You can find the full transcript for this episode at the bottom of this page
I came up with the idea for this podcast in about early 2022 and got serious about it about launching it towards the end of the year. The first episodes went live in February 2023 and I’ve enjoyed this experience as a podcast host even more than I expected. In fact, it’s been one of the highlights of this year. It’s also been quite the learning curve, which is fitting because it’s a lot of it relates a lot to the topics we talked about on this show about learning from mistakes and how being successful at something requires us to take on a growth mindset and be prepared for continual learning along the way.
One thing I’ve learned is that hosting a podcast is much like running a company in that it takes a village. I run an executive coaching business and I’m also the co-founder of an online community for therapists. So weekly episodes of this show are only possible thanks to the amazing work of my podcast producer, Ineke Camille of Zourit Solutions who helps the final version of these episodes sound so fantastic. The show also wouldn’t be possible without everyone who served as my sounding board behind the scenes. A special shout out to my husband for that as well everyone who has introduced me to potential guests, for the guests themselves have come on to share their stories and shared interview their interviews with their network. It also certainly would not be possible without you as a listener. So thank you so much for tuning in and listening to these episodes.
I’ve also learned that it’s quite an undertaking to have a podcast that hinges on very busy people getting vulnerable. It’s been tricky to coordinate with some of my guests due to their busy and often unpredictable schedules, which has caused some hiccups at times for production. But it’s also taught me the importance of having an even longer runway in terms of content for this show.
My network of founders investors and other key players in the startup world has grown immensely over the past few months. But I’ve also learned that it can be difficult to know which of these connections are willing to come on the show and are willing to get vulnerable and sharing the not so glamorous side of startup life.
I’ve also found that there’s some very real and understandable apprehension amongst founders who are in the midst of a funding round to be associated with a podcast with the word failure in the title, and also just to be sharing that more vulnerable and less polished side of themselves. Now, if you’ve listened to the show, you know that we’re all about accepting and redefining failure, and just embracing that human side of being a founder, but I think this apprehension really just points to how much work there is to do to shift the conversation in the startup world, about that human side of being an entrepreneur. All of these challenges makes me even more grateful for the guests who have been courageous with coming on and sharing their stories of the not so glamorous side.
Many of my guests have shared with me that they’ve had a bit of vulnerability hangover afterwards. They’ve also shared that their interview has led to some really meaningful conversations with other people in their network, which I take to mean that a vulnerability hangover isn’t always a bad sign. It’s a normal consequence of when we share share very personal stuff, but it might also lead us to deepening our connections with others or making a difference in someone else’s life.
On the past 24 episodes we’ve covered a wide range of topics:
- Being a founder with a diagnosable mental illness
- The self doubt and fears that come with being on the entrepreneur roller coaster
- Recovering from burnout
- Knowing when it’s time to call it quits
- The importance of asking for help
- Loneliness at the top
- Managing co-founder conflict
- Vulnerability as a leader
- and more!
My guests have shared a great deal of wisdom in these episodes including:
The dangers of wearing burnout as a badge of honor
The importance of ending hustle culture if you want to treat this like a marathon instead of a sprint
The challenges that come when you’re scaling rapidly
How to be vulnerable and humble with your team while also portraying confidence
The difficulties that come when exiting a company (even if it was successful)
The importance of knowing your why in order to deal with the ups and downs of life as a founder
One of my goals of this podcast is to help other founders avoid going through the periods of burnout or mental health struggles that many of my guests have gone through. Sometimes these moments are inevitable, but there is a great deal we can do to provide preventative care for ourselves and prioritize our mental well-being. This is one of the main things I work on with my clients. I work with entrepreneurs to help them to care for their mental fitness and build emotional resilience before they hit those moments of burnout or having a real severe mental health struggle. I really want to make sure my clients can be successful and make an impact without burning out or damaging their relationships along the way.
My approach is unique to each client and uses evidence based techniques to help improve psychological flexibility, so that they can make better decisions lead with greater emotional intelligence and improve their ability to manage stressful situations. If you’d like to talk about how we can work together, set up your free discovery call here.
I’m always looking for new guests for the show. So if you are a founder and investor or expert supporting the startup world who might want to come on the show, please get in touch!
Resources & Inspiration from the Show
List of resources to help you find a coach, therapist, or peer support If you’d like additional support for your mental and emotional well-being as a founder
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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 executive coaching for entrepreneurs 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.