Ashish earlier wrote about the lesser discussed phenomena called founder depression. We received overwhelming response on that piece with many founders reaching out to us and sharing their experience, thereby initiating a dialogue on the topic.
In this article, Paras Chopra, founder of Wingify shares what he went through last year and how he handled the situation (by the way, Wingify closed last FY with $18mn revenue – so the bottomline is that it’s not just about money).
“I think I got really low last year after working on Wingify for more than 7 years. I think there’s a stage where after initial success, you look inward and try to find the real reasons for doing a startup. That’s when it hits you hard because I feel for many founders it’s not about money. A startup is like a marriage. As a founder, you just can’t quit. Moreover, the founder has to be a source of strength to rest of the company.
So I think startup takes a lot of emotional toll and it does come out. Last year what helped me was deciding to take a one month long sabbatical where I did not check my emails or did any work. Rather I did small side projects and took courses on history of classical music. Taking mind off the company and work for 1 month refreshed me. What also helped was reading the book ‘Feeling Good‘. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if one is not depressed. It builds up immunity to future depressive episodes.
I think what’s important is having friends who you can talk to openly about your low phases. If you can’t do that, seek out other founders and just talk. Emotional toll on founders is a given and people should know they are not alone with they feel low.”
Also see: Read the Books Paras Chopra Recommends.
Paras’ Story: From hacks/ experiments to building Wingify.
» It takes a lot of courage to share these moments. For those who want to share their experience dealing with depression / low time, please share it here.