Being a founder is stressful.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned vet, you know what it’s like to ride the rollercoaster.

You have 100 decisions to make and 1,000 things to do and once you put one fire out another spontaneously combusts in the other room.

And at the same time, there are people depending on you emotionally and financially.

While founder stress can’t be completely eradicated, there are plenty of coping options that can help.

Exercise and be healthy

It’s perfectly okay to start small – maybe do a few jumping jacks and push-ups when you wake up and before you go to bed.

How about walking to the nearest coffee shop instead of having the intern get it for you?

You know, baby steps.

But when most founders are told that they should start working out, they feel overwhelmed and instantly make up the most creative of excuses:

  • “I’m investing in my future so it’s ok to skip the gym today”
  • “I’ll start eating healthy once I reach product-market fit
  • “I’m going to drink and eat whatever I want this weekend because I hustled so hard this week and need to blow off steam”

But there’s no point hustling if you’re doing it at the expense of your body.

Exercise and better eating habits will help you clear your mind and improve sleeping patterns while looking better, too.

With all the frenzy that comes with being a founder, a clear head and well-rested body can be your competitive advantage.

Accept Sh*t as it Is

2000 years ago, a man named Seneca stated that “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”

As a founder, you had a vision and you decided to stick your head out and go after it. It’s badass and bold, but it comes with baggage.

No matter how much yoga, working out, and healthy eating you do, founder stress will always find a way to sneak up on you.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.

If we didn’t have stress, civilization wouldn’t have progressed this far.

However, if you aren’t sure how to channel or face your stress, it can completely engulf you.

Entire books have been written on how to mentally conquer the stress your facing, but some of the best remedies you’ll find are strikingly simple.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh at the absurdity of it all, other times you might need to have a good ol’ cry. Perhaps a long weekend is in order.

Stress is part of the job that isn’t going away any time soon, so hold your head high and keep chugging along.

Talk to Someone! But who?

Being able to vent it all out has to be one of the best feelings in the world.

But sometimes it can be tough to find the right person to do this with.

Family and friends are a great option, but a lot of the time they may not be able to empathize with you or offer any guidance.

This option can work in small portions but if you use it too much it can feel like we’re bogging them down and being annoying.

Venting frustrations to our employees or other founders in our networks is another (risky) option. Whether we like it or not, we have a reputation to uphold – and not having a level head sometimes isn’t the right image we should be portraying, especially to employees who are looking up to you for leadership.

Another option is therapy, but that can cost well over $100 a session and seem a little excessive for the situation at hand. 

Note: If you are suffering from severe stress, anxiety, or depression, please seek professional help!

But bottling all of your founder stress up is by far the worst strategy of all.

Venting frustrations to a growth mentor

Over the years, I’ve been pretty reckless with my health and often used #startuplife as an excuse for being chronically stressed.

This was one of the main motivations behind starting GrowthMentor.

I found that letting out steam to people that had “been there done that” always made me feel a little bit less stressed out.

If you’re looking for someone to lend an ear and offer some consolation and advice to those on this wild ride we’ve made it super easy with the “venting frustration” filter.

There’s no easier way to get in contact with vetted startup and growth mentors that legit want to help founders deal with their stress issues!