How to deal with anxiety when you start your own company

by | Mar 2024 | Start a Company

Almost everyone in startups feels anxious. Including me now. No matter how on top of things people seem, something is keeping them awake at night. But I just heard something that might help.


Do the following remind you of anyone?

“I could start to relax if only I could close XYZ customer / VC.”

Funded founders
“It’s great to have money, but I worry about the milestones we agreed to.”

“Everything would be ok if I could just get an exit / close my next fund.”

“I’ll be happy once I get promoted / some more options.”

LPs and angels
“It would all be fine if my TVPI would turn into DPI!”

Even exited founders
“I’d love to start something new, but maybe I’m not as failure-proof as people believe?!”


If you recognise yourself in any of these, I found something that’s worth a listen…

It jumps around a lot, but in one section psychologist Jordan Peterson makes a great point. He says that life doesn’t begin when you reach the goal you’re pursuing, life is the actual pursuit of that goal.

It’s a great motivator to get stuck in and enjoy THE NOW:

“It’s from the uphill climb that we derive our value. Almost all the positive emotion that we feel, especially the emotion that fills us with enthusiasm, is experienced in relation to a goal. So in some sense, you want a goal that you can never attain because as you pursue that goal your life gets richer and more abundant […] You’re here to live, not to sleep.”


I’m guilty of this.

I focus so much on the goal that I sometimes forget to enjoy the journey… maybe even resent it.

Last week, DQ received money from a lead investor. Cash in bank. 🙌

But I didn’t feel joy. 😶

I actually felt more anxious than before. I immediately started thinking about all the new founders we need to find, the companies we have to launch, all the money we 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯’𝘵 yet raised, the milestones we need to hit…

And yet last month, all I could think about was closing the lead investor! 🙃

“If only….”

Listening to this podcast was a timely reminder that instead of resenting the struggle, I should try to relish and enjoy every step, and remember to celebrate the wins.


OK, I’m revved up.

It’s time to open a bottle with Mrs Green 🍾 …and then get back to work.

Wish us luck, and please share if you think this might help someone you know!


Kickstart your business without quitting your day job

DQventures is the only venture investor worldwide to support aspiring founders who cannot afford to give up full-time employment.

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