Why we need to redefine start-up culture with positive mental health habits – Kathleen Stetson and Trish Cotter

Trish Cotter, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

Kathleen Stetson, Entrepreneur Coach, MIT Sloan MBA ’14

From Thrive Global

Anxiety and depression are rampant among entrepreneurs. The stereotype of a founder — fueled by caffeine and ramen noodles, while forgoing sleep, exercise, fresh air, friends, and family in the quest for success — has been the norm for years. It has been encouraged, and even glorified, by start-up culture.


The Inc. article “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship” explores this topic and explains, “the same passionate dispositions that drive founders heedlessly toward success can sometimes consume them. Business owners are ‘vulnerable to the dark side of obsession.’” Yet this is not healthy or helpful for long-term success.

Compounding this problem is the start-up founder’s hesitation to show weakness or self-doubt. They feel the need to project confidence for investors and employees, despite any inner insecurities. They also tend to connect their self-worth and identity to their start-ups, which can lead to feelings of depression if their start-up fails.

Read the full post at Thrive Global.

Trish Cotter is executive director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, director of the delta v accelerator, and an entrepreneur-in-residence at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kathleen Stetson is an entrepreneur coach, the creator of Entrepreneurial Confidence and Communication, and an MIT Sloan alumna.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *