Sharing Your Struggles Builds Connections

As founders, we often feel alone in our struggles and anxieties. Imposter syndrome lurks, failures feel intensely personal, and the stresses of running a business can feel isolating. But by opening up about these struggles, we find camaraderie and support.

Share Authentically

In the podcast episode, Arvid Kahl shared about being open regarding mental health:

Anything you can put out there to help people with this. Well, and that's a great opportunity because you can talk about what goes into the template. You can talk about the template. You can talk about why the template exists and then see people actually use it.

By sharing authentically about mental health struggles, founders help destigmatize these issues and build connections. Our struggles become “shared suffering” and make the burden feel lighter.

Find Community Through Vulnerability

I went on stage, I talked a little bit about my issues and then I told people, Hey, you're sitting at brown tables with like five people, people on each table. You can now talk to each other about your issues. And I wasn't off stage. The room exploded in conversation. Everybody has a story. Everybody had something to share.

When Arvid opened up about his experiences with burnout and work-related stress, it gave others the opportunity and courage to share their stories. Vulnerability bred vulnerability, and people found community through sharing their struggles.

Promote Wellness by Reducing Stigma

Mental health struggles often remain topics of shame and secrecy in the startup world. Founders worry that investors, employees, and customers will see them as weak or incapable. But by promoting wellness through open dialogue, founders can work to reduce stigma and create a culture where people feel comfortable seeking help.

As Arvid noted, “Do talk about it with people that are in the same predicament and it will be easier for both of you, right? By sharing it, you make it. What do we say? Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid, like shared suffering is half suffering.” When we share the emotional burdens of entrepreneurship, the weight becomes easier to bear.

Key Takeaway

Promoting wellness begins with open dialogue. Founders should share authentically about their mental health struggles to build community, reduce stigma, and support one another through the stresses of startup life.

Arvid Kahl is the founder of, a community and content platform for indie hackers and bootstrapped founders.