It’s Lonely at the Top: Your Work and Your Mental Health

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John Ratliff first applied The Scaling Up Rockefeller Habits when he was the Founder/CEO of Appletree Answers. He grew it from a relatively small company in 1995 to 700 employees, before selling it in 2012. Today, he is the Managing Director of STS Capital Partners, and sits down with Bill to discuss our overall mental health and how to combat depression when you’re sitting at the top.

When it comes to mental health, John looks back and reflects that he had been struggling with it since he was a little kid. So, instead of facing it, he did what most people did, he dived into his work, and did not confront what was going on with himself internally.

When it comes to mental health, sleep is very important, yet John picked a business where he didn’t get much of it at all. He was working 100 hours a week, and was up at all hours of the night when he first started his answering service. He was so sleep deprived that he doesn’t remember the entire year of 1997.

To be completely honest, John kept his life-long battle with depression a complete secret from everyone in his life until now, when he’s finally able to talk about it. It was something he didn’t want anybody to know about. From the outside, he was often the life of the party and a fun guy to be around.

Bill reflects on his own personal experience and how many entrepreneurs pretend that it’s all ‘cool,’ when it really is not. Through some reflection, Bill was able to notice, just like John, the various ways we try to hide from the outside world, and to make it look like we’re more than just okay. It seems entrepreneurs have the tendency to overcompensate to try and avoid what’s going on in the inside, which has its pros and its cons.


Interview Links:
John on LinkedIn


The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer


More Resources:

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshops: Take the first step to mastering the Rockefeller Habits by attending one of our workshops.
Scaling Up Business Website
Bill on YouTube
Gazelles Website


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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail.My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business podcast and a leading business coach with a Gazelles. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).