Last month, Spotify released a podcast called Killing It, featuring conversations with startup gurus who air the reality behind the highs and lows of what starting a company is really like.
In the words of the podcast's first guest, Alex Depledge, Killing It is “exploding the 'everything is awesome' myth” surrounding startup culture.
“Hell yeah, I cry”
- Female founder Alex Depledge on mitigating the stigma for emotions in the workplace”
We at My Wellbeing can’t stop listening. Killing It lives at the intersection of everything we love: entrepreneurship, mental health, and listening to others talk about their feelings. It's refreshingly honest, and the hosts -- tech journalist Aleks Krotoski, therapist Petra Velzeboer, and “mental health gym” owner James Routledge -- are skilled at drawing out their guests’ pertinent experiences and diving in with them.
Episode one features an interview with British serial entrepreneur, Alex Depledge, the force behind Hassle.com, a marketplace for domestic cleaners, and Resi, a resource for homeowners looking to complete building projects. Depledge shares with Killing It and its listeners about her wrestling with suicidal ideation 12 years ago, feeling the depths of postnatal depression, and finding her identity after having been raised in a cult. In her interview, she reflects on not having the tools to process her emotions, and recalls, “Everything was perfect on the outside...looking good, looking together.” She shares, when she shows others pictures of her when she was at her emotional worst, they can’t believe how “together” she looked.
One particularly salient point Depledge touches on is the “moral obligation to talk really openly” as a female CEO struggling with mental illness. “Hell yeah, I cry,” she announces. “One minute you're on top of the world and within a minute you can be in the crevice of despair...there's an awful lot of myth and hype and glamour” about the startup space. Rather than put on a false facade, Depledge chooses to model a realistic and authentic leader for her team.
Killing It's second episode features Michael Acton-Smith OBE, founder of the meditation app Calm. In a calm and balanced voice -- exactly how you'd imagine Calm's founder to sound -- Acton-Smith shares about the far-reaching impacts of mental health and the importance of maintaining mental health through routines, especially when you're feeling overwhelmed.
As the series continues, the hosts and their guests delve into themes like the anxiety, stress, self-doubt, and sleepless nights that may surface as a business shuts down and feelings of exhaustion after leaving a cushy consultant job, raising money for a startup, and selling it to competitor -- what some may imagine to be the start up dream -- only to find yourself hurting more after it's all over.
Killing It balances getting personal, dispelling myths, and providing insight through behind-the-scenes looks at the fast-paced and stress-inducing world of starting a business.
Following along with Spotify's weekly releases of new episodes: listen for free here.
Have you been listening, too? Let us know what you think in the comments or by messaging us at [email protected] We'd love to hear from you.
Complete our free, confidential questionnaire to easily and quickly match with 3 personalized coaches or therapists.