Five ways to avoid burnout as a SaaS founder2 min read

Copy of S18 top marketing sessions

Being a first-time startup founder can be a lonely journey, especially if long-time friends and peers have taken a more conventional career path. And 2020 has been particularly demanding: in May 2020 Blind found that 73% of surveyed tech workers are burnt out, thanks to a combination of working longer hours, working from home, not taking paid time off, and increased anxiety levels.

At SaaStock we’re committed to helping SaaS founders gain traction, grow and scale their startups – but not at all costs. This blog post shares advice from other startup founders from around the world, on how to stay healthy and sane on this journey. It covers five main areas that we hear startup founders talk about as important for battling burnout:

  1. Physical health
  2. Mental health
  3. Personal relationships
  4. Professional relationships
  5. Sleep and rest

What is burnout?

How can you tell if you’re feeling a normal level of founder stress, or if you’ve tipped over into burnout territory? Psychologist Christina Maslach, states that burnout consists of three distinct components:

  • Exhaustion: You’re wiped out emotionally, physically, or cognitively (or all of the above). Even rest or sleep don’t help you feel replenished.
  • Cynicism: You bring a sour attitude to the office each day. You aren’t engaged with your work, and you often feel irritated, short-tempered, and detached from your team.
  • Inefficacy: You feel like you can never keep up with the demands of the workplace, despite the fact that you know you were skilled at doing so in the past. 

Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer, wrote extensively of his experience with burnout as a startup founder in 2017:

“This is how I’d describe my experience of burnout: I lost motivation. I just didn’t care. I knew I cared deeply, but I had nothing left. I couldn’t get up in the morning. I felt very sensitive and emotional. It was like anything could set me off, and make me well up. I cried a lot, by myself and with people close to me.”

Sound familiar? We hope not. But if you are recognising some of your feelings in any of the above, in the next sections of this post we’re sharing five crucial areas of focus when battling and preventing burnout for startup founders – and even your employees.

Want to read the rest of this exclusive post? You’re just 5 seconds away…

Sign up to our newsletter


Posted in
Podcast Banner (Landscape) (6)

An Introduction to Venture Debt with Donatella Callegaris, Flashpoint Venture Capital

Donatella Callegaris is managing partner at Flashpoint Venture Capital. She joins Alex Theuma on The SaaS Revolution Show to talk about venture debt – a topic that many first-time SaaS founders are unfamiliar with. Learn about: What is venture debt? When should a startup founder look at venture debt, compared with other types of fundraising?…

Customer success best practices 2021

Boost retention for your SaaS in 2021 with customer success

In the early days of building your SaaS company, it’s tempting to put all your attention on acquiring new customers. However retaining and delighting existing customers is just as important for future growth. For many growing SaaS companies, 2020 showed just how important our existing customers are. We saw many companies take big steps to…

Podcast Banner (Landscape) (5)

SaaS marketing as you scale to $10M: Dave Gerhardt in conversation with Stephen Cummins

Dave Gerhardt is CMO at Privy, and former VP of Marketing at Drift. In this special episode of The SaaS Revolution Show he joins Stephen Cummins in an exclusive fireside chat. He shares his learnings on marketing organisation structure for companies scaling to $10M. This was recorded as part of an exclusive session for SaaStock Engage…