EP 79 – Mitigating Startup Founder Burnout with Ute Stephan

EP 79 – Mitigating Startup Founder Burnout with Ute Stephan


Episode Stream



In today’s episode 79, Dries & Gerrit explore the toll it can take on a founder’s mental health whilst trying to materialize his entrepreneurial dream into a reality, and they have an excellent guest for that matter: Prof. Ute Stephan, a renowned entrepreneurship scholar from King’s College and an outstanding expert on entrepreneurial wellbeing and founder stress.

The three plunge into the fascinating topic of how entrepreneurs’ wellbeing directly impacts the success of their ventures and the vital role strict leisure time management can play. 💼 How can one implement coping strategies to avoid getting caught in a cycle of overwork and why meticulously tracking health and fitness can be a curse and blessing? 📆 Dive into a captivating episode where personal journeys intertwine with cutting-edge entrepreneurship research, all shining a spotlight on mental health.

Check on yourself and, if you can, on others!




(0:08) Introduction of Dries

(0:50) Ute’s backstory

(3:53) What drove Ute as a psychologist to research Entrepreneurs?

(7:22) Is wellbeing and mental health a “first world problem”?

(10:15) What are overarching meta-analysis results regarding entrepreneur’s wellbeing?

(13:10) Being in control vs being “employed” by a VC

(16:25) How does growing responsibility impact a founder’s mental health

(19:20) Effect of the Covid pandemic

(21:14) Strategies to deal with the stressful challenges

(26:48) Motivation and goals as coping strategies

(31:20) How did Gerrit notice that his mental health was deteriorating?

(35:25) Which techniques does Gerrit apply today?

(41:10) Generation Z and the relationship to hustle culture

(44:28) The culture of failure in different nations and how that relates to distress

(46:50) Drugs to mitigate stress or depression

(49:30) How to not get stressed by avoiding stress

(55:00) Ute’s book recommendations


Ute‘s book recommendation:

Davies, J. – Sedated: How Modern Capitalism Created our Mental Health Crisis


Further resources:


Founder Mental Health Pledge

King’s College London – LinkedIn

King’s College London – Twitter