The holy grail for many founders is a successful multimillion-dollar exit. Thank you Barry Moltz for the post “Why Does an Entrepreneur That Sold His Business for $340M Shoot His Wife and Kill Himself?” that I saw on Facebook. It stopped me in my tracks, and I am sure you just paused and reread that. 

It is a terrible story, but because it is Mental Health Awareness month, and because mental health issues for entrepreneurs and small business owners is a topic I am passionate about, I felt compelled to share it here.  

Barry Moltz wrote:

I had dinner with Matt and Robin one time in 2017 at a conference. I experienced him as an enthusiastic and successful entrepreneur who liked to win. He seemed to love his spouse and family that included three children. A year later, the dream was realized when he sold his business, TSheets to Intuit QuickBooks for $340M. Matt seemed to “have it all”. He soon after retired and invested in other companies.

How does a very successful entrepreneur go from what is seen as the pinnacle of success to shooting his wife one evening then turning the gun on himself? Social media posts I found a few weeks before the incident show a happy life from both Matt and Robin.

It is heartbreaking. 

We all seem to need the constant reminder not to judge our messy human life against someone else’s social media posts and perceived success. You have no idea what is actually going on inside their head or in their life.

In April 2023, Startup Snapshot released a report titled, “The Untold Toll: The impact of stress on the well-being of startup founders and CEOs,” the largest study of its kind to determine the impact of entrepreneurship on mental health.

According to the report, the majority – 72% of founders – stated that their mental health was impacted by their business, with those surveyed reporting: 44% high stress, 37% anxiety, 36% burnout, 13% depression, and 10% panic attacks. 

I will cover more of the findings in this report in another post. 

Photo by Jarl Schmidt on Unsplash