Aytekin, you really are a star. Great article. I think we need to think about how we define success and this mental drive to be successful… to be happy.

When I first became a direct team manager, I had one guy working with me and at some point, he lashed back at me. I noticed I was pushing myself and him hard. On the road till today, I learned to be more efficient, but also to stop when it’s time to stop. A long day can happen under certain circumstances but if someone’s given the work of two people, then the responsibility is not on the person, it’s on the manager. Either get more resources or get people motivated enough or suffer the consequences.

I just moved to a new, downsized team and first thing I told them was not to worry about workload and not to push themselves too much: If something can’t be managed, we look at processes. If we still can’t manage it, we don’t have enough people. We are downsized and the management can’t expect us to do everything a bigger team did.

Also, I want to drop two links here.

One is the Art of Asking from Amanda Palmer, regarding asking for help. In this talk she isn’t talking about startup environment, but the message is very similar: Take the doughnut. https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking
If you are interested, I’d suggest reading or listening to her book as well. Amanda is a “character” and she encourages embracing and sharing vulnerabilities. Her fandom have saved many lives because people created a safe space and opened up. People were saved from abusive parents (e.g. because they are gay), saved from true suicide attempts (e.g. because of abusive parents!) multiple times.

Second link is the TV Show, Crazy-Ex Girlfriend https://www.netflix.com/de-en/title/80066227
Despite whatever first impression it leaves, Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna talk about “happiness” and mental health in a non-intrusive and heartfelt way. And all in a musical-enhanced comedy!

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