Rand Fishkin was depressed and anxious for around a year. He had trouble sleeping and got trapped in the loop of "regretting decisions from the past." He felt sunk and like nothing useful was coming from his business, Moz. Meanwhile the company was a $20 Million revenue business at the time, and has grown even more since 2013 when he was fighting through his dark period.
To show you how bad Rand's depression got, while was giving talks about marketing around the world. He speaks regularly about Moz and is an expert in online. marketing. But it didn't matter. After giving awesome talks to marketing crowds, people would approach him to compliment him saying "It' so great to meet you, I'm a Moz customer for years. I love your tools and software." And Rand felt so bad, he tried to convince the attendees that his talks were truly bad. And he even tried to prove to these paying customers that his products weren't working properly.
Many of you know that I am a former standup comedian. And many of you don't know is that I struggled with depression in my early 20's. There was days I never left my room except for comedy and my day-job. I went through a dark phase and it was really hard talking to people about my own challenges with depression and anxiety. I found a real stigma around depression amongst my friends and colleagues. People saw it as a stigma and thought that I was "weak." In fact most people told me to "suck it up," and deal with it. I've never told anyone outside of my close friends this story.
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In Rand's case, startup founder depression is a real thing. Talking about depression can be a hard conversation to have. It's not easy. But it's okay being depression. It's okay failing and telling others openly and honest about it. Sever depression and anxiety doesn't last forever. Any sort of self-loathing or misery that you feel is temporary. Battle through the stigma of depression and talk to others. If you are struggling ask others for help.
Rand Fishkin's Moz article: The Long Ugly year of Depression that is Finally Fading
Rand Fishkin on Twitter: twitter.com/randfish