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    Date

    2/8/2023

    Authors
    1. Santander X Explorer
    Categories

    2/8/2023

    News

    7 minutes of reading

    Explorer Coach, our contribution to early-stage entrepreneurial mental health


    Authors
    1. Santander X Explorer
    Categories

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    Taking an entrepreneurial project forward is not easy; at Explorer we take the emotional side of it very seriously, which is why Explorer Coach was born. What do we talk about in this podcast?

    By Patricia Araque, Executive Director of Explorer.

    We know that taking an entrepreneurial project forward is not an easy task. It is a professional choice that substantially impacts the well-being and mental health of those who decide to take the plunge. There have been numerous suicides of company founders in recent years and countless (and most of the time unknown) cases of depression that people who decide to create their own companies go through. At Explorer, we take this aspect of entrepreneurship very seriously; we believe in a healthy approach to this work-life option.

    It is essential to tackle it early, as it will lay the foundations for future entrepreneurial projects. With this in mind, we decided to launch Explorer Coach, a series of pills in an audio format that focuses on this aspect of entrepreneurship and offers advice and tools from entrepreneurs—most of them Explorer Alumni—who have gone through the same fears and experiences that the participants in the programme are facing. How was the process of creation and implementation? We observed that the fears, anxieties, and negative emotions differed depending on the week, but they usually led to a loss of motivation and the abandonment of the programme. So the first thing we did was to document everything using an anthropological approach. We didn’t ask them, but we looked at what they did rather than what they said.

    From that point, we grouped the issues that most concerned them and that we understood harmed their motivation. Then, we started developing these pills in the most agile and authentic format possible: voice notes that the entrepreneurs we asked for collaboration sent us by WhatsApp. Once we produced the pills, we launched an A/B testing process to understand whether our hypotheses made sense and whether it was worth investing time and resources in improving this initiative. Since we divided the Explorer community into micro-learning communities, over the twelve weeks, we sent Explorer Coach to some groups rather than others. The result? The entrepreneurs who received their dose of motivation and their lesson in emotional care through Explorer Coach had a higher rate of completing the programme than those who did not listen to the pills. Specifically, they were 6% more graduates than those who did not.

    Today, we actively implement Explorer Coach in the dynamics of the programme, and all participants access the podcasts’ episodes weekly through their WhatsApp groups. They are twelve chapters with a brief duration on Spotify in the three official languages of the programme: Spanish, Portuguese and English. Here is a list with a short review of each of them:

    Episode 1. No fear.

    Avoid the fear of making mistakes. Explorer is designed for something other than your project to succeed. It is for you to achieve even if your idea fails. It may be odd that we start by talking about failures in an entrepreneurship programme. Bosco Soler, Explorer Alumni and creator of SinOficina.com, will tell you the three mistakes you shouldn’t make and the three things you must do to lose the fear of making mistakes.

    Episode 2. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed.

    Having too many tasks and needing more time for them overwhelms us. But it’s OK to feel overwhelmed. In this week’s Explorer Coach, listen to tips on how to handle this situation.

    Episode 3. The importance of leaning on the community.

    Do you feel lonely, lost, like there’s no one to turn to? The Explorer community is there to help you: ask questions, ask for advice and give it back when they ask for it. Get connected.

    Episode 4. Eliminate your limiting beliefs.

    Have you ever heard yourself saying: “I won’t be able to do it”, “I’m not good enough for this”, or “I can’t make a living”? Many times we need to give ourselves a boost. The first step is to get rid of limiting beliefs.

    Episode 5. Impostor Syndrome: Doubts about your project? Insecurities? You could suffer from imposter syndrome; we explain how to avoid it.

    Episode 6. Why taking care of yourself is crucial. Are there times when you feel overwhelmed and frustrated? Take a few minutes and discover the importance of knowing how to stop to keep it going.

    Episode 7. Learn to disconnect.

    Entrepreneurship requires perseverance, dedication and knowing how to stop, have time to devote to our hobbies, and disconnect. Not doing so could have consequences on our health that we will avoid if we stop to breathe. Episode 8. Practice netbonding.

    You may have yet to hear of “netbonding”, a term coined by Patricia Araque, executive director of Explorer. But in this programme, you will discover all its benefits and why it is so important, especially for female entrepreneurs.

    Episode 9. How to increase your motivation.

    The tasks pile up, the weeks pass, and tiredness sets in. You can keep your motivation at optimum levels with these tips.

    Episode 10. Foods that help you perform better.

    If you are one of those people who will eat anything and get on with your homework, let me tell you you could be doing better. Taking care of what you eat will increase your health, performance, and creativity.

    Episode 11. Focus. Get closer to the light.

    Need to know how to distinguish them or which path to follow to reach them? You will see it much more transparent with these three tips.

    Programme 12. Sexual well-being.

    Give yourself pleasure. Sexuality is a (very) important part of our life and also of our entrepreneurial life! Find time to pamper yourself, give yourself pleasure, and write it down as time well spent.

    Picture by Christopher Lemercier retrieved from Unsplash.

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