Startup Therapy on Smash Notes

Startup Therapy podcast.

March 13, 2020

The "No BS" version of how startups are really built, taught by actual startup Founders who have lived through all of it. Hosts Wil Schroter and Ryan Rutan talk candidly about the intense struggles Founders face both personally and professionally as they try to turn their idea into something that will change the world.



Recently updated notes

Do you have tactics that can be deployed to help manage during a crisis? In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroer talk on the crisis’ they’ve dealt with in the past, what works in managing during those instances, and beneficial communication tactics.

Updated on May 27

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As parents and potential parents, what should we be teaching kids about Startup companies?

On today’s episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter talk about how entrepreneurship is not taught formally, the benefit of teaching it at a young age, and how ownership of ideas is important to a child’s intellectual growth.

Tune in to learn what can be done to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in children.

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Updated on April 18

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Eager to prove that your business idea is the next big thing?

In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss how to get more out of short-term goals, finding validation for Startup growth, and why funding doesn’t equal success.

Listen in and learn how to optimize probability for the best possible outcome!

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Reputation: we all have an understanding of the long term & lasting impacts it has on your standing as a Founder, but how do we cultivate our reputation?

Today we discuss why reputation is so important, how your resume & reputation are two very different things, and what the cost incurred if we don't take our reputations seriously.

Remember, your reputation is very hard to build & very easy to destroy - so listen up!

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As a Founder, running a Startup is inherently stressful, right? Wrong!

Today we discuss why self-imposed stress is often unproductive and imagined, a few tactics to try that will help you leave Startup stress at work, and how to be more present when you are home.

Listen in to learn how to relax!

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Why is it that as Founders, we feel like we must constantly be chasing something - otherwise we don't feel satisfied?

But sometimes happiness isn't just about reaching milestones & crossing finish lines, so today we talk about why you're probably running from your fears, unpack our own flawed logic behind not taking a moment to celebrate our own successes, and you can take that much needed moment to breathe for yourself.

Listen in to find peace within Startup chaos!

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Is it better to live as a Startup Founder in a major city?

In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroer discuss working from home, where to locate a company, and their experiences living in different areas.

Tune in to hear the benefits and setbacks of being in a major city.

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Can downsizing your Startup be the right move for you?

In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter speak on the appropriate sizing of businesses, understanding the health of a business, and the importance of communicating these changes with your team.

Listen in to foster the longevity of your business.

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Do you feel like the recession is bringing your Startup to a standstill?

In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroer discuss how to make this recession beneficial for your business, how to delegate and refocus, and why you should buy-in during the recession.

Listen in and learn how to optimize and weather the storm!

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Does bringing on an investor mean you’re hiring you’re own boss?

In this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss, what happens once we close the deal with investors, the nature of the relationship between the investors and the Founders, and the decision of hiring your own boss.

Tune in to understand how having investors could alter your business mode.

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Have you thought about the inevitability of an employee leaving your Startup?

On this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss how former employees can be either an asset or a liability, learning to not take an employee leaving personally, and extending yourself to help them in their career path even after they leave.

Listen in and learn how to encourage a happy send-off culture!

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Shouldn’t we still have health, happiness, and comfort while trying to grow a Startup?

On this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss why it’s important to focus on quality of life as
a Founder, giving yourself permission to enjoy and take care of yourself, and the power of quality of life as a form of compensation.

Tune in and learn to take quality of life seriously!

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What if we determined that what we're doing now is the thing we want to be doing for the rest of our lives?

On this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss the fulfillment of finishing, the dynamic of passion within mastery, and the habit of deferred living.

Listen in and learn to take advantage of the moment!

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Are you aware that how you respond to difficult situations affects whether or not the best solutions will be created?

On this episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter discuss emotional intelligence, how your EQ affects business health, and why it’s important as a Founder to be self-aware that your personality influences the organization.

Listen in to learn why emotional intelligence is important!

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Do you know what it looks like to pace yourself for the long run as a Founder?

On today’s episode of Startup Therapy, Ryan Rutan and Wil Schroter talk about how to set your pace, how sprinting is an easy trap to fall into, and what happens when you push yourself too hard.

Remember, it’s a marathon - not a sprint!

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When is it okay for a Founder to be open with their team and business partners about their personal problems?

On this episode of Startup Therapy, Wil Schroter & Ryan Rutan open up about their past & current struggles with anxiety, health issues, and being overly critical with themselves and their Startups.

Listen in to hear how we’ve come to learn to deal with our flaws in a healthy and productive manner, it can be done!

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Starting a company is hard, growing a Startup is slow, and frankly there aren't many Super Bowl type moments. Don't get discouraged, instead celebrate the small wins because the small wins daily lead to success over time.

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Surely by now we've all seen The Social Network, but how much of a concern is it really if someone tries to steal our Startup idea?

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Running a Startup can be chaotic, we know this, but is it true that problems will go away with time? Not necessarily. Some do, some don't, listen in to learn how & when to align your expectations for the unexpected.

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Starting a Startup is brutal, hard work - at what point do our companies finally start to pay us back?

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The $0 salary, is it the cool & honorable thing to do, or is it completely & utterly ridiculous? We'll find out today on this episode of Startup Therapy.

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On today's episode of Startup Therapy we answer the question: what happens after we achieve the success we've worked so hard to get?

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We talk a lot about how much time we spend on our Startups, but what about doing stuff that's not Startup related? On today's episode of Startup Therapy we discuss why this important - not only for your own sanity, but for the growth of your company.

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On today's episode of Startup Therapy we're going to talk about the often misunderstood "Side Hustle" - why it's important, where it fits into Startup Life, and how to survive it... or when it's time to quit.

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As Founders, the day you incorporate your company you become a manager. Today on Startup Therapy we talk about why management is important, how no one's truly qualified for this role, and if you, as a Founder, even need to be your own manager.

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As Founders, how can we deal with personal hardships that are often a result of our own Startups - while we're still running them? On today's episode of Startup Therapy, we share very personal stories of our own struggles with health and well-being as we built Startups.com
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Ever caught yourself thinking - I don't love my Startup like I used to? Today we talk about similarities between relationships and Startups, why it's okay if the passion really has faded away, and a few actionable things you can do about it to help move on.
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It's a fact, most Startups fail...but we never actually think that could happen to ours, right? In today's episode of Startup Therapy we talk about how to bounce back from failure, why it's not as bad as it sounds, and we share our own stories of past failures.
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The Founder's journey can be a lonely one, but it doesn't have to be. In today's episode of Startup Therapy, we talk about why you should consider hosting Founder Groups, how they're helpful, and how they've helped us with our Startups.
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As Founders, we think we know how our products and businesses will look and function for years to come, but as with time it's nearly impossible to expect the unexpected. In today's episode of the Startup Therapy podcast, we discuss what our Startups looked like in year 1, so you might have a better idea of what to expect in your first year too.
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As a Founder, do you find yourself overwhelmed...and frustrated that things aren't moving forward as fast as you like? Startups are often portrayed as a go big or go home affair, and as Founders it's easy to get caught up chasing monumental goals and forget about the daily actions that will actually get us there.
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As a Founder, do you find yourself feeling isolated, anxious, or alone? We've all heard the phrase, "it's lonely at the top", but as Founders we do far more than hear it...we live it. On today's Startup Therapy, we're going to talk about why loneliness is part of the Founder journey and what we can do to minimize the negative impacts it has on our lives, our families, and our Startups.
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As a Founder, does it feel like every time you walk into a room you're being judged before a single word comes out of your mouth? Do you feel like it's always an uphill battle to be taken seriously? On today's Startup Therapy, we'll look at why it takes so much work to be taken seriously and what we can do to thumb the scales in our favor.
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As Founders we value our freedom, but how much? When was the last time you considered the value, and the cost, of your freedom as a Founder? On today's episode of Startup Therapy, we'll discuss both sides of the Founder Freedom coin - the costs and the benefits.
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As Founders, we know that Startups fail, and we end up moving on, but what happens when a Startup's doing really well but we want to move on anyway? On today's episode we discuss the reasons you may be compelled to quit your own Startup, how to fill the role you leave empty, and what life after quitting might look like.
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As a Founder, I've asked myself...can I ever be an employee again? What happens if I'm forced into reporting to someone else now that I've tasted the freedom of Founderhood. Maybe you have too? On today's Startup Therapy, we'll discuss what happens when you have to stop being a boss and start having one.
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As a Founder, when the business is struggling it can feel that that struggle is linked to your personal life, your personal safety, and you could suffer greatly as a result. On today's Startup Therapy podcast we'll talk about how important it is to isolate feelings of startup peril from those of personal safety, for your good and that of the business.
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As Founders we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to accomplish, but have you ever sat down and really given thought to using the freedom that comes with being a Founder to say, "Here's some things I NEVER want to do again"? On today's episode, we talk about the power of reducing stress by building a Startup we love, in an environment intentionally designed to avoid the things we loathe.
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Is remote work bullshit? In today's episode of the Startup Therapy podcast were going to talk about when and how remote work & work-from-home policies can really have a positive impact on a Startup.
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Does the idea of building a business worth millions that leaves you, as the Founder, broke seem unfair? On today's episode of the Startup Therapy podcast we'll explore why building something of great value doesn't directly or immediately turn into value for us, as Founders.
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Paying people with equity is a time-honored tradition in cash-starved startup land, however, have you ever stopped to consider the real cost? In today's Startup Therapy podcast we'll talk about the real cost of treating equity like cash when it represents 100%  of the future return on your efforts.
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On today's Startup Therapy podcast we're going to discuss why superior managerial skills don't necessarily trump a Founder's passion and knowledge as a company scales, and how to decide what to let go of...and when.
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We all know the value of having a star player on our team or an amazing co-Founder, but what about the opposite? On today's episode of the Startup Therapy podcast, we'll discuss how to handle, identify, and handle toxic teammates before their impact spreads across the organization.
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As Founders, we're all familiar with the concept of an exit plan. In today's Startup Therapy podcast we discuss what you actually CAN plan for,  what happens if you don't plan at all, or if you don't actually want to sell.
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When was the last time you asked yourself - "How much should I actually be working?" Probably never because the answer is obvious, 24/7 right? In today's Startup Therapy podcast we're going to dig into the notion that more hours equal more growth. While there's truth to that assumption, we'll explore how to think quality and not quantity when it comes to your weekly punch card.
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Have you ever asked yourself, do I need to raise capital to be successful? In today's episode of Startup Therapy, we'll talk about you why probably don't need to regret NOT raising capital, at least not yet. 
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How are you feeling today? Chances are, as a Founder - some version of tired, worn out, mentally foggy, or stressed part of the answer. Today, we're going to dive into burn out. How to see it coming, how to avoid it, and how to recharge when you've gone too far.
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In today's bonus episode, we talk to Steve Blank - the godfather of Silicon Valley
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As a Founder, when was the last time you felt like you had no idea what you were doing? Today we talk about why feeling like a fraud is actually a very normal part of Founder life.
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Stay longer. Work harder. Sleep less...as startup Founders we've all gone through periods where this felt necessary. Today we'll talk about what you can do to balance life and startup, and why it's actually beneficial for you and your startup to do so.
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As a Founder, you've likely spent years in the build-up to actually starting your company, but how much time did you dedicate to preparing your spouse for the leap into entrepreneurship?
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50-50, even-Steven, when splitting equity equal is best, right? Today on the Startup Therapy podcast we discuss why cutting things right down the middle is rarely fair to start and only gets further out of balance as time goes on.
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Why is it everyone talks about starting companies, but nobody ever tells us how to shut them down? Today on the Startup Therapy podcast we'll cover how to wind down a startup with as much grace as possible.
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What if I told you growth doesn't always make a startup better? Today on the Startup Therapy podcast we're going to talk about why the focus should be making our startups better, not just bigger.
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What if the advice you're getting from the smartest people you know...is wrong?
Today on the Startup Therapy Podcast we'll discuss how to seek advice, how to ensure you're getting the best advice, and how not to fall into the trap of letting other people's experiences dictate your actions.
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Does your startup produce more anxiety than revenue? Does your morning routine consist of running down an endless list of worries? Do you lie awake at night and regret ever starting your business? Today we're going to explore why anxiety is a part of every founder's life.
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As a Founder, should your startup's salary be on par with whatever you were making at your last job? Or should you tough it out and not get paid at all? The answer is probably neither of those options.
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One of the most common questions among Founders is - Do I have to raise money for my startup?
What that question generally means is: "Can you tell me how to raise money and where to find it?"
Sure, every startup could put more money to use but does every startup need funding?
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What if you could be completely broke, on the verge of bankruptcy at home, while still running a thriving business?
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There are endless stories about Founders cashing out on their startups - but what happens to those Founders after the exit?  Are they happier for it?  If not, then how does that affect the path that current Founders are on?  Wil and Ryan dive into real post-mortems of what happens to Founders after they sell their company, and the painful emotional issues that come with life post-exit.
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When we think about "startup exits" we think about "millions and billions".  But how life-changing could an exit of as "little" as $250,000 be?  A lot more than you might think, which is important because most people are far more likely to get to a $250k exit than millions or billions. Wil and Ryan unpack exactly how $250k could fundamentally change your life and how trying to get to that milestone first could be a more achievable and powerful goal than holding out for the big Willy Wonka ticket.
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A true startup is a meritocracy where big degrees and titles shouldn't determine how capable your team is or how fast each person can grow.  We talk about creating an environment where each team member can put their past accomplishments aside and focus exclusively on what they have contributed to the startup today. 
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What if instead of focusing our startup around our product or revenue - we started optimizing for our own happiness?  What if our work hours gave us more time with our kids or who we worked with were only the people we enjoyed the most?  It's possible!  The key is thinking about your startup differently by using "personal happiness" as a core tenet of how the company works.
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If you find yourself focusing more on not losing than winning then it could be time to fold the tents and pack up camp, but when should you make that call?
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In the age of "unicorn valuations" and giant funding rounds, the world has lost sight of how valuable a startup can be with even a million dollars of revenue.  Ryan and Wil do a detailed walk through of exactly how important a million dollar business can be to a Founder and how dangerous it is to be lead astray by big numbers that have very little personal value to a you as a Founder.
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No one talks about the intense emotional cost of being a startup Founder (so of course we do!)  From missing time with your loved ones to putting all of your chips on a single bet (and losing), we talk about the toll this takes on a Founder and what you can do to help alleviate some of this intense stress in your own journey.
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Wil and Ryan debunk the myth that startup Founders can work on multiple ideas at once and just pick the best one to run with.  We unpack the issues that come with trying to split your focus and how costly that decision can be.  
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Many of us play a horrible game of comparison, whereby we compare ourselves to other Founders, other startups, and if we're (un)lucky, the press and social media barrage we see of other people's success.  It's all BS.  The moment we start comparing ourselves to other people's apparent success, we all lose.  In this episode we talk about how to "stay in your own lane" and avoid the fallacy of following false idols in the startup world.
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