The state of the world has been extremely turbulent, with people experiencing fires, war, earthquakes and other tragedies, in addition to an increasingly competitive working environment. Lately, people have been experiencing more stress and anxiety in their lives than ever before. Some people reach for meditation apps, go to yoga sessions or take breaks to travel internationally. Humanity appears to be constantly seeking peace in its heart.
Through my experience as a startup founder, I’ve realized that mental health issues are especially prominent among founders and people who play major roles in entrepreneurial endeavors. After addressing my own mental health and witnessing many of my close founder friends sink into depression, I have taken steps to ensure my company sustains a healthy work environment in order for everyone to thrive.
Let Go Of Negative Influences
I founded Humm.ly six months ago with several others. I trusted one particular team member wholeheartedly, overlooking some questionable behaviors because I thought his skills and talent would be valuable to the team. They delivered impeccable work whenever needed. I let him lead an entire project because I trusted his high standard of work.
However, trying to get a startup going can be perilous. They were highly critical of other employees in circumstances that called for patience. Gradually, this person’s temper discouraged almost everyone in the company. I was afraid to start frank conversations with him because of unreasonable criticisms and arguments.
It was a difficult realization for me. I had to convince myself that having him as a leader in the company would significantly slow down work performance and impact others’ job satisfaction. After a lot of consideration and consultation with more experienced startup founders, I made the difficult decision to let them go. Even though I had sympathy for him, his departure ultimately prevented negativity from spreading to other team members.
Encourage Physical Wellness
Years of research shows that physical activity can reduce anxiety and depression for healthy adults. Yet, exercising regularly can be difficult, especially when starting a new company and experiencing high levels of stress. During the beginning of my startup life, I experienced tremendous weight gain, living on spicy ramen and late-night delivery options.