Anyone have workable tips for helping founders with mental health and wellness challenges and/or, more simply, general resiliency and self care?
This is #1, #2, and #3 on my priority list for supporting our portfolio.
Entrepreneurship, especially in emerging markets, is very hard, and staying “fit to fight” is really, really difficult.
Who is leading on this topic from a VC perspective and has advice, best practices?
#mentalhealthandwellbeing #mentalhealth #portfoliosupport #venturecapital #VC #bestpractices #founders
One of the biggest challenges in corporate wellbeing, especially for founders when it comes to motivation / new habit creation / in mental health (or any other wellbeing area)… is :
1. Time to learn the new resilience habits
(Our brain is a muscle and we need to build positive thought, new brain pathways. For that we need to un-do old brain pathways that don’t serve us. Especially when entrepreneurs.)
Time means priority. Financial incentives help. We – pay- our contractors 10-25% of their time to focus on wellbeing. We know if they do, they stay, feel better, connected.
A ‘Moov’ or new healthy habit here is:
Making entrepreneurs aware we have +-60.000 thoughts each day. 95% are repetitive each day (which is inefficient hey !
) Getting them in a habit of (1) journaling’ thoughts, writing them down + then WORKING-out their thoughts (like a fitness workout it will take physical energy) (2) reorganising them in subcategories so they take less brain space (connecting thoughts in groups on paper) (3) questioning them (is this true?…) and (4) visualizing. affirming new thoughts (athletes preparation)
2. Nervous system regulation
For founders to learn new habits, their nervous system needs to be regulated. If they have > 60.000 stimuli per day coming in (thought, smell, sounds, visuals, feels,..) the nervous system goes in overdrive. It can be trained. We want to train it.
Learning to deregulate nervous system is key. An overstimulated one has a different brain scan and produces ‘danger’ or negative thoughts. We need an open mind.
Thoughts are scanned via back of neck , through emotional system and LATEST to the rational part of the mind.
This is big.
This means. A new thought / situation needs to be by the founder first, afterwords rationalized. Otherwise the same behavior and results are repeated. For example if we want to uplevel in sales output, we need some new behaviors.
Breathwork and meditation techniques from multiple health modalities can help here (restorative yoga, kundalini yoga, wim hoff breathwork,.. all are great to learn 1-3 min habits from to repeat regularly)
3. Social support
Psychology/ relationship dynamics. Founders need to be empowered by their teams, like Olympic athletes. There for team dynamics need work.
Whatever new habits need to be learned, the most challenging part for founders (or any human) is HOW we learn.
In companies who use ad hoc workshop approaches for wellbeing, from 100 participants in a session, only 5% puts in actual habits.
On top of that people that join the workshops, are already healthy.
Our company started studying these challenges that Harvard documented 8 years ago and we found that to get 80% of your founders along in actually taking ACTION towards new habits, there is a 5 step process of behavior change.
(Are you still with me? Happy to have a more in-depth conversation, I’m touching some key areas here because I completely honour, support your intention and plan and it is very powerful that you want to help entrepreneurs with this from a VC perspective. It will return financially too even though it’s not the initial goal).
5 behavioral steps:
1. Limiting beliefs
Whatever new habits to be introduced, we need to check belief system. Ex ‘I’ve done walking meetings with a CEO of 8000 employeeswho shared he felt uncomfortable that we were outside because employees would think he was being lazy’.
Then we show stats how walking is more productive
2. For them?
Ex. ‘Some founders believe that once you hit 30 you will just gain weight.’ They need to understand the process before they will get in action
3. Preparation / visualize
Many people WANT to meditate, breath, workout, spend more time with family but the brain has a checklist of action. In an overstimulated mind, when all checklist items are not ‘checked off’ not action will happen. It’s like computer programming. It needs to be 1-0. In founder groups we recommend choosing 2 habits per 2 weeks to focus on and preparing them for them (what? When? Where? With whom? How?…)
Once founders start making Moovs, log pictures. Healthy habits are contagious and you want to show peers’habits to inspire others
10% of your founders have some kind of (nutritional, mental, social,..) habits. Let them share it to inspire and empower the others
Here’s a some starting points of the framework we built. We have developed a software that launches all of the above in 1 click. Happy to give a demo.
Have an amazing day!