Understanding and Managing The Psychological Toll of Being an Entrepreneur or CEO

My Guest

Dr. Eliana Cohen is an entrepreneur and Clinical Psychologist who runs her own practice, integrating performance psychology, strategy, emotional intelligence, and knowledge of neuroplasticity and the brain to serve her various clients. She has worked with countless entrepreneurs, business owners, and CEOs in her practice, and is passionate about discussing the psychological realities that tend to be associated with such roles.

Prior to building her own practice, Dr. Cohen spent time at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (“CAMH”, Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital), and Toronto East General Hospital, where she worked in inpatient and outpatient crisis units, as well as the emergency department.

Her current private practice is wide ranging, working with a wide variety of clients and incorporating the tools of neuropsychology and neuroplasticity, performance and sports psychology, and decision making science, among others.

Dr. Cohen completed her Undergraduate Degree in Clinical Psychology at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), and completed the MA-PhD program in Clinical Counselling Psychology at York University.

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Understanding and Managing The Psychological Toll of Being an Entrepreneur or CEO In The Trenches

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Specific Questions and When They’re Asked

  • (3:35) What are some personality similarities that Entrepreneurs and CEOs tend to present?
  • (7:25) What are the most common symptoms that result from a lack of balance in one’s life?
  • (7:55) What percentage of entrepreneurs and CEOs experience any one of burnout, anxiety, and/or depression? Why?
  • (9:00) How does one differentiate between anxiety as a clinical diagnosis requiring treatment, versus healthy ever-day feelings of anxiety that are simply part of being human?
  • (13:50) Do CEOs generally tend to possess characteristics that ultimately prove to be unhealthy or counterproductive for them?
  • (19:15) How does one know if they’re clinically burned out versus simply being tired?
  • (21:10) What are some practical strategies, practices and/or tools that CEOs can use to prevent or mitigate the effects of burnout?
  • (27:10) What is imposter syndrome, and why is it so common among CEOs?
  • (32:45) How do you advise CEOs who feel lonely because so few people can relate to the challenges and uncertainties that they typically have to deal with?
  • (36:30) Why are people so much harder on themselves than they would be if advising somebody else in the exact same situation under the exact same circumstances?
  • (41:00) What rituals, practices, or tools do your CEO clients find to be particularly helpful?
  • (45:10) Why to high achievers tend to live in a way that is not in accordance with their stated values? How can we get closer to living the personal values to which we aspire?
  • (51:40) Many CEOs find that their own levels of general happiness are deeply tied to how their business is doing. How can CEOs better separate these two aspects of their lives?
  • (54:25) How do “achiever” personality-types still get the achievement that they crave in an environment when you can go weeks or months without any meaningful achievements?
  • (1:00:10) What are some of the potential risks that extremely ambitious people should be aware of, and how do entrepreneurs remain on the “healthy” side of ambition?
  • (1:02:45) Why do we compare ourselves to others so frequently, and how do we avoid doing so in an unhealthy way?
  • (1:06:10) Are there any signs or indicators that people should look out for that may suggest that they’re not taking adequate care of their mental health?
  • (1:11:35) How does one find a therapist? How should one choose between a therapist, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist?
  • (1:17:35) Are there any resources (books to read, blogs to follow, etc.) that Entrepreneurs and CEOs should be sure to check out?

Links to Resources Discussed

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