Episode 20: A Trailblazer in the Field of Entrepreneur Mental Health on the Human Experience of Building a Business with Kristin Darga

Jun 20, 2023 | podcast | 0 comments

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You can find the full transcript for this episode at the bottom of this page

This week’s guest is a trailblazer in the field of entrepreneur mental health. She started working to shift the conversation on this important topic nearly a decade ago, when no one else was talking about, and continued on despite receiving some pushback around it.

Kristin Darga, is the CEO and founder of Black Label Coaching and Impact Founder. She’s a keynote speaker, award-winning author, and health, performance, global incident response, crisis, executive and recovery coach. She has worked with over 500 entrepreneurs, executives, and individuals desiring personal growth to unravel their blocks and create successes. As a six-time founder, she also understands firsthand entrepreneurship’s highly satisfying yet distressing road.

Kristin is revered as an expert in mental health and entrepreneurship. She published Impact Founder Book of photos and short written Stories in 2017. She also co-authored a scoping review with the University of Alberta, “Depression among entrepreneurs: a scoping review”. After a decade studying, coaching and intimately interviewing hundreds of founders, she is positioned as an leading expert in founder depression, wellness and burnout.

It’s really just about what we call the human experience of building a business. It’s really just to humanize that there’s these people who go out there every single day, and they have a win and they have a loss, and it exists in tandem. It’s not abnormal, it’s really quite normal. Having financial issues when you run a business or having relationship issues when you run a business or having a hard time getting funding. This is just the normal process of being a business owner and entrepreneur.

It’s a huge honor to have her on the show with us this week to share her experience as a trailblazer in this field. We talk not only about what she’s observed in her work with entrepreneurs, but also difficult moments she’s faced firsthand as a business owner including long covid, burnout, panic attacks, as well as what’s helped her to take care of herself and recover from these challenging times.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What inspired Kristin to dedicate her career to supporting founder mental health and shifting the larger conversation on the topic
  • How Impact Founder grew from a passion project into her main business, along with a book and podcast
  • Why it’s so challenging for leaders to be vulnerable and the importance of distinguishing between dumping vulnerability and expressing a high level of vulnerability in professional settings
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic affected her own business and well-being, leading to burnout and long Covid, and what helped her to get through this difficult time and recover
  • How the conversation about mental health, particularly entrepreneur mental health, has shifted over the past several years
  • The challenge of building a successful company you enjoy without overidentifying with it
  • How to know when it’s the right time to seek out external support from a coach or therapist

Find Kristin Online:

Resources & Inspiration from the Show

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About Founders’ Fears & Failures and your host, Dr. Melissa Parks

Melissa is an entrepreneur, former therapist (PhD in Clinical & Health Psychology), and an executive coach for entrepreneurs with a special focus on startup founders. Her passion for supporting startup founders in particular began after witnessing firsthand the emotional rollercoaster her husband experienced as a startup co-founder.

She started the Founders’ Fears & Failures podcast with the mission of shining a light on the mental and emotional challenges that come with life as a startup founder. Having lived abroad for 10 years herself she realizes how much we can learn from hearing stories from around the globe which is why the show doesn’t focus on a country-specific startup ecosystem.

Melissa is also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapist Community, and a mom to a toddler who keeps her on her toes, and fuels her passion for helping to make the world a better place.

If you are interested in coming on the show, please get in touch. We would love to hear your story.

Want to connect further? Get in touch with Melissa on social media:

Want to work with Melissa?

Melissa is a former therapist who provides mindset coaching for ambitious professionals around the globe. Schedule your free discovery call HERE.

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Disclaimer: The Founders’ Fears & Failures is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be used for personal health advice and should not be construed to constitute personal or professional consultation or guidance, or to replace medical or mental health treatment. The opinions expressed by this podcast, including the podcast guests, are not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of a medical or mental health provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your medical and/or mental health needs. If you are in crisis, please visit this website to find a list of suicide hotlines around the globe. 

Episode Transcript


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I'm a therapist-turned-coach who loves working with clients around the world! I work with the globally mobile community to support them through transitions as well as entrepreneurs who need support navigating the rollercoaster of entrepreneur life.

I'm also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapists (LIT) Community, a mom, a self-compassion advocate, and an aspiring author.