In our annual Mental Health episode, I wanted to talk about somethings that I have been experiencing recently. I've come to realize that as an entrepreneur, the road is oftentimes lonely and secluded. Think Batman with his Bat Cave, or Superman with his Fortress of Solitude. Yes, I know those are geeky references but let's not forget, I've got my start after football, in the tech field. As entrepreneurs, our own versions of what Batman and Superman have is where ever we decide to start our work at. Be it our cars or trucks, or home offices or even coffee shops and bedrooms.
Our roads are often lonely because.....well, let me be more specific, this road for me, has been lonely because it is hard to explain what is going on in my head at any particular point in time when it comes to business. If I am able to put words behind it, I find myself oversharing and realizing that whatever I'm saying is going over the listener's head, or they're not able to see the picture that I am trying to paint with words. I oftentimes try to explain some of the ideas to my wife, and God bless her heart, she'll listen and either get it, which is not often where she does, or she just says, "is it going to make money?" Since the time of our marriage, I've realized that if I build it, then show her, she'll understand better than me trying to tell her. In full discloser, my wife is a black or white person, meaning that there is no grey with her.
I'm very open to sharing my thoughts and experiences along my entrepreneur journey because, in all honesty, had it not been for my wife, I wouldn't be in therapy now. You see, for the longest time in the black community, going to therapy was for "crazy white folks" who had issues. For us in the black community, all we need is Jesus. I've quickly realized how much of a stereotype that was when I started going to therapy and how it has helped me to be clear in my mind, thoughts, and how to better navigate issues that I wasn't aware of.
It was during one of those sessions with my therapist (1st semester's guest professor Guam Lee from the 1st ever Mental Health episode, along with my identical twin brother. Listen to that episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn Radio, Spotify, and at the episodes page.) that prompted me to do an Instagram video talking about imposter syndrome. I realized that there were other people who were experiencing this too. Not just entrepreneurs, but regular people reacted and responded to that video as well. It blew me away how people were responding to it. I felt like I was not alone with this issue.
At that time of the video in the summer of 2020, mental health was starting to spread to areas that once shunned the thought of mental health. Before I even did that video, I shared my thoughts about me doing that video with my therapist and he helped my confidence in making the decision to do so. That video spurred so much conversation with other people, some who are entrepreneurs and some who aren't. That was a true community feeling I had. Again, in full context, that helped me to make the decision to make the Mental Health special, an every semester fixture.
Ironically enough, that even spurred a great conversation with my wife. It allowed me to be more vulnerable with her to allow her to explore with me a side of me that I wasn't aware was there. Not to mention, that was the same time people were being more vocal and being advocates of mental health. Though I told her privately, I will say publically that I thank her for pushing me into therapy. It has taken me to places where I have a deeper understanding of who I am and strategies to deal with situations. It can be very scary to do that type of deep dive on yourself, but for the benefit of those around you and those who love and care for you, I strongly believe that it is imperative that you give it a hearty effort.
I'm still working through some thoughts, feelings, and anxieties with my therapist, but this was a special episode for me because of the guest professor that I've brought on to talk about this subject. I am a huge fan of this guest professor because whenever we talk, we're always building and sharpening each other to be better than what we currently are. Not to mention our guest professor is also an old hip hop head like I am and one of the coolest people I know. Make sure you have a life jacket on because this will get pretty deep. This guest professor will force you out of the shallow end and into the deep end.
For our Mental Health special, which has been dubbed "Counseling Class", let me introduce to you guest professor Alan "Rocdwell" Johns.
If guest professor Alan "Rocdwell" Johns looks familiar, it is because he was a guest professor of "The Business of You" class in the first semester. Alan Johns is a Licensed Master Social Worker, that is passionate about helping empower people to be their best. With his 10 years of working with youth in the nonprofit and school context, Alan took his passion into his profession, where he currently works as a school social worker in the public school system in Detroit. Also, Mr. Johns is a therapist that utilizes an integrative approach of family systems, solution-focused and cognitive-behavioral therapeutic processes to assist his clients to greater healing and reality of SELF. Alan is passionate about image and Life coaching, where he ranges from helping men develop a refined presence for success to helping his client obtain an empowered mindset to meet their goals.
Along with being a mental health professional in the clinical and school context, Alan is the host of the Life, LOVE and Real Talk Podcast and LIVE show, where he creates an energized interactive dialogue about relationship, spirituality, and philosophy. He is also an unapologetic hip-hopper, that continues to create soulful hip hop as a recording artist, where he is also known as Rocdwell.
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