My Sales Went up 600% as Soon as I Dealt With my Depression
I used to go for runs in the woods and cry. My chest hurt constantly and all I could think about was how in three years I’d had four ventures “fail.” While I have an amazing group of friends and family, I had two serious romantic relationships go south. With the end of the second relationship I was pretty broken. I had zero energy and while I wasn’t going to “off” myself any time soon, I wasn’t well.
I moved in with my parents and I looked at myself in the mirror one night and said “The common denominator in all this is you. So what needs to change?”
I’ve always enjoyed getting up early and working out. I would place my workout gear right next to the bed. Some mornings it took every ounce of my strength to lace up my shoes and head out the door.
My parents live in a beautiful area at the bottom of a mountain. I’d watch the sunrise through the trees as I climbed. At first I listened to obnoxious rap and podcasts to keep my mind occupied and moving forward. My chest would hurt, my mind and my heart filled with thoughts of all the people I’d disappointed. I kept going.
Gradually, as I piled on the miles in the woods, the pain started to ebb and flow more. I had space to contemplate.
What was I doing well? Where had I held a lot of promise and come up short because of self-sabatoge? What did I enjoy? How could I do more of that?
Some days I’d return home and zone out for 2–3 hours, wanting to work, but being mired in my own thoughts. On those days I just started writing. How I felt. My hopes and my fears. How I had been wronged, how I felt in that moment, all the people or things I was mad at. Sometimes it felt like it wasn’t even me writing, but another voice in my head. I always felt better after, so I kept at it.
I started to observe there were patterns of behaviour, and ways of thinking, I was engaging in that weren’t the reality of the situation. They were expectations, thoughts and hang-ups I was putting onto situations in my life. I’m a perfectionist, I have a lot of drive and ambition. It’s a way of thinking that’s stymied my growth and hurt my relationships. I was horrible critic of myself and those closest to me. Harshly going after perceived faults and focusing only on what I didn’t have. Not wanting to move forward until something I was working on was “perfect.”
What emerged over a couple months of those sessions was that I really beat myself up, I thought I’d never have enough. I would only be loved and accepted if I’m perfect. Gradually, I shifted to having gratitude for what I have and where I was at that moment. It’s weird, I’m actually a sharper judge of my performance and work now. However, it’s done from a place of love, integrity and drive to fully realize what I know I can do.
I coupled all this writing with seeing a counsellor, almost weekly. She put perspective on how I was feeling and what I was experiencing. Holding some pretty uncomfortable spaces so I could talk and feel through what was hurting me. A friend would have just told me what I wanted to hear.
I also credit meditation — and cannot recommend the Headspace app enough — with helping me ingrain a habit of seeing, and feeling, that I had a choice in the way I was feeling. That what I was experiencing was temporary. More space began to open up in my heart and my head. I stopped bringing my phone with me on those morning runs. My heart would still hurt or that negative voice would race through my head. However, I’d be able to just let it pass by without it taking over.
I fully committed to growing my company. I’m spending every spare moment learning about my industry. Exactly who I needed to meet started to appear. The results? Sales are up 600%, I’ve had multiple acquisition offers and we’re hiring. More importantly, I wake up everyday and my heart and head feel clear. The voice in my head is fun, loving and encouraging.
I’ve achieved a lot in my life. However, articulating and working through the negative way I saw myself was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I’m a Type A, hard driving, achievement-oriented guy. However, as soon as I realized something was wrong and I asked for what I needed, I got it. I’m sharing this because every week for the past month I’ve had a conversation with an entrepreneur who’s in a bad spot. It’s okay to share hopes, fears and how we feel about ourselves. We’re not meant to be “crushing it” all the time, that’s not life (or reality).
This transformation has been humbling and is maintained moment-to-moment. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it saved my life.
If you wake up and find yourself with a weight on your chest or a negative voice constantly racing through your head don’t bury it because you’re almost there to “making it.” No achievement is worth being a stranger to yourself.
It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to talk to someone and it’s okay to have a kind conversation with yourself.
Thanks for your time and I sincerely hope this helps if you need it.