Founder burnout

July 20, 2022

Mikko Revonniemi – TALKS WITH PETRI

Mikko Revonniemi talks about the founding and the early years of Four Sigmatic, his burnout and the measures it took to overcome it. He also shares his insights from e-commerce marketing and how to get leads to your DTC startup.


Mikko Revonniemi is a purpose-driven entrepreneur passionate about creating solutions for people to optimize their health and well-being on physical, mental, and spiritual levels. He is a co-founder at Four Sigmatic, a company focusing on medicinal mushrooms, and Taimi, which aims to solve nutrition-related diseases with personalized nutrition and data. He is an ex-trail runner and over-achiever whose new interest, after a long burnout, is in meaning and balance in all aspects of life.


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Episode notes

  • The struggle vs. the Tim Ferriss effect
  • Early days in Shanghai
  • Learning Chinese
  • Mushrooms
  • The food and beverage approach
  • Setting up the business in HongKong
  • Reputational issues in the early days
  • What can go wrong when you’re selling mushrooms online?
  • Influencer marketing
  • Funding issues and lack of working capital
  • Blender almost blunder
  • Go-to-market approach
  • Into the US via Finland and Canada
  • B2B (business-to-business) and DTC (direct-to-consumer)
  • Be persistent and follow up with your customers
  • Organised chaos and opportunism
  • Logistics and customs issues
  • Marketing differences between Europe and the US
  • The origin of the brand name
  • Founder burnout and symptoms
  • The realisation moment and what could have been done before
  • Remote team communication and picking up signals
  • Radical honesty
  • Ultrarunning
  • The nature of HongKong
  • The competitive nature kicks in running
  • When stepping down from Four Sigmatic was not enough to stop the burnout
  • Recovering from the burnout
  • Self-reflection
  • The origin story of
  • The US market launch issues in 2020
  • Payment gateways, Meta and Google as gatekeepers
  • Arguing against algorithms
  • The webinar approach
  • DTC marketing tips
  • Cost per lead in the US vs. Finland
  • Get your own leads: don’t trust the big platforms
  • Surprises in how people pay
  • Abandoned cart email sequence works
  • overachieving is not a thing