Reboot Podcast Episode #137 – Nothing Can Be Transformed Until It Is Faced – with Forest Richter

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Forest Richter

Forest Richter

Co-Founder and CEO of

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Episode Description

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

In this release, Jerry sits down with Forest Richter, Co-founder and CEO of, a software platform that serves to connect underrepresented startup founders with investors. In this conversation, Forest shares how his ongoing battle with imposter syndrome has undermined his self-confidence and has called forward deeper questions around whether he, as a cis-gendered white man, can effective execute the company’s mission. 

In their session, Jerry helps to illuminate how the governors of our ego serve to protect us from feeling the shame and humiliation of being found out as the incompetent that we suspect we are, and supports Forest in unpacking the character structures that reify his feelings of imposter syndrome. As their conversation progresses, they shift to discuss the white savior model, why addressing systemic problems require systemic solutions, and Jerry, with help from James Baldwin, reminds us all why nothing can be transformed until it’s faced.

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“I really like working with early-stage companies because there are always problems and there are always new things to do and to tackle.” – Forest Richter

“I live my day-to-day life bouncing to the next thing without necessarily settling and exhaling.” – Forest Richter

“We all have these sort of governors on our ego that are designed to keep us from feeling shame and feeling humiliation for being found out as the incompetent that we suspect we are.” – Jerry Colonna

“When we’re in a “fix-it” mode, one of the things to hold on to is that we’re very often trying to fix our own feelings by showing that we can add value in some way, that we can be productive or that we’re worthy of love.” – Jerry Colonna

“The problem of the lack of access to capital is actually symptomatic of the complex. It is not the problem. It is the problem in the degree for individuals who are seeking capital, but it is not the systemic problem. The systemic problem is racism.” – Jerry Colonna

“You don’t fix the system if you don’t look at the entire systemic system. Systemic problems require systemic solutions.” – Jerry Colonna

“Part of the problem I see in our society is we have trained ourselves to look away.” – Jerry Colonna

“For the rest of my life, I will dedicate myself to my part of the problem or my part of the solution. Listening, making observations, feeling my way to see more clearly when necessary and using whatever platform I have to advance and amplify voices that might otherwise not be heard.” – Jerry Colonna

“Nothing can be transformed unless we’re willing to look at and to face it within ourselves and within the larger world.” – Jerry Colonna

“I have a new North Star, a new way to look at this and a new way to kind of guide things forward that I didn’t have an hour ago.” – Forest Richter