This video is probably one of the most important I’ve ever done. It’s about mental health, especially in business and suicide. Now, I’m doing this for the World Mental Health day, which of course, is 10th of October. But this video is relevant every single day.
I have some statistics in front of me, which are, quite shocking. Before I share those with you, I’m planning to give you about 7 pieces of information around specifically, dealing with mental health challenges in starting up your business, in entrepreneurship, in your career, which I would say more is my area of experience. I’m not a trained suicide prevention person. I have spoken to thousands of people on the phone, one-to-one over the last 5 years. I’ve seen some common threads and patterns in people who are struggling. I wanted to share some of those with you, and let you know that things are probably not as bad as you’ve seen.
If you’re reading this and you’re struggling, I think some of the content will help you. But if you’re reading, and you’re not yet struggling, as things get harder in business as there’s a recession, as maybe you’re struggling with the work-life balance as you’re working hard, and maybe, your energy, and passion, and enthusiasm start to wane, as you have disruptions, legal cases, reputational, and other issues, this stuff can really come at you as a surprise. It can blindside you. I probably was too proud a few years ago, to talk about some of the feelings that I had, which were, quite dark or empty. Because sometimes, emptiness is worse than darkness.
My dad has bipolar – manic depression as it was known before. Right now, it’s probably, I don’t know, it’s the worst it’s ever been, but it’s certainly hard. He’s had all sorts of medication, which while it takes the extremes away, the highs and the lows, it kind of loses my dad’s identity in soul and personality. I always used to feel in the early days of dealing with my dad’s manic depression, that the hardest points were the lows. But actually, often the hardest points are the highs. When my dad used to be in his manic mode, it is really sort of high, everything is great in life, he used to be very destructive, very, very destructive.
Sometimes, dealing with your mental health, it’s complicated. It’s not just about feeling empty, or low, or depressed, or alone. It sometimes maybe, emotional volatility of ups and downs, and highs and lows, certain needs and dependencies. I’m going to try and share some of those that I think are the most prevalent in business.
What I don’t want to do, is, give you all of my accolades, and all the things that I’ve done in business over the years. But I did start in 20s from nothing. I was in a lot of debt. I’ve got myself in a lot of debt. I was at my lowest point in confidence probably, and my lowest point financially, probably in my mid 20s, I would say. And I felt it was really hard to make something of myself. I felt alone. I felt I was playing a bit of the victim mentality, if you like. I was needy. I didn’t feel noticed. I didn’t feel respected. I felt embarrassed, because I hadn’t sorted my own financial situation out.
I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. I was single at the time. I didn’t really have that relationship with my parents, to talk to them openly about that kind of thing. I didn’t have a mentor, a coach, support, network, or community, which by the way, are all vital.
I kind of struggled alone. I did a lot of personal development. I went to a lot of seminars, and did a lot sort of personal therapy, if you like, and to realise that a lot of the emptiness, and the darkness, and the struggle was kind of self-inflicted in my own mind. There were things I could do about it, some simple things, but I just didn’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. There were some resources that I didn’t know, because you don’t know what’s not there.
I think it’s an amazing thing to have a World Mental Health Day. It’s fantastic that there’s more recognition, and acceptance, and less faux pas and taboo around mental health. Some of the strongest people we know, are struggling with their mental health. And it’s quite a normal thing now to struggle with some of the overwhelm the modern world brings, and to be okay, to be not okay.
The World Mental Health Day is all about increasing awareness on mental health and some of the issues, and to give some solutions to that. This year’s theme, the 2019 theme is on suicide and suicide prevention. There are a huge amount of suicides. It’s 800,000 suicides every year, which is, huge. To me, it seems, I wouldn’t say needless, but surely, we can get that number down.
Three-quarters of those are male. Does that have any particular relevance? Well, I don’t know. People are people. But I think it’s more taboo, and males are way less open. I’ve got more and more open over the years. I do podcasts. I write books. I do a lot of public speaking. I put myself out there a lot.
To be honest, a lot of people especially males, are a bit fearful of being vulnerable and putting themselves out there, and sharing some of their emotions. You might be perceived to be weak, or that you can’t deal with your own stuff, or that you’re supposed to just fix problems, or people look up to you, and the expectation is that you’re strong, when maybe you’re not.
I get a great amount of personal therapy and catharsis in my podcast, and lives, and videos, and books that I wouldn’t be able to get. I know I’d be bottling all of these stuff in, if I didn’t do that. So, I would definitely encourage you to share more, not necessarily in a public forum, but maybe, one step at a time. Just share more some of the things you’re feeling, especially males.
The leading cause of death among people from 20 to 34 in the UK, is, suicide. It’s the second leading cause of death of people 15 to 29 years old, globally. And that’s quite shocking to me, when you think of all the other things that causes death. Old age, you’d thought would be the biggest one.
So, it’d be great, if we could get some change going on with that. So, if you feel that what I share with you in this video, is really useful, maybe you could share this around on YouTube and social media. If you know anyone who’s struggling, maybe you could encourage them to watch this.
So, I’m going to cover the following 7 points. It’s not just these that people have to deal with as a business person, entrepreneur, and an employee. But I think this can really help you.
1. The curse of comparison, and comparing yourself to other people.
2. Not feeling like you’re doing well enough.
3. Not feeling like you’re good enough.
4. Feeling alone, or unnoticed, or underappreciated.
5. All the pressures outside of starting your business and employment, trying to be a good parent, trying to be a good partner, trying to maintain hobbies, trying to maintain an image, trying to maintain the status quo, trying to look like, you’ve got everything under control.
6. Feeling like you can’t really be yourself, and not really knowing who you are, and the judgement from other people.
7. Critics and trolling, especially on social media. (On that last one, I’ll deal with the issues of social media, that it brings, because it’s new. And we don’t really yet know how to handle it, because it’s very new in modern society)
1. The curse of comparison, and comparing yourself to other people
I believe that if you didn’t compare yourself negatively to other people, and you didn’t look at someone else, and think they’re doing better. They’re stronger. They’re fitter. They’re better looking. They’re more confident. I believe, if you had no one else to compare yourself to negatively, you wouldn’t feel as frustrated, as down, as not good enough. Because we get value and a frame of reference based on comparison.
I usually find that entrepreneurs and business owners are kind of okay. But then as soon as they see someone doing really well, they start to feel jealous, bitter, envy, which is, the outward manifestation often of not feeling good enough or beating yourself up, or feeling guilty about the things that you should have done, but didn’t do. And why is it when we, humans, compare ourselves to others, is mostly, by thinking, they’ve got it easier. They’re doing better. They’re luckier. They’ve been given a leg-up. Instead of actually thinking, well, what have I done?
I would advise you, well, maybe, I would suggest, it’s probably not advice, that each time you compare yourself to someone negatively, someone in your spaces further ahead than you in your niche, somebody who’s made more money or being more of an outward success, to think about the things that you’ve done, that you’ve got, that they wouldn’t.
And I’ll give you a little sort of flippant example of this. One of my heroes for my whole life, has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was very fortunate to meet him a few year ago. It was a big thing for me, because I pedestalised him as a hero. You know, a huge guy, a lot of power, but funny. He’d mastered 3 different areas of life and business – politics, acting, or you could even argue authoring, sort of motivation. And of course, did I say politics? I said politics already. Then of course, bodybuilding, which he did. Was it how many Olympias did he win? Is it 5, or something like that? It was a lot.
To me, I just thought, wow, I can never be that good at that many different things. He was kind of like an idol of mine. When I was a kid, I watched all the Arnie films. My mum used to take me to Blockbuster. I was only like 12. She used to get all the 18s for me. And I was standing there like, this high at the counter. My mum would buy all the 18s for me or rent them.
I met him a few years ago. When I met him, I was very nervous. And he seemed nervous too. I don’t know, it was because he was rushed, or is he nervous about meeting new people. He obviously wasn’t nervous about me, because I’m not a superstar. But he was much shorter than I thought. Like, I guess in my mind, I put him up here as being 6 foot 10. Apparently, he’s 6 foot 2. Well, I’m 6 foot 3. He was quite a lot shorter than me. So, that struck me immediately. Wow, and I thought, he looks aged. Well, of course, he would. He’s at that age. But I guess I’d always imagine him as 25, you know, really like a model look.
Also, he was filling a lot up there on his head, because I could see down, because I’m taller. It was clear that he was dyeing his hair. I, immediately in the moment, just thought Arnold Schwarzenegger is just a normal guy. And I’m standing next to him, looking at him like he’s my old-time hero. Me and him are exactly the same.
Okay, he’s had more outward success in areas that he’s pursued. But actually, I have things that I’ve done well. I’ve written more books than him. I’ve probably got more property than him. I’m not saying this to brag. But the point, is, if I’m pedestalising someone, I should equally balance that with the things that I’ve done well.
Comparing yourself to others when you’re not as good as them, when you haven’t reach their heights, you’ll immediately should then compare yourself to them in a more positive light, in the skills, and talents, and experiences that you’ve got in life, that are valuable ad credible.
Some people say to me, well, there’s nothing that I’m really that good at. Well, no, so, maybe you’re a good generalist. Or, maybe, you’re a good people person. Or, maybe you care, or you’re empathetic. Maybe, there’s a hobby that you’re really good at. But everybody is good at something. And everybody has their own dose or equal uniqueness.
Successful people, whether it’s measured on Instagram influencers, or money, or fame, or credits and accreditations and awards. That’s just an outward societal measure. If you think about it, if you become a bestselling author, that doesn’t really change your book. Like I write a book, and the book is the book. If I sell one copy or a million copies, the book is still the book. It’s the same content. It’s not a better book, because it sold more copies. It’s just a book.
I feel better when I get more outward recognition. But if I need all my recognition outwardly, and I don’t recognise myself, i.e., that’s a good book, then there’s always going to be this hole. So, if I say, that’s a good book, and the world judges, if the world likes it. But I know that’s a good book. By the way, if it’s not, I make it better next time. Then I know I’ve written a good book.
And that should be the same about you. You’ve done things that are kind. You’ve done things over and above. You’ve cared. You’ve listened. You know actually, you’ve probably achieved more than you think, if you go back and actually, think about all the things that you’ve done in your life. It is an empty pursuit to compare yourself to others, because it’s always someone bigger, stronger, fitter, faster, more experienced.
By the way, when you become 70 or 80, and you’re more experienced, more wise, and more humble, and you’ve made more money, and you’re financially free, and you’ve got a good business, your wish that you were 20, and naïve, and starting out, and a beginner, because you don’t have another 70 years of life left as you get to the end of yours.
So, by the time, you get to where you want to go, and maybe, you’re not comparing yourself to others, and putting them up there, you’re going to be comparing yourself to others in terms of their youth, or their energy, or their enthusiasm, or passion.
I know this is not that easy, because humans, we have to compare ourselves to others for value attribution and for survival. You value everything by comparing it to something. But you should be comparing positively, and negatively equally, and not just holistically negatively.
2. Not feeling like you’re doing well enough
So, then the next thing, Point 2, is, you’re feeling like, you’re not doing well enough. We’ll, you wouldn’t plant a seed, and come back the next day, and make demands and divarish behaviour about where your tree is. Why is my tree not there? I planted my seed yesterday. Where is my tree? I want a refund on the seed. I’ve been missold. This is a scam. I have no tree.
But a lot of people, they have an unrealistic expectation of how well they could be doing. then that links back to the first point, which is, they think it should be bigger, better, faster, more. They think they should be making more money in less time. It should be easier, because they look at other people.
But when you compare yourself to other people, you don’t know their whole life story. You have no idea what they’ve done. You have no idea how long. You have no idea what they’re not telling you. Maybe, they’re bragging. Maybe, they’re bullshitting. Maybe, they’re over-exaggerating. You don’t know. Maybe, they’re struggling, but they’re trying to show you that everything is all right on the outside. You never get the full picture of someone’s life.
Don’t compare yourself to someone, when you haven’t got the full picture. And it’s absolutely vital that you get a complete set of data and experiences, if you’re going to take on other people’s advice, or you’re going to model them. And you do that in the form of getting mentors, coaches, being in likeminded communities, getting accountability from people who are backing you to a corner, who you know very well, who are very experienced in your field. But you’ve seen the proof of that.
Because there’s a lot of people comparing themselves to others, and they’ve got that other person wrong, that person that you’re jealous of, that person that you’re envious and bitter towards, or that person that you think you admire has done amazingly well. Until you know the whole story, you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to them.
I believe that the bigger the gap between, where you perceive you should be, and where you actually are. The bigger that gap, the more unhappiness, darkness, loneliness, emptiness, frustration, anger, envy, bitterness, jealousy, and all those other dark emotions that you get are.
If you’re practical and realistic about the time it takes to start a business, set up a business, hire people, grow your revenue, if you’re practical and realistic, okay, on the one hand, you play safe, I get that, and you do need to take some risks. But at least, if you’re naïve, and you have this fantasy that you should be making passive income, in the millions of pounds in 5 minutes, then you create this unrealistic, unachievable expectation. The further away that is, the more insignificant you feel.
I think wisdom is in the balance. Be practical and realistic about what can be achieved. But make it slightly stretchy, and interesting, and novel, and exciting, and put as much passion and enthusiasm into that as possible. But don’t get so unrealistic and so deluded about what you can achieve in the time frame that you can achieve it.
I guess, if you were a martial artist, someone would probably say to you, it takes 5 years minimum to become a black belt. Some people take 10 years. If you’re flying a helicopter, they say it takes 40-50 hours of flying before you get your license. Some people take 60 or 70 hours. And you accept that. That would be normal. And you won’t be ah, I want to do it in 5 minutes. If I don’t do it in 5, then it’s all shit. I’m shit. And everything is shit.
Creating a more realistic time frame of success in employment, success in business, in wealth, et cetera, I think it’s a really positive thing to do.
Okay. Now, also, if you perceive you’re not doing well enough, what it means, is, you’re ticking or crossing all the things you haven’t achieved, and you haven’t done, and you’ve failed at, and aren’t happening quick enough. Whereas, if you gave yourself a pat on the back and some recognition for small wins and all wins. So, if you say, hey, I’ve made my first pound online. I’ve sold my first book. I mean, to write a book is a massive, massive huge kudos to you. It’s a huge thing that most people don’t do. Most people have a book in them, but the thing, is, it’s still in them. It’s a big thing to write a book. It’s a massive achievement. That’s was probably the word I was looking for.
And people like, they will never feel good about the book that they’ve written until they’ve sold millions of copies. But when they’ve sold millions, they know people who’ve sold tens of millions. I have this little, I don’t know, this little quirk I supposed with my books. So, Robert Kiyosaki I believe, had sold 20 million copies of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That’s pretty good. That might be in the personal development and kind of business book world. That might between the apogee. That might be that’s the book that’s done one of the best in the last 20 years.
I’m probably not going to sell 20 million copies of one book. That doesn’t make me any better or worse than Robert Kiyosaki. He’s a lot older than me. It just means that he’s him, and I’m me. But if I write 100 books, I bet I can sell 100,000 copies of each or 200,000 of each. So, I might not be able to sell 20 million copies in one book. But, if I write 20 books, and sold one million copies, I might get to 20 million. And I have some of my books that had sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Now, of course, my earlier books sold like dozens of copies.
So, there’s different ways to get the result. And it’s not wise to compare yourself to others to feel like, you’re not doing well enough. And you can just keep trying, and keep going, and skin the cat in a different way. The little things that you do, they seem like small achievements, but they’re actually big achievements. If you reward yourself for small things, you’ll create a habit to reward yourself with bigger things. You’ll have some things to celebrate, instead of nothing to celebrate
Because I used to do a lot of sport. And I love the competition element of sport. I love the winning. I didn’t like the losing. But the losing was motivating. And I learned how to win, and I learned how to lose. And that was all fun. When I got rid of all of that, because I did business. In business, you don’t really win against someone.
So, for years, I lost that competitive edge of competing, trying to win. I win, or I’m second or I’m third, or I lose, I go again. So, it took the reward element out for me. So, I had to figure it out myself. Now, many entrepreneurs, they’re shooting for the big goal. I want to make 5 grand a month, then 10 grand a month, then 20 grand a month, then 50 grand a month, then 100 grand a month. I want 20 staff, then 50 staff, then 100 staff. I want to do a million, then 5 million, 10 million, 20 million, 50 million. I want to be a millionaire, 100 millionaire, a billionaire. It’s an endless pursuit. There’s always another level. But the problem and the curse, is that, you get to the goal, that once you’ve thought was amazing. Bt now, it’s normal. It’s not good enough, because you’ve set the next goal.
You’re always looking for the destination, and you’re not enjoying the journey. But then when you get to the destination, you’ve already reset a new destination. Actually, you never reach your destination, because you’re always pushing your destination further and further away. And you don’t enjoy the journey, because you’ll only enjoy the journey when you hit the destination. But you never allow yourself to hit the destination. And that is an empty pursuit.
Some clichés need to come out. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Because you can enjoy both. You have to reward yourself for small things as well as all things. You have to pat yourself on the back along the way. Like, I’m a parent. I don’t know, If you’re a parent. Maybe, put something in the comments, if you’re a parent.
But let’s be honest, sometimes, a day when you don’t punch your kid in the face, you win. I mean you should be patting yourself on the back. Because how many days in a week, do your kids push you to the limit? And if you don’t lose your shit with your kids, you should be patting yourself on the back. You need a medal of honour from yourself. Today, I didn’t lose my shit with a client who complained, or my kid, or whatever.
I’m being somewhat flippant. But the point, is, there’s lots of things that you do all day, that you should be recognising yourself for, but you don’t. If you don’t feel you’re doing well enough, make sure you sit, and write down, and list all the things that you’ve done well, that are good about you, small things as well as the big things. I think you’ll be more balanced. You’ll feel less empty. You’ll feel less of a void in your life, that you can never fill.
3. Not feeling like you’re good enough.
Okay, the next one, is, never feeling good enough. Not doing well enough, and not feeling good enough, is, different. So, people who don’t feel good enough maybe, they don’t feel worthy. They don’t feel credible. Maybe, they feel they have a lack of confidence. There’s some imposter syndrome. You know, I don’t feel worthy of being in this room with these people. There are so many people more credible and more experienced, I should even start. I’m not good enough. I’m a failure. I’m a loser, and all these things.
Well, that is not true. Because very human being that’s alive has a purpose for humanity. A greater purpose, probably understood by a bigger intelligence than ourselves. Otherwise, he wouldn’t exist. Therefore, everyone has their own place and space. Some people need to consume. Some people need to produce. Some people need to be a butcher. Some are bakers. Some are candlestick maker. Some are bankers. Some are lawyers. Some are accountants. Some are consultants. Some are artists. Because all of the vocations that exist in the world, for them to exist, they serve other people.
We’re an interconnected species. We are dependent on each other for survival. Like, when you’re born, you’re completely dependent. I mean, I was dependent for 25 years, that’s not good. Maybe, you could be a bit more independent in your later teens. But I was dependent on my parents for 25 years like a baby. Whereas other mammals or animals that are born, are, immediately independent. Like, they’re just gone. Often, off into the wild, you’re gone.
We are an interdependent species. So, you have a place. Your uniqueness is credible. Who you are has volition, and meaning, and purpose, and value to others. And you matter to people. And sure, you’re not where you want to be yet. And fine, you don’t have the skills yet. But those skills can be learned. And that experience can be gained. Because remember, every winner was once a beginner. And every master was once a disaster.
So, not feeling good enough, is not appreciating who you are, appreciating what you’ve done, appreciating your place and purpose. I’ve got Kieran here who heads up our social media. He’s doing some of these lives, while we’re doing the recording. He’s an ex-Bodybuilding World Champion. If I compare my fitness, and physique, and body to him, I’m not going to feel good about myself. But he won’t mind me saying. I’m far better looking than him. No, he won’t mind me saying I’ve got a bit more money, and I’ve got a bit more business experience. And if he compares himself to me, then he’s not going to feel good.
But he’s 25, and he’s not been in business anywhere near as long as I have. And I’ve not been doing, all right, okay, I’m a bit older than him. I’ve not done as much weight. So, I’ve not had the training, the education, the experience, the journey. It’s not being a goal of mine. So, the best thing I can do, is go, hey, Kieran admire me for this. I admire Kieran for that. This is my place. I’m good enough for being me. That’s the important thing. You are good enough at being you.
I think about maybe, some people or some vocations which I feel have no value. Like, a critic. What’s the point of that? But if you think about every vocation, it serves. Because a critic serves to give you feedback, to keep you balanced, to help you learn, to keep you on mission, to stop you from being complacent, arrogant, flippant, to stop you from not caring, and to become too powerful and too greedy.
So, everything that someone does in this planet has a value, and purpose, and place. So, if you believe that as the wider humanity, you have to believe that about yourself. I also think, if you have faith in humanity, you can have faith in yourself. Because anything that any human being can do, you can do within your physical limitations.
So, sure, some people are born short. Some people are born tall. Some are born strong. Some people are not so strong. Some people are maybe born with slightly different genes, which gives them a certain strategic advantage in certain areas. I will respect that.
But no one is born a musical genius. No one is born a golfer world champion. No one is born a billionaire. All of those things are learned. So, if any human being can learn it, you can learn it So, if you have faith in humanity’s ability to create miracles, solve world problems, to learn, to do amazing things, which human beings all across the world since the history of time have proven over and over again the things that you think are amazing, and inspiring, and miracle, you look at someone and go, wow, you’re a genius. That’s human. That means you can do that too.
All you have to do, therefore, is, follow the process that the people that you admire or the people that are experienced in the space you want to be good at. You follow their process. You become their student. You get good mentors. If you wanted to be a 3rd or 4th time black belt, you would probably get a 5th or a 6th time black belt to teach and train you.
I remember my PE instructor, Mr Marsh. He said to me when I was a kid, I was trying to touch my toes. I couldn’t get passed my knees. And he said, Moore, you’re obviously inflexible. You’ve got tight hamstrings. It’s just the way it is. And I owned that, and thought, well, I’m inflexible. I’ve got tight hamstrings. But what does that mean? I mean that’s just doesn’t mean anything. He wasn’t saying that to critique me. I think he’s probably just trying to be kind. So, I didn’t feel stupid in front of everyone else when I was trying to touch my knees, when everyone else could touch their toes. By the way, I was probably in my wife’s front, because I forgot my kid. I was really overweight as a kid. So, there are some bad memories there.
But the point, is, I own that belief. Then I went and started martial arts in my early 20s. And I said to my martial art instructor, I just want to let you know I’ve got tight hamstrings. I’m not very flexible. He went, there’s no such thing as tight hamstrings. I can help you to get flexible. All right, and so, he got me do various stretches. He got me doing just a little bit more each time, and holding them, and occasionally he’d come and push me just a little bit from behind, just enough to stretch me, and probably within what, 2 years, I could do the splits. That for me was a massive thing, because my whole life, I’d assumed I wasn’t flexible.
So, you can learn anything that you want. So, if you aren’t who you want to be, or where you want to be, and don’t feel that you’re good enough, have faith in humanities ability to learn and development, and become something greater. Because, if you have faith in humanities ability to do that, you have to have faith in your own ability to do that, because you are a human.
I don’t want to promote laziness, or a victim mentality, or too much self-bathing in your own sympathy of loneliness and inaptitude. Ah, it’s my parents’ fault. Ah, I was born in this particular part of the world. And this happened to me. Things make you or break you. Your challenges they define who you are. We all have them, by the way. I’ve spoken to people on a daily basis who’ve had suicide in the family, death in the family, murder in the family, all sorts of horrific instances, gone vastly bust, have everything taken from them, massive legal cases. You name it. I’ve heard or helped people through it. And every entrepreneur I speak to, they have their own challenges. We’re all the same that we have our own challenges. We often assume ours are deeper, or harder, or worst.
For me, everything is about context. So, if you look at the first 3 points covered, comparing yourself to others, well, that’s context around how you compare yourself to others. And if you compare yourself favourably to 2 billion people on the planet who don’t even have sanitary water, and they have to walk 10 miles to get water. In some countries, water is probably one of the biggest causes of death, drinking water.
And I’m looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger feeling like, I’m not successful enough in business. Well, at least I can drink clean water. There’s always someone worse off than you. There’s always someone that’s got it harder than you. There’s always someone who’s had a lot worse lux than you. And that’s wise to remember to keep yourself in balance.
You are good enough already. And you can learn to be even better. You are credible now with who you are, with your whole life’s story. Don’t forget you’ve lived a life. And you’ve got experience, and you’ve overcome problems. You’ve dealt with difficulties. You’ve made some mistakes, and you’ve learned from them. Your life matters. And your whole life needs to come into your art and your work.
The famous story of Picasso. Picasso was one of the few artists in his life who’ve made a lot of money in his life. This is quite a famous story about him in a café in France. He was very famous in his life, certainly in the later years, and a bit of a celebrity back then. Someone came up to him while he was having a meal in a café and said, can you sketch me something. He got a napkin. He did a sketch. He took a few seconds. There was that pregnant pause. They looked at each other. The lady who asked him to do the sketch said, okay, so, do I need to pay you for this? He said, yeah, that will be 5,000 francs. She said, 5,000 francs? That took you 5 seconds. He said, no, that took me my whole life.
And often with people’s low pricing, with people’s lack of feeling of confident and credible, it’s because they’re not honouring what they’ve done in their whole life. They’re just comparing themselves to other people who they perceived have done more.
4. Feeling alone, or unnoticed, or under-appreciated
The 4th thing to cover in this article, focussing on mental health in business and entrepreneurship, is, feeling alone and feeling underappreciated, and not noticed, and not important, and not valuable. And I’ve suffered with this. I wouldn’t say I’ve got to the point, where I’ve had suicidal thoughts. But whatever the level before that is, I’m not quite well I want to throw everything in, because I know I’m on mission, and that helps. But just to the point, where I’m like I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Sometimes, when you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, you’re high up in a career, everyone brings their problem to you. But who do you go to with your problems. Who listens to you? Who cares for you? Who notices you? And when you hire staff, and I nearly have 100 staff, you can go for weeks thinking, man, you do the Christmas party here, half of them aren’t happy. You do the Christmas party here, half a them aren’t happy. You create some great staff benefits, and half of them aren’t happy. You don’t pay them much, they leave. You pay a good wage, they get lazy.
There’s always a problem. Sometimes, you can feel like, well, I just feel like everybody is minion, even though I’m supposed to own the company. When the lights go off at the end of the day, how many of my staff come up to me, shake my hand and go, hey, thanks for employing me, Rob. Thomas Cook went bust, and none of their staff have got any employment. None of them are getting paid. Thanks for employing me. You know, thanks for being a good boss, or an all right boss, or whatever.
Then when it’s all challenged, and you say one thing publicly, your Team like, why did you say that, and you have to see the bank accounts, and you’re responsible for all that pressure. You have to take all the pressure and all the responsibility. Sometimes, you can feel like you’re unloved. There’s not a lot of gratitude. By the way, I’m not saying this is what happens. I’m saying this is how you can feel.
And in our most challenging year, which is, ironically also, our best year, I felt at some degrees quite alone, and isolated, and no one understood me. But it was my fault, because I’ve always had mentors. At this point, I didn’t have a mentor. Like, only for a few months, did I not have a mentor. But I felt I’m having a mentor. I always go on courses and get coaches, and do a lot of training, and listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks.
For the fact like that, those 3 months when I was rucking in, solving all of the fires that felt like, they were spreading everywhere, I felt like I was the only guy putting them out. One little extinguisher against a load of massive fires. I hadn’t done the courses that I had, the education, the podcasts, the audiobooks. I stopped going out there and socialising with a lot of really successful entrepreneurs. I wasn’t asking anyone for any help. You know, if you just look at people, they don’t know what you’re trying to say, if you just look at them. You’ve got to ask them.
If you feel alone, underappreciated, misunderstood, unrecognised, you’ve got to ask for help. I know sometimes, you don’t want to ask. You just want people to come and help. But that’s a bit of a romantic notion. Actually, I’ve learned for most of the time, I’m pretty good at going and asking for help. I’ll ask a therapist or a mentor. I’ll pay a therapist or a mentor. Or, I’ll go and ask someone in my staff. Or, I’ll ask the advice of my business partner or my MD. It’s really important to have a good network of people around you, positive people, successful people and some critics to challenge you and to learn from.
But so many people are feeling alone, but they’re not doing anything about it. They’re all getting out there. They’re not asking for help. They’re not surrounding themselves with the right people who can help them. They say the rising of the tide lifts all ships.
Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, no one succeeds alone. Everyone needs help. Everyone needs a team, needs an agent, needs a PA, needs a support network. You need staff. You need customers. You need communities. You need friends. No one succeeds alone. I mean, look at the biggest companies in the world. I mean Walmart is one of the biggest employers, I believe. I think they employ like, I don’t know, is it 2 million people across the globe? So, the Walton family didn’t become billionaires on their own.
One thing I learned about myself, is, I’m pretty good at asking for help in every area, except the area I perceive people look up to me. So, I can go around and ask anyone for help for anything that I don’t know how to do. Now, the old me who was defensive, and jealous, and bitter, and envious, my ego would get in the way. I wouldn’t ask anyone for any help, because I didn’t want them to think I was weak, or that I couldn’t do it. I wanted to impress people, and then think that I could do things. So, I struggled on my own.
I’ve got rid of that now, because asking for help, it’s not a weakness. It’s a strength. Actually, people like you it, when you ask for help, because then they can help you. It makes them feel important. But one area of weakness for me, is, if it’s in writing books, or marketing, or strategy, or vision, or podcast, up until maybe 4 months ago, I felt like I didn’t want to ask anyone for help, because I’m supposed to know that shit. You know, people look up to me. I’m supposed to have my stuff like, figured out there. But it’s okay for you to not have stuff figured out all the time.
Are there marriage counsellors who’ve been divorced? Probably. You could argue, it makes them a better marriage counsellor, if they’ve been divorced. There are bodybuilders who’ve been overweight. Or, there are personal trainers who’ve been overweight and unhealthy. Yeah, because that’s part of their experience.
Even in the areas, where people think you’ve got it made, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. They say that you go halfway to solving the problem by admitting that you’ve got the problem, and that is huge.
5. All the pressures outside of starting your business and employment, trying to be a good parent, trying to be a good partner, trying to maintain hobbies, trying to maintain an image, trying to maintain the status quo, trying to look like, you’ve got everything under control
Okay, next then, is, you want to be a good parent. You want to have a healthy balanced life. You want some hobbies. You want some social life. And you’ve got to run this beast of a business, or run this beast of a career. All the pressures of everything else outside your business, maybe the husband or the wife is may be not that happy. You’re not seeing your kids as much.
I wrote a book called, Routine Equals Results. In that book I explained, it’s a short book, but it’s my most practical book, and I talked through how to create your ideal routine, which puts into place all the important elements of your life at the right time of day, for the right amount of time, bespoke to you. I think, if you’ve got a lot of pressures from everything going on, and you’re overwhelmed, and you’re spinning loads of plates. You’re feeling you’re not doing any job, and you’re not keeping anyone in your life, happy. You’re feeling the stress and the strain, and it’s weighing you down. Then there’s a lot of guilt around that. You need to start prioritising, saying no to some things.
Making one, 2, or 3 things your main priority. Giving them more time. compartmentalising your diary so that they’re done. They fit in. Having accountability, i.e., if you don’t do them, there’s consequences. So, you get them done. Having deadlines, and making that a consistent routine.
The paradox of being an entrepreneur, is, you’re an entrepreneur, because you like freedom. And you want to do what you want, when you want, where you want, with who you want. Then as soon as you get all this freedom, if you’ve ever experienced it, you’re lost. There’s no accountability. You don’t know when to get up. You don’t know when to go to bed. You don’t know to do a job.
There are so many distractions. You can kind of go and do what you want. I’ll go and chase this penny, this penny, this penny, this penny. I’ll try this business, this business, this business, this business. I’ll go and see this person. I’ll interrupt myself doing this. I’ll interrupt myself doing that. Before you know, you’re spread so thin. And you actually miss the accountability of having a boss, and having a time when you come to work, and when you go to work, and go from work, and a deadline to meet.
A deadline is really a most effective when they’re external, and you’ve got other people to let down. Like, I have a publisher. They need my book by a certain date. And that makes me write many more words, many more quickly, and make that a focus of my time. Until I’ve got a deadline for my book, I find it really hard to write, even though I’ve written 15 books.
Accountability, deadlines, routine, isolating yourself from distraction, knowing your priorities, saying no, and letting go of some things. That includes when you see your kids, when you have date night, or yeah, date night, once a month, once a year, when you’re relaxed, when you do your social stuff, when you do your key result areas, when you do your income generating tasks. For me, I get most of my income generating tasks done between 5:30 am and 8:00 am. For the last 2 weeks, because I’m back in the game in the last 2 weeks. I had a challenging 3 months, but had a good 2 weeks.
By 8 o’clock, I feel like, right, I’ve done most of the stuff I need to do. I’m on it. Because no one’s interrupted me. Because it’s a good time in the day for me. Because the coffee kicks in. There are no dogs running in. There are no kids running in. There’s no noise. There are no emails. There are no phone calls. And I’ve got time to get shit done and be productive. You can get 2 or 5 times as much work done in that time.
6. Feeling like you can’t really be yourself, and not really knowing who you are, and the judgement from other people.
Okay, next then penultimately, is, feeling like you can’t be yourself. Now, a lot of people say to me things. Well, I just want to attract my ideal client, except they’re trying to be everything to everyone in business. They’re just taking clients on, and attracting bad clients. They’re not saying no to the wrong clients, and not being clear the niche of the client.
A lot of people say to me things like, oh, Rob, I just want to be loved for who I am, except they’ve got a wall up. That wall might be make-up. That wall might be what they wear. That wall might be a defence mechanism. They’ve got this wall up, because they’re scared of being vulnerable. They don’t show the world who they are. So, they attract the wrong kind of partner.
You know, there are people who have recurring nightmares with partners. They attract perpetual cheats. Or, they’re in perpetual abusive or destructive relationships. Or, they just get psycho, after psycho, after psycho, after psycho, after psycho. Well, I remember saying to my mum once. Mum, there are only psychos in Peterborough. I’ve attracted so many psychos. What’s going on? Why they’re only psychos in Peterborough? Everyone’s a psycho. And she said, well, what’s the common denominator in all your relationship. And I was like, yeah, it’s me.
Clearly, the way I was being a veil, and a mask, and a wall I was putting up to the world was attracting the wrong types. But to be fair, they weren’t psychos. It was just the recipe of me plus them equals explosion. Like, in chemistry, when you light magnesium. So, I was attracting the wrong kinds of people, because I was putting a false version of me out to the world.
It takes strength and courage I know. But to be vulnerable and say, this is me. And these are my strengths. And these are my weaknesses. I’m not hiding my weaknesses. And this is who I am. If you don’t like it, I’m okay with that. Because there are more people on tinder so I can have another go or whatever it is.
But when you show the world who you really are, you show the business world who you really are, you show the dating world who you really are, you show your kids who you really are, strengths and weaknesses, warts and all, all of a sudden, you attract people into your life that are attracted by that. They’re attracted by your strengths. They bring their strengths to your weaknesses. They’re attracted by your vulnerabilities, and your honesty, and your compassion, and your courage.
If you feel like you can’t be yourself, if you feel like people don’t understand you for who you are, if you feel lost, alone in that world of your mental health, then it has to come from you. You have to show the world who you are. You have to take the lead and be a bit more vulnerable, and put yourself out there a bit more. That’s what a lot of people are struggling to do with their mental health, is, they’re protecting themselves. They’re putting on a false veil of strength. That gets tiring. It ends up beating you down. In the end, you break.
I don’t know, when I store things in, they build. They build. They build. They build. They build. Then I just had this massive meltdown. It used to be like, 6-month ongoing pattern of me. People would confront me. I was too weak to confront them back. People would bully me. People would give me feedback. I could hear people saying things. I’d bottle it, and bottle it, and bottle it, and bottle it, and bottle it, and bottle it, and bottle it. And I couldn’t take the rejection of confronting someone and say, wait a minute. Don’t say that. I’m pushing back. I’m all being honest.
Also, not being able to say no. So, people would ask me to do things, and I would say, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. because I didn’t want to let them down. Then I’d build up all this pressure of all these things I’d committed to, that I couldn’t do. It would build, and build, and build, and build, and build. Argh, and then you lose your shit. You have a massive meltdown.
Is it always nearly in front of? Your loved ones. And the people you care about the most, end up taking all that shit from you. Maybe, that’s not fair on them. Or, worst, yout customers, your clients, or like online or in public.
You take the lead. Show the world who you really are, including your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and you’ll attract great people. By the way, when you admit your weaknesses, it’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork and say, ah, I struggled with that too when you’ve shone the light. I’m really inspired by what you did and what you said.
I would never have thought to do videos on World Mental Health Day. But probably other than my big celebrity guests, my most downloaded podcasts, my most watched YouTube videos, when I talk about mental health, not wellness, but proper mental health, and the struggles, and the challenges, and the depression that we go through.
Your mental health in business and entrepreneurship and generally, is, incumbent on you, not bottling things up. Asking for help. Having good people around you. Not comparing yourself to others. Not beating yourself up. Then when you beat yourself up, feeling guilty about beating yourself, and beating yourself even more. Not suffering alone. Not trying to take on the world, or too much responsibility. You’ve got to defend yourself when it’s important to defend yourself. You’ve got to be able to say no and push back when that’s important.
And all of these things will give you, in the moment some things maybe harder. But in the long run, you’ll be more balanced. You’ll have better energy. You’ll have better well-being. People are looking for wealth, aren’t they? They’re looking for money. Well, the definition of wealth is well-being.
7. Critics and trolling, especially on social media
Finally then, critics and trolling. So, social media has changed the world, in that, it’s a quicker, probably more nasty with words way of being able to criticise. To have a fake profile, and to troll people. Online bullying. The speed of which negativity can get to us. Also, it works in reverse, where the speed that you can get out to the world, and build your brand, and leverage social media to build your businesses also much accelerated.
But we’re also trying to figure this out, this online bullying. This trolling. This hate online. So, I would say a few things.
No. 1. Most people on social media don’t know you. They’re seeing a version of you that you’re putting out to the world. So, if you putt the true version out of you, at least you’re being judged for who you are. People will judge you, anyway.
When someone sent you a really nasty email, because you’ve sent them an email at the wrong time, or they’ve got a notification, or they felt spammed. You know, when you’re scrolling, and you see an ad, and you get really annoyed, because your pattern got interrupted. Or, you were doing something, and then you’ve got distracted.
Most of the time, when people give you shit online, it’s just that on them, and their feeling of distraction, frustration, anger, some things that have gone on in their life. You usually, for example, lose your shit with your kids when you’ve had a bad day, when you’ve got stressed. When you haven’t had a bad day, and you’ve not got stressed, you’d probably handle your children better. You can handle their emotions more, because you realise they’re a child, and I’m not.
But then when you feel like a child, you act like a child. So, that’s people. And people are usually reacting negatively to you, not to you, but to the shit that’s going on in their life. In the past when I fought back, I’ve just created a big problem or a big fight, or sometimes, worst, a bit of reputational issue.
But when you care to listen, and to understand some of the things, oh, why are they being like that? Is there something behind that, that maybe I could help with? And actually, take time to consider and care for people, you can turn critics into fans.
No. 2. The next thing, is, critics have actually useful feedback for you. People are often calling critics haters. If you call a critic a hater, you’ll turn them into a hater. But in reality, a critic often is just someone who’s got good feedback for you, or wants to use your products and services, or get to know you. But they’re just a bit more sceptical, because they’ve been screwed over by a load of people. And that’s okay.
You have to be careful not to react badly to critics or trolling, and take it personally. I think, if you don’t take it personally, and you know that that’s just the world, and that’s just them, and it serves me to make me stronger and more independent. It makes me improve my products and services and outlook. Because, if I didn’t have the critique and the trolling, I haven’t had the accountability. I’ll get lazy and complacent. So, it actually serves you.
I think to summarise, your mental well-being will be much better, if you’re able to see the upsides and the downsides.
If you’re comparing yourself to others negatively, think about, okay, what are the upsides to that. Okay, maybe it motivates me more. Or, maybe it gets me to look at my own strengths to balance myself.
The second thing, is, if you’re not feeling like you’re doing good enough, what’s the upside of that? Or, maybe you need to put more time and effort in. Or, maybe it gets you to look at the things about you that you are doing well. Maybe, it makes you more humble.
If you’re not feeling good enough, what’s the upside to that? It might help you seek help and support from other people. You might start to leverage and outsource things to people who’ve got skills in areas that you haven’t.
If you’re feeling alone, and underappreciated, what’s the upside of that? Well, maybe you get a chance to go more inside yourself, and actually, really think about who you are, and what you want. Maybe, it’ll teach you to go and ask for help and support from other people.
Everything has an upside. Most people when they’re down, depressed, lonely, or struggling with their mental health, they’re just seeing all downside. You have skills. You have talents. You have gifts. If you care about yourself to honour those, then no one can make you feel something about you that you don’t already feel yourself.
And so, if you’re focussing on everything you haven’t got and done, and people point that out, then you’re going to feel empty. whereas, if you know who you are, and what you’ve done, and you know that you have a place, and you’re not comparing yourself to others, you’re comparing yourself to just the you that you know you can be. And if there’s a bit of a gap between who you are and who you want to be, that’s fine, because it’s traction for growth. And you ask for help when you need it. You don’t suffer alone. And you look after your mental health. Then I think you’ll be all right. Because we’re all struggling. And all those swans are elegant above the water, are kicking and screaming like everyone else under the water.
I, sometimes, think if I have a few critics, well, Katie Price, or Katie Hopkins, or Katie Piper. Three very different Katies. I often think about those ladies. You know, Katie Piper is a beautiful person. Someone just threw acid all over her face, and completely disfigured her. And all the hate that she’s got from people. Yet, she’s just such a beautiful person.
Katie Price who’s probably struggled with how she looks and tries to change the way she looks. There are probably got millions of haters, but also, inspires millions of women. I know she does. If you ever think that you’re getting a bit of shit online, go and search Katie Hopkins into Google, and see how much shit she gets online.
I think context is really important, because you probably haven’t got it as bad as you think. Like seasons, nothing stays the same. The darkness does become light. Fortunately, sometimes, the light turns to darkness. We have periods and seasons in our life. Sometimes, they’re days, weeks, months. Sometimes, they’re a year or two. The depths of the recession you could be a few years, where things aren’t quite as good as you want them to be.
I think it’s wise to prepare for these eventualities. Getting good people around you. Saving money. Not overstretching yourself. Outsourcing when you can. Making sure that you’re developing your strengths, and having people around you who are good at your weaknesses. Being kind to yourself. How many times a day, do you pat yourself on the back, and go, um, I did good today? Yeah, um. Probably, not many, if any.
Maybe you can do that a bit more. Maybe, you can forgive yourself for the mistakes you perceived you made. Because maybe, they weren’t mistakes. Maybe, they’re meant to be. People say things like, ah, well, it obviously it had to happen like that, because it makes me who I am. So, every mistake you make, makes you who you are. I that regard, it has some gift and upside element to it.
Then if there’s anyone you’re holding bitterness and resentment to, you know, people that you feel that have wronged you, screwed you over, hurt you badly, that you’re finding it hard to let go of, that you carry it with you all the time, that affects your relationships with people, forgive them, because they probably didn’t mean it. And even if they did, they probably just were overrun with emotion. They probably have guilt. They’d probably say sorry, if they have the chance, but people are too stubborn to do that. And actually, it probably serves you, because it makes you strong and independent.
The stuff that you’re holding onto about yourself and others, let that go. Forgive yourself. And then for that, I wrote about that a lot in my book, I’m Worth More. Because I think that’s probably the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
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