the best way to make sure it happens. One founder said she schedules, IN HER CALENDAR, 30 minutes each day to have a call or walk with her husband.
Another founder suggested blocking off a day over the weekend to spend time with a loved one.
Challenge 2: Being Present
Founders spoke to how hard it is to make time to spend with a partner, but they also revealed how difficult it is to be present during the time they do spend with a loved one.
Some of the founders mentioned their inability to “put down the phone” when they are spending time with their partner which reduces the quality of the time they’re spending together.
The founders know this can create problems in their relationships in the future, but they don’t know how to break their fixation on their startup long enough to focus on their loved ones for a set amount of time.
Solution 2: Setting Down the Phone
One of the founders shared an eye-opening statement: “You don’t answer your phone and check texts during meetings with investors, customers, or partners. Why can’t you do that with your partner?”
With that said, the founder suggested turning off phone’s notifications when spending structured time with a loved one. “Notifications create a false sense of urgency, but it all can wait for 30 minutes to an hour,” she said.
Challenge 3: Life’s Challenges + Entrepreneurship
By now, it’s no secret how mentally, physically, and financially taxing entrepreneurship can be on an individual and a family.
But people often forget that the strain of entrepreneurship often amplifies the typical challenges that life presents.
Many of the founders shared how their startup accelerates issues with money, trust, or communication within their relationships – with riffs over small issues escalating into arguments over the underlying problems at hand.
Solution 3: Communication and Expectation Setting
The founders who have been married for 10-20 years all said that marriage never gets easier. They revealed that new problems arise and new relationship dynamics occur as life presents unique challenges.
Their solution to this hurdle is to maintain a transparent and steady line of communication with a partner or loved one while acknowledging that these changing tides are natural.
The founders also placed importance on the need for setting and constantly managing expectations about the support that’s needed from each person in the relationship.
The support can take on many forms, but it’s critical to discuss what it looks like for one another.
Here’s what some founders have said about All Founders Need Therapy:
“I’m supposed to be in a meeting, but I saw this therapy session. I knew I needed to be here on Zoom, sharing how I feel.”~ Anonymous Founder
“Spaces like this are necessary for founders — especially diverse founders. We deal with A LOT.”~ Anonymous Founder
“It’s been a very difficult year for me personally, so this has been extremely helpful.”~ Anonymous Founder
“Not gonna lie, I didn’t want to come to this and talk, but having this platform to share has been truly helpful. ”~ Anonymous Founder
“I’m so glad Goodie Nation has started this.”~ Anonymous Founder
LOOKOUT FOR OUR NEXT RECAP!
Be on the lookout for a recap from that session! If you missed our last Founders’ Therapy recap, click here to check it out!