Sherry Walling, PhD

Zen Founder Podcast


I want to help entrepreneurs talk about, think about and practice better mental health.

That means thoughtful work practices, thriving relationships, and a healthy body and mind.

Several years ago my entrepreneur husband, Rob, and I started a podcast called ZenFounder. And it’s going strong.

Forbes called it one of the 12 best podcasts for entrepreneurs.

It’s a combination of interviews with successful entrepreneurs, like Basecamp’s founder Jason Fried, conversations with experts, like psychiatrist and researcher Michael Freeman, and honest reflections on entrepreneur life.

YOu don’t have to take our word for it

A Home Run for Rob and Sherry - I’ve been listening to Startups for the Rest of Us for years. I was thrilled to hear that Rob and his wife Sherry were starting a new podcast. I can tell already that ZenFounder is going to be a long-term must-listen show in my podcast client. I’ve already personally benefited from the retreats episode and can’t wait to see what else they cover.
— Matthew

“Exactly What the Startup Community Needs”

It’s like cheating - Sometimes, it get really frustrating to explain why you’re doing certain things. Sometimes, you want to convey certain ideas to your children, but they don’t necessarily want to listen to you. Sometimes you just want to spin things and have people “spontaneously” think of other ways to do things. Don’t bother with all that. Trap them all in the car, turn on Zen Founder, and don’t say a word. Let it wash in. Then field the questions, but use like a superior I told you so tone. Also helps explain why you have the urge to go to LVS again next year.
— Samori
Exactly What the Startup Community Needs - I’ve got to be honest, I subscribe to a good deal of startup podcasts and after a while I sort of get numb to the same messages repeated over and over. This podcast is different. Rob and Sherry take each of their unique gifts as professionals, and combine them with their relationship as a family, to discuss topics that go beyond marketing tactics into managing the stuff that really matters in life. The first few episodes were great, and I look forward to future installments.
— Ryan

“If you aren’t listening, you should be.”

Harmonizing Tech and Psychology - Don’t think that the advice here applies just to being a founder. I love the in depth discussions about how to balance technical, business with the mental and psychological side of oneself.
— Lentil's Mom
Founder Origin Stories are Awesome - It’s amazing to hear the stories and backgrounds of these heroes of industries and how a lot of them have channeled very difficult backgrounds into fuel for success.
— sporkitover

“Jedi-like mind control and ninja startup wisdom”

Teamwork - Great to hear how these two navigate their careers & family life in such a function way. Was very interesting listening to all of the changes going on and the various ways they adjust. Found this after listening to Startups for the Rest of Us and searching for other podcasts w/ Rob - it’s gold
— AA
Best podcast on the internet - I can’t really stress enough how great Sherry and Rob are. I’ve never met them or even talked to them but have to say they’re the best people on the internet today. They provide awesome views on life and have a great way of sharing their lives and wisdom.
— Mark

“Best podcast on the internet”

Rob and Sherry bring together Jedi-like mind control and ninja startup wisdom - Just finished episode 4 on Face Punching procrastination. I’ll revisit this great episode every 6 months or so to make sure I’m on track. Looking forward to more great content. Sherry and Rob bring a whole life approach to making sure the urgent doesn’t get in the way of the important, like family. If you aren’t listening, you should be.
— Enoch
Insights into entrepreneur life - Being entrepreneur isn’t only about building business, it’s about building a lifestyle which includes everything, business, family, leisure time, personal time. Rob and Sherry provide a truly unique perspective and advise on how to build such life. If you have your own business or just thinking about starting one this podcast must be on your listen to list or you will miss things you would’ve never thought of and yet essential to your success both in short term and long term.

“Beyond Binge Worthy”

Beyond Binge Worthy - After meeting Rob and Sherry in person I was eager to listen to their podcast. When free time finally arrived, I listened to my first episode. Then I listened to another episode and another episode after that. As an accidental entrepreneur this podcast really speaks to both the emotional and professional sides of me. It beautifully blends psychology and mental health with marketing, software development, and business.
— RG
A great podcast I never expected - I definitely lean towards tactical rather than mindset, I’m glad I put that aside to give this podcast a shot. There have been several episodes that were exactly what I needed to listen to. The format the whole podcast is earnest and high quality. I would recommend it to anyone who is even thinking about starting a business or even in the midst of large transitions in their life.
— uisperezphd

“Wow this podcast is a lifesaver”

My Weekly Zen - Wow this is a life saving podcast. Being a founder-wife myself this podcast let me know I am not alone. Sherry and Rob are a perfect balance of entrepreneur and real life people. My husband loves Startups for the Rest of Us and told me about Zen Founder a few months back. Ever since I listened to their balance and the topics they talk about on the show I was hooked. Sherry is a breath of fresh air. I love the zen delivered to my headphones from this duo each week. Great job guys!
— emb
Keep Up The Important (& Good) Work - I was introduced to this podcast by my husband and am sold on its value and importance in my life. This is the only podcast I listen to religiously and I really enjoy discussing the topics with my spouse on how the topics directly relate to our daily life. I can already identify changes in mindset, routine, and philosophy as a result of listening. The biggest take-away has been Sherry’s concept of “live giving or life taking” as I filter my requests to participate in a variety of activities. Would love to hear a show on money and the marital negotiations that occur when the income is based on a start up that may or may not always be predictable.
— Mom2snk

“It will add a little more zen to your crazy life”

It will add a little more zen to your crazy life - Being a startup founder is a tough gig. Zen founder provides relatable advice that speaks to the heart and soul of issues faced by individuals working on really tough problems and going through unique struggles. I love this podcast and would highly recommend it to anyone starting or working in a business.
— nniroclax
One of a kind, highly recommend! - Zen Founder shares actionable insights and lessons all entrepreneurs could benefit from - the mental and emotional side of startups. Highly recommend listening and subscribing if you want the knowledge AND mindsets to stay sane while starting and growing your company! Sherry and Rob knock this show out of the park.
— ErikBison

“all entrepreneurs could benefit from”

Fantastic podcast, especially if you have a family - Rob and Sherry’s Zen Founder podcast has quickly become one of my favorites and I look forward to each new episode. I’m not a founder, but I’m the wife of an aspiring founder, and I really appreciate Rob and Sherry’s perspective into this life that we’re trying to head toward. I feel like it gives a glimpse into what might lie ahead, why my husband is so interested in this whole boot-strap start-up world, as well as a sense that I’m not alone in this sometimes crazy and difficult life of the (trying to be) supportive spouse. I also really appreciate what Rob and Sherry have to say about living this sort of lifestyle in the family, and trying to figure out ways to encourage our kids to have growth mindset and to encourage what I think is a child’s natural interest in micropreneurism. Speaking of which, how about having as a guest someone who has older kids who have started their own ventures? If you are a founder/aspiring founder and have a spouse, I highly recommend encouraging him or her to list to it - you’ll have some great conversations.
— MV
Refreshing look into what’s behind the life of a founder - I’ll admit I’m a bit of a Rob fanboy & have seen Sherry’s talk at MicroConf US 2014. As a subscriber of quite a few startup podcasts, I find this to be a nice breath of fresh air. My wife and I are listening to it in parallel & talk about the episodes after we listen to them in’s been a great conversation starter & encouraged us to talk about some subjects we might not have discussed previously. I really like the “behind the scenes” sort of view to the family life and how the balance was struck. Too many startup / founder / entrepreneur podcasts & conference sessions push this “balls to the wall” lifestyle ignoring there are many of us with families that we aren’t willing to sacrifice. Keep it the show and YOUR perspective...curious to see if you do some episodes where you have other couples join in on the discussion down the road!
— Swamplander1