Founder Mental Health Survey 2019

Journey Meditation conducted a survey with founders in August 2019 to determine their stress levels, current health and wellness habits and support systems in place to help deter stress.  Over 150 respondents were tabulated to determine the following results.

High levels of stress

  • On a scale of 1-5, the average stress level was 4
  • 94% reported a mental health issue
    • 76% burnout
    • 58% panic attacks/severe anxiety
    • 58% depression
    • 54% loneliness
    • 14% addiction
  • Current stressors include:
    • 50% launching a new product
    • 32% fundraising
    • 29% other stressors (including hiring employees, building a new business)
    • 7% downsizing/laying off employees
    • 6% being acquired/acquiring another company

Wellness routines/habits

  • Sleep: 39% are getting 6 hours of sleep or under
  • Physical fitness:
    • 47% Needs improvement/Make an attempt/Ok, not great
    • 53% Good habits/consistent practice/important and advocate
      • 15% Important and advocate
  • Counseling/coaching/therapy:
    • 64% Needs improvement/Make an attempt/Ok, not great
    • 36% Good habits/consistent practice/important and advocate
      • 12% Important and advocate
  • Nutrition/healthy eating:
    • 34% Needs improvement/Make an attempt/Ok, not great
    • 66% Good habits/consistent practice/important and advocate
      • 10% Important and advocate
  • Meditation:
    • 88% Needs improvement/Make an attempt/Ok, not great
    • 12% Good habits/consistent practice/important and advocate
      • 4% Important and advocate
  • Meditation habits:
    • 52% never meditate
    • 31% meditate 1-2 times per week
    • 11% meditate 3-5 times per week
    • 5% meditate 6+ times per week

Support systems

  • Prioritizing mental health and wellbeing (Strongly agree/agree statements)
    • 72% “I prioritize my team’s mental health and wellbeing”
    • 68% “I have a close network I can count on in times of stress”
    • 67%  “I prioritize my mental health and wellbeing”
    • 55% “I can tell when I’m getting stressed and I have healthy ways to cope with it”
    • 51% “I can be vulnerable in front of my team and ask for help”
    • 30% “I can be vulnerable in front of my investors and ask for help”

Founder to founder advice: We asked these entrepreneurs to share their best advice for other founders looking to deal with high levels of stress.

“When time is of the essence, prioritizing mental health and wellbeing is the first thing we remove from the to do list. When at the end of the day, as founders, if our mental health and well-being isn’t stable we aren’t operating at our best!”

“YOU are your business. If your mind is not well, your business can not go on.”

“Small and steady habits really add up. Stay consistent and stay mindful and you’ll see results. Big changes are hard to sustain!”

“Invest in yourself! Meaning meditation self care all of that is just as important as the business end of Everything!”

“This needs to come in the beginning stages with the rest of business planning. Being proactive vs. reactive is vital.”

“Block time slots in your calendar to take a walk, listen to music, find a way to decompress in your day; treat yourself to a PTO day and be completely off the grid – do not look at emails or engage about the day at hand.”

“This needs to come in the beginning stages with the rest of business planning. Being proactive vs. reactive is vital.”

“Make your office open to the discussion of mental health. Don’t shun the conversation”

Demographics of respondents

  • # of employees currently:
    • 68% 1-10 employees
    • 19% 11-25 employees
    • 8% 26-50 employees
    • <1% 200+ employees
  • Age
    • 1% 18-24
    • 34% 25-34
    • 55% 35-44
    • 9% 45-54
    • 1% 55-64
  • 66% female / 31% male
  • State of residence:
    • 43% NY
    • 27% CA
    • 5% NJ
    • 3% TX
    • 3% CO
    • 3% FL
    • 2% IL
    • 1% AZ
    • 1% CT
    • 1% MD
    • 1% PA
    • 1% RI
    • 1% Outside the U.S.
    • 1% DC
    • 1% GA
    • 1% MA
    • 1% MO
    • 1% NM
    • 1% NC
    • 1% OR
    • 1% VA