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Mental Health for the Entrepreneur

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Jeff Haessler


Being an entrepreneur can be rewarding, but being your own boss and leading a group of creative people can also be pretty stressful. Creative innovators need to make mental health and wellness a priority, not just for themselves, but for their organization.

Brad Feld, partner at Foundry Group, was one of the speakers on a panel at DU this week titled, “Making Mental Health a Priority: Shedding Light on the Struggle for Emotional Wellness in Entrepreneurship.” The event was hosted by Project X-ITE, an incubator for innovation, technology and entrepreneurship at the University of Denver.

Feld talked about his own challenges of building a firm and the flipside of success.

He had three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs and innovators. First, get enough sleep. Feld says it’s remarkably easy to say, but incredibly hard to do. “Especially in a world where pulling all-nighters and working in a world where you work as hard as have to to get something done (you need to) understand your own boom and bust cycle and how much rest you need at any age,” Feld says.

Second, he recommends that entrepreneurs be on a continuous quest of learning about themselves. “Learning about yourself and what makes you tick rather than pushing those issues away and isolating them.”

Feld’s final piece of advice is a good take away for anyone: “Having people that you surround yourself with that you can have deep, emotionally, engaging relationships with where you can talk about what you’re struggling with in a trusted way.”