STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

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STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

More »

STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

STARTUP PICNIC GEW 2014 - 22 November, at CSIR Sports & Recreation Club

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Category Archives: All posts

The Reasons Why People Do Not Want You To Follow Your Dreams

I am on a blogging marathon promoting of my upcoming 3rd book (28 October 2015), The Anxious Entrepreneur. Pre-order it at up to 40% discount.

People like to dig and analyse people’s background affairs.

A homeboy was saying to me I wouldn’t be pursuing entrepreneurship had my parents not been doing ok. He meant, given otherwise, I would have been forced to take a job to keep things going in the family.

It got me thinking of

Entrepreneurial Depression: I Felt Like I Was Spiralling Deep Into a Dark Hole

Being an entrepreneur has never been more desirable, and I should know because I am one.
At 34 I have ticked a few boxes: business contracts ending, emotionally and financially straining business and two miscarriages,

Despite living what some might think is the “entrepreneurial dream” – I

Four Ways for Entrepreneurs to Defuse Anxiety

These points are extracted from my upcoming book The Anxious Entrepreneur.

It was at about 3:35 pm. I felt I was about to faint or have a panic attack. The day was not going well. Over and above, I was overly tired.

It had been weeks since I had any ‘win’. Therefore I needed to hustle people on the phone even if it was 4:00 pm. I was desperate. For goodness’ sake, that time is around knock off time. A business pitch is the last thing they would want to hear.

A rejection email had heightened the panic. All these triggered

Apply To Join a Growthpoint Properties Incubation Initiative for Entrepreneurs

Property Point, a Growthpoint Properties initiative, has opened its next application window for entrepreneurs working in the property industry to join its business incubation programme.

The speakers at Startup Picnic JHB Breakast-Talk on 02 May 2015

As always, the fun at STARTUP PICNIC starts with an opportunity to hear from fellow entrepreneurs who are doing it and very well at that.

This is what we call the Breakfast-Talk at STARTUP PICNIC, which this time will be from 10am to 12pm (2 May 2015 at Lido Hotel, Johannesburg). In a casual setting, our guest speakers will share experiences in their business life, i.e. the challenges, vulnerabilities, troubles, motivation, key lessons, values and how they gel all these to bring success.

The mission is always to bring you a mixture of guest speakers you would rarely find in one roof but equally are eager to openly share both challenges and victories in their business life.

Our curators went in and invited Khofelo Pholafudi, Marumo Lekwankwa and Arnold Mhlamvu. They are young too.

Below is a bit about them and what to expect…

Do People Treat Me Differently Since I Talk Openly About Depression?

As Amy and I get ready to return to Boulder today and physically re-enter the human race, I woke up this morning thinking about how I’m feeling emotionally. We’ve had an excellent three weeks up at our house in Homer, Alaska, far away from the people we know. Our only friends up here are our neighbors (whom we adore) so other than one visitor (Matt Shobe – who we also adore) it’s been a very solitary and physically introverted time.

I’ve been working a lot – typically on video conferences and phone calls for four to eight hours a day. Toss in email, some projects, and my daily writing and you’ve got a full schedule. But it’s been alone, with just Amy, in our house, far away from other people. The days have been long, with lots of light, late dinners, and even later nights since the sun doesn’t go down until after midnight. And that’s been good for my soul.

Several months ago I received the following question in email. It’s similar to a number of emails I’ve received and I thought of it this morning as I was pondering my mental health so I figured I’d riff on it a little.

“I have been struggling with depression for a while. I want to write about it, but I’m afraid that it will really negatively impact me professionally. Some investor might not write me a check, because he/she will think that I’m not a good bet, or maybe someone will think twice about hiring me down the line. Have you found people treat you differently after you’ve written about your depression? Have you had opportunities close up? Would you recommend writing about it for someone who is not as established as you are?”

Following is a rambling rant on each question.

Would you recommend writing about it for someone who is not as established as you are?”: I have no idea. In my case, I started writing about it without considering the implications. The transparency movement was one of the motivations that resulted in me starting to blog in 2004 as I played some follow the leader with my friends Fred Wilson and Jerry Colonna, who each discovered the joy of blogging shortly before I did. A decade later, I continued to believe deeply in the value of transparency as well as authenticity, which has been reinforced through my work with Rand Fishkin, Sarah Bird, Moz, and Moz’s TAGFEE code. I try to be myself, be direct, be open, and own my thoughts and ideas all the time. So it would have been opaque and inauthentic not to talk openly about depression and, given that transparency and authenticity are a key part of my value system, I never gave it a second thought beyond realizing that if I didn’t talk openly about depression, I was bullshitting myself and violating some of my core values. That said, I have no idea if it’s a good idea for someone else to write about their depression – it’s going to depend on their value system, circumstance, and mental/emotional state. However, I do know that talking about it, even privately, has helped me address my depression, so I encourage anyone who is struggling with depression to make sure they at least have a few people in their lives who they can talk to openly about what is going on with them.

Have you found people treat you differently after you’ve written about your depression? Have you had opportunities close up?  I’ve had three experiences: a few mildly negative, a few irrelevant, and many overwhelmingly positive. I’ll start with the negative. Several people who I previously was close to withdrew from interacting with me. I have no idea why – I can only speculate that they were uncomfortable, afraid, or ashamed of something, or for me. I’ve proactively reached out to several of them now that I’m not depressed and re-established close relationships, so the dynamics here are a mystery to me. A few people, instead of being passive, were openly hostile to me. I ignored them as I realized their hostility was likely more about them than about me. Many, many people reached out, provided support, opened up about their own depression, thanked me for providing leadership on this issue, or words for them, or just an example of a successful person who struggled with depression. This was the overwhelming feedback and resulted in a number of new, interesting, and powerful relationships for me. Many of the conversations I had with this set of people helped me work through my depression and better understand myself, and many of them told me that I had a similar impact on them.

Reflecting on this rant, I think people do interact with me differently in a way that is very positive and powerful. There is a lot more connection and empathy in my relationships. I’ve always had a lot of this since it’s the way I’m wired, but now it extends to many of the relationships I have from a distance, online, or are business interactions with relatively little physical or social interaction. It’s easier to get real about what is going on when things are difficult or when I see someone else struggling. And, when I need a break from humans, I just take it without worrying about it or wondering what people are thinking. At some level, I’ve let go of another layer of external judgment and validation, which already was largely absent from my psychological construct since I’m so deeply intrinsically motivated. But by helping people understand me better, they can related to me better and I can relate to them better.

So – overall – being open about and writing about my struggles with depression has been a huge plus for me.

Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons, and read a lot.