From Suicide to Success, part 1
From Suicide to Success, part 1
An Entrepreneur’s Story
I never thought I’d be the one writing this post. Even now, I’m sitting in the coffee shop with my laptop screen dimmed down and my hands shaking a bit; still worried that the random stranger over my shoulder might read the words, much less my family and friends. I’ve started and paused this project a hundred times over the past couple months.
My name is Zack Holland, and I’m an entrepreneur, marketer, author and business owner based in Venice, California. I really like pugs and puns. And, at times in the past, I have been extremely suicidal, devastatingly lonely, and quite depressed. Despite an amazing and supportive family, great friends, and all the apparent benefits the world can offer a person – I was so disgustingly down and miserable that I couldn’t physically see another way out. That was 2015 - and thankfully I found a way to crawl out.
Up until this point, I have been careful to present a sterilized version of myself to the world – especially on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook that are normally reserved for congratulations posts, highlight moments, or random birthday wishes that you didn’t actually remember. But I have been ruminating on the idea of sharing my struggles in the hope that it could assist even a couple of others for years now.
It was watching Logic, a rapper and producer also known as Bobby Bryson Hall II, perform and speak about his track ‘1-800-273-8255’, which is the suicide hotline, that convinced me to finally put metaphorical pen to paper. Logic states in an interview that once he realized that singing a song could help even one person who felt alone in their journey and considered taking their own life, he had a moral obligation to perform it.
My platform is nothing like his, and my ‘success’ a much different scale. But my path, that of an entrepreneur, is one that too many people attempt to face alone. The entrepreneurial community, a group that usually reserves public discussion for false braggadocio in an honest attempt to ‘fake it until you make it’, puts an extreme amount of pressure on themselves, and ties their outward success with their inward self-appearance, lacks any regular type of discourse on the deeper levels of emotional and mental struggle typically reserved for artists, writers, musicians and poets.
But make no mistake, entrepreneurs and business owners place just as much lonely soul, energy, dream and desire into their businesses as any creative puts into their art. There is the same number and the same degree of restless nights, humiliating failures, uncontrollable anxiety and hold-outs of hope. We’re all fighting the same fight to feel purpose, place and meaning via the expressions that we’ve found to be ours, and the dreams we play over and over in our minds.
Over the next few posts, as I delve deeper into my own personal struggles against depression (strap in, this may not be pretty), I will attempt to lay out a traceable path for any one or two readers that stumble upon this for whom it may mean something – tips to do away with the thought patterns and habits that allow us to destruct the blessing of life that we’ve been given, and hopefully some direction in how to grow and move forward both in life and in business towards success, whatever that may mean. Don't be confused by the title; I, by absolutely no means, see myself as a beacon of idealistic success. But I have been able to traverse a few dangerous pieces of the entrepreneurial journey by using a few tools and mindset shifts taught by much more intelligent men, and have come out on the other side better off for it. I’ll try my best to narrate one person’s path from suicide to success in the hope that it will offer solace to a few.
Is there a set of thought patterns, habits and routines that will lead someone from the deepest reaches of entrepreneurial distress, into a healthy life full of growth and joy? When the company is failing, the cards are maxed out, and the loneliness sets in, what's next? Have I finally just gone mad? I intend to find out.
If this journey is of any interest to you, throw your email below and you’ll be notified of the next post. Let’s bring a discussion of mental health in the entrepreneurial community to the surface; and in doing so enable a generation of otherwise lonely souls to become not only successful but whole along the way. Share the post if it resonated. Lastly, if you’d ever like to chat, whoever you are, whether we've met or not, never hesitate to email me by clicking here.
Sincerely, thanks for reading. –Zack
Zack Holland is an entrepreneur, marketer and author based in Venice California, the CEO of the Holland Digital Group, and currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for the direct-to-consumer bedding brand cloudten.