May 7, 2020
This was a great recording with an industry friend around
various topics. Not only did we discuss media, but we more-though
spoke about what it means to have a burn-out and to live with
anxiety, not only during the Covid19 crisis.
Meet Sean Betts who is the Managing Director of Annalect in
the UK and has worked in the media industry for 16 years. He has
lived with depression and anxiety all his life and in 2017
experienced burn out. Since then he has been openly talking about
For those not from the industry, Annalect is part of
Omnicom Media Group and they are responsible for all technology,
data and analytics across the group. Prior to joining Annalect,
Sean spent 4 years at Havas Media working as a client director on
multiple blue chip clients and prior to that worked as a media
planner at MediaCom for 8 years.
After I met Sean, I thought it would be great for him to share
his story of being successful yet dealing with burn out at the same
time. How does one cope? How do things work? Or don’t work.
Recording this episode just before the Easter weekend
naturally lead to us speaking about the Covid19 crisis.
We think that we, as the media industry, are well equipped in
terms of working from home. However, some clients took a massive
hit on their business, whilst others strive in the time of crisis,
or brands that take advantage of cheaper media prices.
Every recession and crisis offers an opportunity, which is
great. Balancing this with the fear and risk, is a challenge most
people and businesses find. Also, not having a clear end date,
makes it difficult to plan. And what if the virus comes back and we
have to have another lockdown in another 12 months. The uncertainty
is a major challenge.
Sean suggests we have to find a new normal too. He thinks the
biggest thing is for the world to slow down and evaluate what is
and isn’t important.
Where do you find your focus? What are your values? And how
can you align your values to your purpose and your life. That’s
where my online coaching course will focus on which goes live in
Being able to appreciate life outside work, and being able to
slow down their life to enjoy it more is key. For me, the
opportunity to have dinner with the family every night is amazing.
Just spending time with the family is key for a lot of
I really appreciated how open Sean is about his experience. We
both feel that speaking about burn-out, anxiety and therapy, helps
others to open up too. It makes it more ‘normal’, and he also
thinks from a recruiting perspective, he would prefer people who
have had mental problems, as they are more likely know what they
want in life. A very interesting discussion, and eye opening.
I was particularly impressed by his boss’ reaction, and
support he received. Originally, I though this could go the wrong
way, with companies and managers not understanding. A great
testament to his employer, but we must be aware that this wouldn’t
be ‘normal’ at every workplace.
In his experience, only over the last few years we are
learning as a society what the language is to express our feelings
and mental problems; for him it’s a generational thing, talking
about mental health. Given we are similar age, I couldn’t agree
more. Through his experience he started being more mindful and also
We discuss how as a society we should encourage people to have
therapy, learn meditation and invest more in themselves to improve
their mental health; and this should be something employers should
value when hiring too.
His morning routine is very similar to mine with an early
start for meditation and exercise. Based on his experience, Sean
also suggests how to deal with anti-depressant drugs, and how you
need to make sure that you get the right treatment from a
medication point of view.
In terms of change, Sean now changed his attitude towards
work. Mainly in terms of being more strict with his time like not
working too early or late, and trying to avoid weekend work unless
absolutely necessary. Also balancing work and life, spending more
time with the family.
We philosophise about the new normal after the crisis and what
we think will happen. Maybe we speak in a longer episode sometime,
it has been so much fun to speak to Sean.
If you want to reach out to Sean, just go to Linkedin