Gena Gorlin is a professor and practicing psychologist. Both her academic and her clinical work focuses on how individuals can overcome psychological obstacles to achieve goals. She’s become especially interested in working with ambitious innovators, particularly startup founders. Over the last few months, I’ve been lucky to work with Gena on a major project in my day job at Entrepreneur First and I thought that her observations would be interesting to a broader audience. In this conversation we discuss the nature of ambition, the most common psychological challenges founders face, the role of parenting, and much more.


Thanks to Cofruition for consulting on and producing the show. You can learn more about Entrepreneur First at and subscribe to my weekly newsletter at

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