After a nice week off, I'm back for this week's edition of What We've Been Reading. My editor Chris performed the duties manfully last week, though.
But, let's face it, we all know who the real star is here. To celebrate my triumphant return, here are some articles and media I enjoyed this week. I hope you'll enjoy it, too!
Since it's Mental Health Awareness week, I thought it would be a great time to share this CNN report.
When I spoke to Startup Anonymous's Dana Severson about mental health and startups, he immediately recommended this report to me.
Having watched it, I can understand why. The report is a deeply empathetic, beautifully filmed look into a crisis we don't talk about.
It's absolutely worth watching it in full. And hopefully, it will help foster an open dialogue.
Following on from our work around mental health and Startup Anonymous, here's one of the site's most read posts. It delves into the feelings of disappointed and fear a founder has about telling employees, and even their spouse, that the company's shutting down.
"We haven’t paid ourselves a salary for some time with the hopes that we would raise more money, but also because we couldn’t afford to. My wife was counting on me to raise more money, now I have to tell her the news.
"We didn’t leave enough money in the bank to pay off our debt, so now we need to tell people we can’t pay. Are they going to come after me, or my house and my car? I’m broke and I’m scared," they say.
Having a peer network is crucial to learning and evolving as a CEO. It's also fundamental to be able to share your problems in a frank and open way with people who understand the job role. Startups Anonymous is great in that it gives everyone, anywhere an ability to get that kind of support without judgement.
It's a harrowing read, but helpful to see the feedback and know that, hopefully, whatever you're going through as a founder you're not alone.
It's clear that Dwayne Johnson (to the fanboy in me, he'll always just be The Rock) is an extreme outlier. If you keep an eye on his social media, you will see a man that's apparently always awake.
He gyms, he films multiple projects, he still moonlights in the WWE. His herculean work ethic can't really be emulated or replicated. He is super human; a freak.
But what we mere mortals can learn from him - and it's exemplified wonderfully in this feature - is Johnson's active listening. He makes his interlocutor feel good by caring, by listening intently. You don't need big muscles to do that.
I'm just about to publish a long story about a particular place. In the course of writing and researching it, I've thought quite a bit about places and, specifically, the place that I'm in.
Not the emotional or mental place, the literal, physical place I inhabit; that being Bristol. I've lived and worked in a few places. Every single time, every time, the surroundings zipped past me.
So the question is: how can we appreciate our place more? And, actually, what does it even mean to appreciate it? Freddie DeBoer attempts to answer these questions when he writes about West Lafayette, Indiana.