Rational Confidence is a community of founders doing entrepreneurship differently.
We are founders and senior team members of funded or revenue-making startups. We're ditching the false-bravado, work-more-work-faster model of entrepreneurship for a new one, in which entrepreneurs are self-aware, company cultures are supportive of individual success, teams experience less burnout, and startups are even more impactful.
What we bring to our members:
Camaraderie and Perspective
Entrepreneurs face similar challenges, and yet most feel entirely alone and unable to share the real truth about the sh$t they are experiencing.
Rational Confidence Peer Groups solve this problem. Made up of 6-7 members and a skilled self-awareness coach, our groups provide an unbiased, confidential, high-level environment to vent, get feedback, and gain perspective from peers who viscerally understand what the others are experiencing. Groups are carefully curated and meet over video conference 14 times per year, and no two startup team members are in the same group.
What's our vision? What. feature to build next? How to handle two arguing team members? How to craft this pitch to nab that investor?
Building a startup is a constant series of choices, each made amidst vast uncertainties. It is wildly stressful, and that stress wreaks havoc on mental and physical health. The solution? A greater. understanding of oneself – one's thoughts feelings, and automatic default responses, and biases. With greater self-awareness, seeing the information at hand and working with what is – instead of what you wish was happening – becomes easy. We teach our members research-backed self-awareness tools, including meditation and mindfulness, to strengthen their mental game: to notice problems early, communicate more effectively, and make decisions with confidence.
Sharing What Works
The current (rather bro-ey) entrepreneurial culture would have us believe that we must have irrational confidence – to be a little (or a lot) crazy, to fake it till we make it, to close our eyes and jump.
Oh, we've jumped. But we think keeping our eyes open works better. We own our mistakes, treat people with respect, communicate persuasively but honestly, and take a beat before we react. We have rational confidence: all the enormous self-assuredness and strength of irrational confidence, minus the delusion. Our community helps each other lead with rational confidence each day by sharing what works and hasn't worked – through our Slack channel, workshops, and learning from startup luminaries.
Our Approach Yields Results:
Rational Confidence is based on a self-awareness program we developed for MIT in 2019, which continues in 2020. Integrating our program into their delta v accelerator, MIT became the first institution to prioritize its entrepreneurs' well-being and measure the results. Mindfulness and meditation have proven effectiveness in other industries, and now, we have shown that they can be effective in entrepreneurship. By the end of 12 weeks...
65% of the 84 delta v entrepreneurs had never meditated before ECC. By the end of the summer, 88% had independently established their own regular, weekly meditation or mindfulness practice.
40% were more aware of the emotions they were feeling, letting themselves feel them rather than pushing them away.
53% were more frequently using a deliberate technique to calm themselves when in the middle of a stressful situation.
93% felt that self-awareness practices can help entrepreneurs create more successful businesses.
In my company, most people put up a facade and want to appear strong, but this is exhausting and can lead to dire consequences.
Just knowing that there was an unbiased and non-judgmental resource for me was powerful.
I learned [in my peer group] that most of my feelings were broadly shared. It makes you feel less alone.
More than anything, it gave our team a neutral, common language to build our relationships and culture. Just coming from one source or team member would not have gotten people on board.
Verbalizing issues helped me understand the underlying reasons behind my co-founder's and my behavior.
I focused more on my well-being and realized how crucial it is in my life.
My coach and peer group helped my team look objectively at what we were doing, dig deeper into what we were individually going through, and gain perspective. The entrepreneurial experience is lonely and can be overwhelming, and [this program] was the only place where we could touch down in a space apart, and share the hard parts.
- MIT entrepreneurs participating in our 2019 program
Are you a VC, accelerator, incubator, or university program?
Help your entrepreneurs be more successful by supporting their individual well-being. Fund their membership in our community, or contact us about bringing Rational Confidence in house at your org.