Redefine success, starting with mental health.

Founders need to care about their mental health

Redefine success, starting with mental health.

Photo courtesy of Val-Pierre Genton

Mental health is essential for everyone—especially founders. Unfortunately, founders and executives sometimes ignore the connection between business performance and their mental health.

Val-Pierre Genton was one such founder and executive, but his health began to collapse after creating and selling one of the first virtual events platforms. Sitting in an ambulance one day, he realized he needed to wake up if he was going to survive. “I was living out of alignment on my physical and mental health,” Genton says.

To find realignment, Genton started learning about self-recovery, neuroscience and the psychology of childhood trauma. He was soon applying what he learned to leadership and business. “Many leaders have great intentions, but their unconscious behaviors are blind spots that create business failure and collapse,” Genton says. His solution: Vision to Growth

Vision to Growth doesn’t provide therapy, Genton explicitly states. Instead, the project, in partnership with Kiln, focuses on bringing executives together to explore mental health safely.

Attendees gather at a location and spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of the event listening to a sound compilation, which Genton calls “sound medicine.” “Then we put founders on stage—people that other founders idolize and consider to have ‘made it.’” Many have admitted to contemplating suicide, struggling through divorce or suffering from the lack of a relationship with their children. The discussion then opens up for the audience to discover how their lives have been affected by how they do business. 

Genton believes businesses can falter due to the poor mental health of their leaders. Providing medical benefits to employees is crucial, but founders often forget to do the same for themselves. When Genton realized the effects of his mental health on his own life, he began to recognize what it was doing to his company. 

“I’m not just overworking people; I’m keeping them away from their children,” Genton says. “What children need most is the presence of their parents.”

Genton’s philosophy is simple. He believes we are all humans searching for purpose and wants to give people the tools they need to have more meaning in their professions. If executives can show others the value of caring for themselves, they will find greater purpose and redefine success.