Content that helps founders scale.

✍🏼 Written by Amy Buechler, The Founder Coach: (Twitter, LinkedIn)

<aside> 💡 This is a guide for startup founders written by Amy Buechler, licensed psychotherapist and YC’s first Batch Director and in-house Founder Coach (me!). I’ve worked with thousands of founders, and this is a living document that chronicles my work. Learn more about me and my work here: (Twitter, LinkedIn)

In SV, success is achieved only by the outliers, but I’ve found that founders grow mostly along the same developmental trajectory. This means that as your startups grow, you are all experiencing the same challenges to your mental and emotional well-being - you’re feeling similar things as you struggle to find PMF, then you’re similarly crushed by the pressure, volume of work, and changed expectations when your growth scales, then you wrestle with your identity as your role changes (or you experience burnout), and you come to grips with what’s next (even if it’s a good thing like an IPO!). This guide enables your growth each step of the way.

Building a startup isn’t just about building a product. It’s also about recreating yourself - how you feel, how you think, and who you choose to become in the face of the challenges your startup brings you. You are the most important creation of your startup.

This User Manual is a collection of my observations and analyses of the startup founders I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I hope it enables you to create a version of yourself that matches the transformational, world-shaking vision you have for your startup. My vision is that the new version of you created in partnership with your startup is infinitely more valuable to the world than however big your company gets. <3

📍 Please don’t share without crediting me - Amy Buechler, (Twitter, LinkedIn)


📖 What It Means to ‘Scale Yourself’

Your startup will challenge you to to grow in three dimensions simultaneously:

  1. Your startup will challenge you to scale your self by expanding your emotional and cognitive toolkit. This means developing emotional intelligence, self awareness, and skills to understand and manage the intense emotions you’ll feel as you run a startup. It also means developing new cognitive frameworks, belief systems, and ways of thinking to accommodate the new challenges your startup presents.
  2. Your startup will challenge you to scale your relationships by learning to effectively and authentically communicate with, manage, align, and coordinate other people – like your cofounder, employees, c-suite, and/or board.
  3. Your startup will challenge you to scale process and culture - alongside product growth - that results in a high-performance team working together to achieve your mission, vision, values, and goals.

<aside> 💡 Founders scale themselves by learning new skills to better manage themselves and their relationships at roughly the same speed that their product and team grow.


This User Manual is organized by the growth areas listed above.

Scaling Your Self

Processing Your Emotions is a Competitive Advantage