What comes to mind when you think of an entrepreneur? Maybe it’s the gregarious and frenetic hustler, as personified by my friend Gary Vaynerchuk.
That’s interesting, since the only thing Gary and I have in common is that we’re both serial entrepreneurs. Clearly, the types of personalities that support entrepreneurship run along a wide spectrum.
If you’re finding Unemployable useful, I’d greatly appreciate a rating and review over at iTunes. Simply use this link and you’ll go directly to the appropriate area of iTunes. Thank you!
In the past, we’ve discussed research that reveals that the men and women who become entrepreneurs leverage what would otherwise be personal liabilities into an advantage. The underlying idea is that perhaps the ability to execute on innovative ideas might come from a mental illness, or psychological baggage that is turned into a positive.
Beyond the personality traits that can help entrepreneurs, there’s also the darker side. Certain aspects of our identity and mindset makes it likely that we’ll suffer from anxiety and depression — and worse, not reach out to seek help.
Joining me today is psychologist Sherry Walling to discuss both the positive and potentially negative aspects of being an entrepreneur. Dr. Walling specializes in working with founders to better cope with some of the more stressful aspects of entrepreneurism, and I think you’ll find her insights valuable.
Listen to Unemployable: Advice for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs below ...
The Show Notes
- Sherry Walling, PhD
- Staying Sane in 2017: A Discussion About Mental Health with Psychologist Dr. Sherry Walling
The Psychology of the Entrepreneur, With Sherry Walling
Sherry Walling: I am Dr. Sherry Walling, and I’m a clinical psychologist who loves to hang out with entrepreneurs and startup folks. I don’t really fit anywhere, but whoever I’m talking to I’m trying to promote a little bit of sanity and happiness. I am definitely unemployable.
Voiceover: Welcome to Unemployable, the show for people who can get a job, they’re just not inclined to accept one, and that’s putting it gently. In addition to this podcast, thousands of freelancers and entrepreneurs get actionable advice and other valuable resources from the weekly Unemployable email newsletter. Join us by registering for our free Profit Pillars course or choose to sign up for the newsletter only at no charge. Simply head over to Unemployable.com and take your business and lifestyle to the next level. That’s Unemployable.com.
Brian Clark: What comes to mind when you think of an entrepreneur? Maybe it’s the gregarious and frenetic hustler, as personified by my friend, Gary Vaynerchuk. That’s interesting, since the only thing Gary and I really have in common is that we’re both serial entrepreneurs. Clearly the types of personalities that support entrepreneurship run along a wide spectrum. I’m Brian Clark, and welcome to Unemployable. Given the topic of this episode, I’ve decided not to include a sponsor message. But if you’re finding the show useful, I’d greatly appreciate a rating and review over at iTunes. Simply use the link Unemployable.com/iTunes and you’ll go directly to the appropriate area. Thank you.
In the past, we’ve discussed research that reveals that the men and women who become entrepreneurs leverage what would otherwise be personal liabilities into an advantage. The underlying idea is that perhaps the ability to execute on innovative ideas might come from a mental illness or some sort of psychological baggage that is turned into a positive.
Beyond the personality aspects that help entrepreneurs, there’s also the darker side. Certain aspects of our identity and mindset make it likely that we’ll suffer from anxiety and depression, and worse, not reach out to seek help. Joining me today is psychologist Sherry Walling to discuss both the positive and potentially negative aspects of being an entrepreneur. Dr. Walling specializes in working with founders to better cope with some of the more stressful aspects of entrepreneurism. I’ll think you’ll find her insights valuable. Sherry, or should I say, Dr. Walling, how are you?
Sherry Walling: I’m doing well. You can call me Sherry.
Brian Clark: I know. When we first met I called you Sherry the whole time. It’s hard to re-train me at this point, but I can adapt if I need to.
Sherry Walling: It’s just my kids that I make call me Dr. Walling, sometimes when they get a little too out of control.
Brian Clark: As it should be. Excellent. How are things? You live in Minneapolis, which would typically be pretty cold right now, and yet you’re in L.A. and it’s not sunny.
Sherry Walling: Yeah. Minneapolis right now is beautiful. It’s 40 degrees, which in Minneapolis-speak is basically spring. I’m in L.A., where it’s raining hard and windy and 50 degrees. I’ve planned this terribly.
Brian Clark: You can’t win. Tell me this, is your office anywhere near First Avenue, where Prince and The Time were?
Sherry Walling: It is not that near, but I have been to First Avenue six times since moving to Minneapolis seven months ago. I’m familiar with the venue.
Brian Clark: I am jealous. I’ve never been to Minneapolis. I’ll probably come during the summer.
Sherry Walling: I think that’s a really good decision. I also got to go to Prince’s house, that was cool.
Dr. Walling’s Journey
Brian Clark: I am very jealous. Let’s talk a little bit about what you do now and how you got here. Obviously a lot of education was involved to become a licensed psychologist. Give us an idea of your journey and how you got to this place.
Sherry Walling: Sure. Yeah, I have a PhD in clinical psychology. The things that I have always been curious about are anything remotely related to how people organize their lives and how people’s minds work. I have deep curiosity about people in general. I began my journey in clinical psychology working a lot with trauma survivors who are also high achievers, like military officers or physicians who had a very bad outcome at work and were trying to put themselves back together after some traumatic or really bad thing happened at work.
I love to play in the space between significant personal challenges in people who are high achieving and smart. One of the ways that has taken shape for me more recently … In addition to being a psychologist, I am married to a guy named Rob Walling who is a serial entrepreneur and has been in the startup space for about 15 years now. As part of our family, I’ve watched his entrepreneurial journey, gotten to know his community, and realized that there are a lot of folks in the entrepreneurial world who are sorting through their own psychological complexities.
I’ve been playing in that space. Doing conference speaking. Rob and I host a podcast called Zen Founder where we talk a lot about mental health and entrepreneurship and family life — those kinds of things. Most recently, my primary job is consulting with founders around mental health and how to stay sane and not go crazy in the midst of the madness that can be the entrepreneurial experience.
Brian Clark: Yeah, that is fascinating, and I do want to dive into all aspects of that, the mindset of entrepreneurship — good, bad, weird, whatever the case may be — because this is a topic of personal interest to me. Obviously I want to make sure I’m not the only crazy one out there. I do want to say that after I met you I went over to Rob’s site, his blog. He’s using the Copyblogger theme, which was the first design of Copyblogger — which I founded 11 years ago — and we gave it away for free. I haven’t seen that in a decade.
Sherry Walling: It’s really old.
Brian Clark: It is, but I’m still honored.
Sherry Walling: He really needs to update his website. Yes, of course, it’s a shout out to you.
Brian Clark: We can help him update that as well if he wants. I looked at that and I was like, “Oh my goodness, I have not seen this in a while. This is awesome.” Okay, as I mentioned to you briefly before we went on the air, in the past on this show we’ve explored the topic of the relationship between perhaps mental illness or some sort of psychological adversity that the entrepreneurial type will actually find a way to turn into a positive.
For example, last year we spoke with Peter Shankman who has ADHD. I’ve never seen someone take a so-called liability and structure his life in such a way that he’s more productive than anyone I know. It’s amazing. We talked about how Steve Jobs certainly had narcissism issues and Bill Gates is on the autism spectrum. This idea that an entrepreneur can take a perceived liability and turn it into a positive is really interesting to me. I want to touch on that a little bit, what are your thoughts?
Turning a Perceived Liability Into a Positive
Sherry Walling: I think you’ve nailed it, actually. In the course of talking with entrepreneurs, especially about their early life experiences, there’s this trend that I’ve noticed among folks who go on to be quite successful in that they had some very significant experience of adversity as children.
I think about someone like Heaton Shaw, who has founded several companies, he’s very successful. He lost his mom when he was five. When you dig into the patterns, you notice that entrepreneurs are folks who have significant experience of something bad happening, or for whatever reason not being able to fit into the normative developmental trajectory of their peers.
There’s something different about entrepreneurs. Either it happens environmentally, it’s more endemic — ADHD, really high levels of anxiety, OCD. Things that change the shape of how a child develops. I see that all the time in entrepreneurs. The other piece of that though, is that adversity exists, but alongside it is enough support to help that developing person do something good with it. It’s a grandparent, it’s a teacher, or it’s someone in their life who offered enough encouragement and stability that adversity did not totally derail them.
Brian Clark: Yeah, that’s fascinating. This is a topic that took me a long time to figure out. I shared it last year as well, this topic. It took me forever to figure out that I had abandonment issues from my childhood. I was put up for adoption at birth, adopted by my mom and her first husband. He left. I didn’t even realize I had a so-called dad until I was six when she put me on a plane to go see him in California. It was awful. He’s an awful person.
But then my mom remarried at seven, and the guy I call dad, Mr. Clark, he was that anchor like you mention. I think the abandonment issues made me a people pleaser. I don’t like people to reject me or leave me, and yet I had anger tied to that too. Anyway, it explained a lot when I went and finally talked to someone at age 40 and we delved into this stuff. I can see how it was good. I can see how it was bad. But it’s fascinating to me that that is the reason that I’m unemployable. That I reject having a boss or that control over me. Yet, I’m completely indebted to my customers, because they’re the ones who make it happen for me. It was very illuminating to me on a personal level.
Sherry Walling: Absolutely. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Brian Clark: It does now, but I didn’t realize that I was carrying that stuff with me. Now that I reflect back — my angry 20s and turning it around at 30 when I began founding companies — it makes complete sense. But we can be completely in the dark about ourselves, despite the fact that we’re the only ones who are inside our own heads.
Sherry Walling: Yeah, that’s why I have a job. That’s why people pay me. In all honesty, it is incredibly difficult to be very self reflective, especially among entrepreneurs who are so good at getting things done and are so functional. They just go, go, go and ship, ship, ship, but don’t necessarily value, take time, or want to sit back and look at how the pieces all fit together in a deeper way.
No Such Thing as an Entrepreneur Psych Profile
Brian Clark: Yeah, that makes sense. Aside from childhood trauma or trying to compensate for something, is there, in reality, a psychological profile of who becomes an entrepreneur? Because in my experience, it seems fairly diverse compared to this stereotypical risk-taker, high roller, extroverted personality.
Sherry Walling: Yeah, I don’t think there is a profile. I don’t think there’s one profile. Others may argue with me about this. I think there’s a stereotype of this gregarious, happy to sell, ready to go, risk-taking person.
Brian Clark: The hustler, right? That’s the stereotype.
Sherry Walling: The hustler, sure.
Brian Clark: That’s not me at all, and yet I’ve done okay. It’s weird. It’s strange to me.
Sherry Walling: But there are a lot of introverts who are entrepreneurs. Because they’re observing, they’re seeing connections that other people aren’t seeing because the other people are busy talking. There are people who are very risk averse who are entrepreneurs, who are very successful because of the way that they manage risks accordingly. I don’t think that we can sit down and say there’s one type of entrepreneur, because there’s also an infinite number of kinds of businesses or ways of doing this lifestyle.
Brian Clark: Yeah, it’s interesting. This is my observation, that a lot of us who are introverts took early to the Internet and online marketing and content, copy, email. We’re not going to go cold call anyone — back when that still worked. We’re not going to knock on doors. We don’t want to leave the house. We saw the world through a computer screen and we’re like, “I can talk to these people just fine through my writing, through my messages, etc.” Or maybe these are just the people I tend to congregate with. It seems like the Internet was an opportunity that the real world didn’t really present.
Sherry Walling: Absolutely. It also, as an introvert, gives you time to craft your message, to be thoughtful and careful so that your voice is an extension of you but it’s something that you have put a lot of thought into. The Internet is a gift to introverts who also want to have some sense of social connection or relationships.
Brian Clark: In many ways, being an entrepreneur is being a marketer, a salesperson. You’re bringing your ideas, your products, and your services to market. More and more, we’re seeing research come out that says that even in traditional sales these days introverts — or ambiverts is the new … Tell me what you think about the ambivert thing. That’s not a — how should I put this? — not an extrovert and not the stereotypical version of an introvert, which is deemed to be shy. I’m not shy, but people wear me out and I have to leave and go recharge.
Sherry Walling: Sure.
Brian Clark: That’s how I think of myself as an introvert.
Sherry Walling: Yeah, I think these things exist on a continuum, and the categorical variables are not that helpful. Introvert, ambivert — whatever we want to call it — it exists along a spectrum. I think your way of articulating how much people exhaust you is the key question to where you lie on that spectrum. Whatever you want to call it, I think placing yourself somewhere and understanding that there’s always nuance when we’re talking about people, there’s always individual differences … One term, introvert, doesn’t fully explain what it’s like for you to operate in the social world.
What Makes People Pull the Trigger to Become Entrepreneurs
Brian Clark: Yeah. Got it. Compared to when I was younger, entrepreneurism has become fashionable. Everyone wants to do the startup. I’m sure the tech world and the Internet have fueled that. But more than the big-time stuff, it’s about the ability to obtain a lifestyle and freedom — all of the great things that are, when it comes down to it, probably more important than the status and the money. But not everyone does it.
Do you feel that there is a psychological component other than necessity? For example, if you lost your job in 2008, you didn’t have any other choices. It just happened that you did hustle, make it work, and now you’re out on your own. Barring that, what gets people to pull the trigger?
Sherry Walling: Off the top of my head, I think two things. One is a sense of self that says, “I don’t necessarily fit along the typical path.” There has to be some willingness to step out of the nine to five track, to turn down the government benefits. There has to be some willingness deep inside to say, “It’s okay for me to go my own way.”
The second thing that I thought of when you asked this question is courage. This willingness to step into an unknown territory. I realize that this is shifting as entrepreneurship becomes a little bit more trendy, or there are more people doing it, and the Internet makes all that possible. Everybody wants a four hour work week. But I think deep inside there has to be this sense of self that says, “I’m okay if I’m not doing what everyone else is doing. I’m brave enough to handle the risks and the isolation and sense of, ‘I’m doing this on my own.'”
Brian Clark: Yeah, and that’s okay.
Sherry Walling: Right, “I can tolerate that.”
Brian Clark: Right. Yeah, that’s why I called the show Unemployable. For me, it’s not an option. But that’s not how I grew up though. I was somewhat entrepreneurial as a kid, but mainly just because I wanted comic books and video games. It was very …
Sherry Walling: You were motivated.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I was very goal-oriented. It wasn’t beyond that. But once you have the wrong experience in the world of work, that can be the catalyst. Again, so many people complain about their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they do anything about it.
Sherry Walling: Sure. I think the world is changing in so many ways. We can even talk about how gender roles have changed, where we don’t have Mrs. Cleaver sitting home doing all of the housework. There’s now an expectation that people who are pairing up and having children, that mom and dad are both available. That makes that nine to five and two weeks of vacation really intolerable to the modern family. I think there are more motivations now to try to figure this out. But it remains very scary.
Psychological Markers of Successful Entrepreneurs
Brian Clark: Are there characteristics of certain people that allow them to tolerate ambiguity better than others? Because we all know that’s part of the job description when you’re out on your own trying to build something.
Sherry Walling: Yes, certainly. I’m curious what you think about this. I almost feel like many of the entrepreneurs that I know have a deep sense of their own control. They see their work and their world as controllable, and that they are the locus of control. They hold the keys to that control. I think people who go into entrepreneurship have this deep sense of their own ability to ship. They have a sense of what they feel capable of making and they feel in control of that.
Brian Clark: Yeah, that’s interesting. From my perspective, I don’t consider anything I do high risk because I work on the problem for so long before I do it — before I ever put myself in a position of no turning back — that it feels pretty safe.
Sherry Walling: Yeah.
Brian Clark: It’s a weird thing to say, because you can never know for sure. But if you stick with the problem long enough … That’s my favorite quote from Einstein. He says, “It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stick with the problem longer.” Those are words to live by for me, because that’s the only control you can really exert in this world. It’s never 100 percent, but you can get closer.
Sherry Walling: You have control over your effort.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I think that’s a fair way to put it.
Sherry Walling: That’s where I think that impression of the gregarious risk-taker is not really correct, because I have seen so many people like you and like Rob take steps over years and years and years. One risk is small. You buy something for $500, then you buy something for $5,000, and then you’ve bought a business for $25,000. You scale up over time. But by the time you’re getting to the big dollars and the big steps, it’s not a risk because you have accumulated so much expertise and experience and money that it’s just the same game with different dollars.
Brian Clark: Yeah. It’s funny about the gregarious personality type, because those are the few examples of people I know in my life who have crashed and burned. Because they don’t think. They think it’s all hustle, movement, this meeting, that meeting. They never allow themselves enough time to think. I saw an article just last week that said you should be spending 10 hours a week thinking, minimum.
Sherry Walling: Yeah, I saw that too.
Brian Clark: That’s my job.
Sherry Walling: Yeah.
Brian Clark: Yeah. The idea of the packed calendar and this phone call to that meeting … That makes you feel busy, but busy-ness is not what gets you across the goal line.
Sherry Walling: I think that’s another important marker of a successful entrepreneur, this sense of being very clear about what’s beneficial and what is noise.
Brian Clark: Yeah, absolutely. We met at CaboPress. That is a mastermind event for entrepreneurs in the WordPress space. One of your sessions there was about mental health. Coping when things aren’t so bright and cheery in the life of the entrepreneur. Honestly, I’d never been to an event where that was the topic. I am not insensitive to those things or adverse at all. It just surprised me, number one, that it was a topic, and even more surprising somewhat was it was packed.
Sherry Walling: Lots of people came.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I was like, “Wow, that is amazing these people are opening up. This is so encouraging to see.” As a person who had a dear friend commit suicide not a week ago, it is so important that you have the ability and the courage to just say something. Yet entrepreneurs, I’m afraid, at least in my mind, might be the last to actually reach out to anyone because they don’t like to show weakness. What’s your perception of that? Then I’d obviously like to get into the meat of that a little bit.
The Pressure to Appear Invulnerable
Sherry Walling: I think entrepreneurs have a … Their identity is really intimately integrated into their business. Once you begin to talk about anxiety or depression or a marriage going badly, or anything that is a personal vulnerability, my sense is that the fear is that other people will perceive that the business is not going well. There’s this unnatural — maybe not unnatural. There’s this deep faithfulness to try to protect the reputation of the business, but I think it comes at tremendous personal cost to any ability to reach out and be connected around things that are more vulnerable.
Brian Clark: Yeah. You’ve got this whole culture of personal branding. Again, this is the opposite of the power and the reach of the Internet and to be able to communicate like we do. On the other hand, everything’s got to be fantastic. You’re always doing something amazing. You’re always happy. You’re always funny. That’s how we have to provide a narrative to coincide with the marketing of our business.
Yet we know it’s not true. You get that FOMO feeling when you look at someone else’s great life, even though they’re an entrepreneur that’s on par with you. Or maybe you’ve even gone farther than they have at this point, and yet you find yourself somehow feeling like you’re wanting, you’re missing. That’s a terrible feeling.
Sherry Walling: It is a terrible feeling, that sense of inferiority that we’re all so suspect to or so fragile to. This sense of, “Everyone knows something that I don’t know. Everyone’s doing something that I’m not doing. Everyone has an ability that I don’t have.” That’s pure fiction.
Brian Clark: Yeah, it is. Every time I catch even a twinge of that, I’m like, “What would you change? You’re doing what you want. You’ve designed your life to be this way. It’s not perfect, but there’s nothing that you should be envious about.” I guess I’ve gotten with age better at realizing, “Hey you’ve got it pretty good.” That doesn’t mean that things don’t come up. I’m driven by low-level anxiety, but I turn it into a productivity tool. It’s that adaptability. When I was younger I struggled with depression, not so much anymore.
Getting back to that session. It was so well attended. People, from what I could tell, were opening up. Was it just — I hate to use the term — a safe place where no one felt like they were going to be judged and therefore it worked?
Sherry Walling: You know, when I give talks about this, anything related to mental health in the tech, founder, entrepreneurial world, my talks are always rated in the middle. They’re always a bimodal distribution. For some people, the space to talk about how they’re feeling and what’s going on inside, or to have someone come and present about anxiety or depression, it is lifesaving. It literally can be, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that I was feeling this bad. I didn’t have language for it. Now someone’s given me language and it’s lifesaving.” Then there’s always this subset of people who are like, “Why is this lady here? We’re supposed to be talking about how to optimize our SEO,” or whatever.
I don’t think it was a fluke, Brian. I actually think people are increasingly hungry for this. You have people like Brené Brown, people who are talking a lot more about vulnerability and openness. I think there’s this desire that we all experience for authenticity. A lot of my role is giving people permission to do that. Yes, in a pool in Cabo that feels much safer than it does when you’re at a business conference. I don’t think you have to scratch very hard to give people permission to talk about some of the deeper things that they’re experiencing.
Brian Clark: That’s what’s amazing about your work. Even if one person had that lifesaving moment in the room, that’s worth it.
Sherry Walling: Yes, I’m all about that.
Brian Clark: That’s probably more life-changing than any speech I’ve ever given. I get this sense — maybe it’s just because I’m paying attention to some of the people that you’ve mentioned and to your podcast, and of course, listening to Cory from iThemes open up about what he’s gone through — it’s encouraging to me. Yet I know, realistically, there are people out there right now, maybe listening to this right now, who are going through a hard time and they feel like they can’t turn to anyone. What would you tell them?
Get Over Yourself and Get Help
Sherry Walling: “You’re not that special.” That’s probably not very compassionate.
Brian Clark: I like that though. That’s right. It all ties together. “I have to be infallible and tough.” No you don’t. You’re just a fragile human being like everyone else, get over yourself.
Sherry Walling: From surgeons to congress people to officers — people are complicated, emotional, physiological beings, and everything does not run smoothly all the time. It’s like your car, sometimes you need maintenance and you need your oil changed, or sometimes there’s a problem and you need to have someone look at it.
I would say in the nicest, most compassionate terms, “Get over yourself and reach out to someone.” That’s why there are people like me in the world who are bound by the strictest confidentiality rules and laws that say you can come into a therapist’s office, you can go to a psychiatrist, you can dump all of your sh*t. Am I allowed to say sh*t? I don’t know, sorry. Beep it out, whatever. You can dump all of that and it’s okay. It’s protected. No one will know. Someone will listen. Someone will help.
Brian Clark: Yeah. I just wish we’d get past this stigma. I was a psychology major in college and considered graduate school. Ended up going to law school. Clearly not doing that anymore, but …
Sherry Walling: You sort of circled around psychology anyway.
Brian Clark: Yeah. In some cultures there’s no stigma whatsoever about talking to a therapist. Yet I think in United States culture, maybe Western culture in general, it’s still there. It’s silly. Why? It’s just talking to someone who’s trained specifically to help you. I know back when I figured out these childhood issues, I wasn’t in a place of trauma, but my life got better afterward anyway. It doesn’t mean you have to be at rock bottom. If you are, please reach out immediately to anyone. Just talk to anyone that you can trust first, and then maybe move on to a professional. Sherry, you work with clients in California and Minnesota because you’re licensed in those two places, right?
Sherry Walling: It’s a little bit tricky. If I’m doing traditional psychotherapy, like making a diagnosis and making a treatment plan, then I work with people in California and Minnesota because that’s where I’m licensed. But I do consulting with founders all over the world. That works well for most founders who are not in the midst of an intensive mental health crisis but are doing that kind of check-in.
I get to work with people for three or four sessions. “Where are your points of pain? Let’s make a plan around that.” Sometimes that is me saying, “Hey, you really need to see someone locally. You need to consider some medicine. You need to consider some other things.” But often it’s just some tweaks and problem solving. Working on some self reflection and using my trained ear to be as helpful as I can be.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I would highly encourage that. Do you have some resources that we can point people to and then also how to get in touch with you?
Sherry Walling: Yeah. You can certainly find me on my not very up-to-date website, but sufficient.
Brian Clark: We’re going to get you and Rob set up.
Sherry Walling: Yeah, the whole Walling family. We are a hot mess right now. That is SherryWalling.com. Zen Founder is our podcast, and frankly I think it’s a very good resource in terms of — we’ve done topics about suicide, we’ve done topics or episodes about depression and anxiety. We try to be very practical and helpful. I think for people who are considering seeing a therapist there are …
Psychology Today is a national site that helps you find therapists in your neighborhood. You can look at their background, look at their interests and see if it’s a fit for you. I don’t know. Cory Miller and I — you mentioned Cory from iThemes — we’re doing a free webinar on the seventh of February. There are things happening if you begin to look around. There is a small but mighty band of us who are really committed to this conversation. There’s no reason to not reach out and get connected.
Brian Clark: Yeah, we’ll put links in the show notes for this. Since you guys are audio people if you’re listening, start with the podcast. Maybe check out the webinar. To me, the initial realization that you aren’t special in the sense that you’re not unique in how you feel and the struggles that you’re having, that’s often all it takes for you to go, “Okay, I’m going to talk to someone.” Until then, you feel this strange sense of, “There’s something wrong with me and I’m just going to sit here and wallow in it.” That’s the worst thing you can do, I would guess, right, Sherry?
Sherry Walling: I think mental health aside, isolation is the most difficult part of the entrepreneurial experience. This sense in which you are separate from other people. Maybe you work alone, maybe you carry the burdens of running a team. But the sense in which you are alone responsible for the course of your life can be very isolating and can lead to this self deception of, “Nobody understands me, nobody gets this.” The reality is that there are lots of others entrepreneurs who are facing the same kind of battles that you are facing. There are also lots of other humans who are facing the same kind of battles that you’re facing.
Brian Clark: Sherry, thank you so much for being here. This is incredibly important and incredibly useful.
Sherry Walling: My pleasure, Brian, thank you.
Brian Clark: All right, everyone, you’re not alone. We all want you to keep going along with the rest of us. If you need help, check out some of the podcast episodes. I’m going put a link to this webinar that’s coming up. Just listen in. You get that sense that this is a common thing, we’re all looking for ways to enhance our personal growth and to be more effective. Well, that starts with your mental health, so please take care of yourself.