The expectations of investors, the demands of a company now more prominent in the market, but the ease of pressure in having resources available…
Being venture backed doesn’t make it more stressful, nor less, it’s a matter of the stage, the expectations, and what that all means to you personally.
Startup teams usually change from stage to stage, explaining why it’s normal, not questionable, that people who work “with startups” have different engagements every 12-18 months. Our motivations, experiences, and skillsets are suited to the challenges of different stages of business.
Begging this question…
How stressful is it to run a venture-backed startup?
Venture backed means you’re no longer stressed about those capital resources, you’re on to the next stage of things that can be stressful.
An important thing increasingly studied is the mental health of entrepreneurs.
Important not just because of the health consideration, it’s important because in startups, entrepreneurship, and work, we tend to encourage esoteric words like “tenacity,” “fluid intelligence,” “passion,” and “ambition.”
- Entrepreneurs’ Mental Health and Well-Being: A Review and Research Agenda
- Jake Chapman’s Investors and entrepreneurs need to address the mental health crisis in startups – TechCrunch
- Health of Entrepreneurs vs. Employees in a National Representative Sample
- 7 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Particularly Vulnerable to Mental Health Challenges
- There is a mental health crisis in entrepreneurship. Here’s how to tackle it
This line of work IS stressful, inherently.
It’s risky, likely to fail, and you’re faced with more opposition than support.
The drive and encouragement on founders is deafening and yet few appreciate that it’s one of the most difficult career paths anyone can take.
That pressure (encouragement) is unforgiving of the downsides, “You can do this! But… why aren’t you getting paid?? What about your future??”
The question being uncovered and researched that matters is WHY and HOW people are different. How for some…. lack of resources is stressful, for others, it’s the incessant negative reaction, for more still, it’s the work ethic of team members.
An old notion about entrepreneurship increasingly getting revisited; that is that people are fundamentally motivated by one of three things. This stems from David McClelland’s Achievement Motivation Theory which explored that those motives are the need for achievement (N-Ach); the need for affiliation (N-Aff); or the need for power (N-Pow).
So which of those motivations drives you? If you’re receiving it, you’d (in theory) be less stressed. If you’re not, despite things going well, you’d be more stressed.
Thus, consider how those THREE distinct forms of motivation actually mean different things in this context. So you have venture funding…. expectations are higher BUT you have resources that you previously did not.
- need for achievement (N-Ach) – seems like a great accomplishment
- need for affiliation (N-Aff) – does being in that club of funded companies matter to you?
- need for power (N-Pow) – again, now you have resources, that’s power, but yes, you have to do something about it
Or maybe you don’t yet have that funding… same introspection applies. Good luck!