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    HomeHealth and WellbeingThe Founders Aren’t OK!

    The Founders Aren’t OK!

    It’s 2am on a Friday and I can’t sleep. My mind is racing, familial issues are arising on all sides because I am consumed by work. Always working or thinking about work, I am losing my ability to focus on a single task and concentrate for long periods of time. I am having a harder time remembering things. My body is present but my mind is somewhere else. It feels like I have no time for the simple things. Everything glitters around me but I haven’t been this unhappy in a while.

    Everything glitters around me but I haven’t been this unhappy in a while.

    A month ago, if you asked me how I was doing I would have said, “Great!” This is while I am trying to figure out if you see the bottom eyelid of my left eye twitching due to my poor sleep habits and excessive social media use. Raad Ahmed captures my dilemma perfectly when he writes, “Founders are incentivized to project an image of confidence and security. Succeeding as a startup means getting the world — investors, customers, competitors, etc. — to believe in you and your idea. Being frank about your insecurities and weaknesses seems counter to that purpose. Whether or not they admit it publicly, behind the scenes, most founders deal with depression.”

    “Whether or not they admit it publicly, behind the scenes, most founders deal with depression.”

    Raad Ahmed

    Raad uses the word depression. Although depression seems to be less stigmatized, I am not self-diagnosing or attempting to diagnose other founders but simply serving as the canary in what may turn out to be one of the largest coal mines of the future, Columbus, Ohio. But unlike coal mines where canaries warned of physical dangers, the greatest threat to founders are mental and emotional. As I soul searched to find the cause and possibly the solution to my current state of mind, I came to the following conclusion and would like to share them with you.

    Make time for the simple things.
    Build a company that is true to you and not what you think a startup should be.
    Be clear about what you want to accomplish.
    Avoid shiny object syndrome.
    Make things as simple as possible.
    Invest in relationships.
    Ask for help.
    Find and help your tribe of 1000 true fans.

    Fortunately, I have been able to recalibrate and begin the journey of covering the Columbus startup ecosystem in the most authentic way I know how. We will cover topics ranging from startup news, evaluating startup ideas, raising capital, and how to use technology to solve problems. I look forward to seeing you on the road less traveled.

    Signed, your favorite canary.

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