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Stories of Success Podcast

The podcast is a listening experience for your personal development.

I regularly interview high achievers, entrepreneurs, consultants, visionaries, coaches, and mentors about their secrets and experience. Learn from the best and enjoy!

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 his experiences.
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 May 2020. 
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 people.
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 started meditating.
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.
Volker coaches transformations (career, life & business), and helps individuals and companies through change. He is also a mindfulness trainer and productivity expert. In his podcast Stories of Success he interviews successful people and wrote a book on the back of it.

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