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Launching Wellness & Burnout Prevention Coaching at Embarc Collective

Those of us working in the startup space often experience moments of burnout — in fact, research shows that founders are 50% more likely to report having a mental health issue, 10 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder, and 2 times more likely to suffer depression. That is why Embarc Collective has decided to prioritize mental health and wellness within our community.

We are excited to welcome Kelby Kupersmid as a Wellness and Burnout Prevention Coach for our member companies at Embarc Collective. Kelby’s approach is a confidential, reflective-inquiry process to help founders clarify their thinking and expand their perspectives by creating breakthrough insights.

Kelby Kupersmid Photo

What led you to work as an executive coach and leadership development specialist, supporting founders around the world?

I realized that what I loved most was working with people and making things better, and that kicked off my journey down this path. I dove head-first into the industry to try and learn as much as I could. I went through an accredited coach training program, started working at the Center for Creative Leadership, and founded a chapter of the International Coaching Federation. As the child of immigrant entrepreneurs, working with founders was always in my blood. I worked in an early startup in college, co-founded a company, and now my passion is focused on helping other founders elevate their success, fulfillment, and impact.


Why is it important for startup founders to prioritize wellness?

To put it simply, your company can only grow to the level of your leadership, and the foundation of your leadership is your wellbeing as a person. Many of us overfocus on growing our companies to the neglect of taking care of ourselves. We can get caught in the trap of seeing these as competing priorities — that we can either do one or the other. The truth is that investments in yourself produce oversized returns for your business. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your company.


What are common indications of burnout that can be present in startup founders?

The typical symptoms I see are prolonged feelings of exhaustion, and sometimes even cynicism or resentment towards work. There can be physical symptoms, like headaches or intestinal issues. Or social-emotional problems, like distancing ourselves from others or feeling numb towards life in general.


What are wellness tools or resources that you often refer startup founders to?

The most simple tools are often the most effective. Things that are common knowledge, but not always common practice. Getting enough sleep, physical exercise, sunlight and fresh air, and time with our loved ones. Reflective practices like journaling and meditation, and of course therapy. Although I’m an idealist, it’s hard to make all of these changes at once. I tend to focus on one practice at a time and slowly build a foundation of wellness that is sustainable.


Embarc Collective’s new wellness and burnout prevention coaching is available to our member companies. Consider applying for membership to Embarc Collective here.

VP Platform at Embarc Collective
Allie Felix