Transcript: 72% of Entrepreneurs Struggle with Mental Health: Proven Ways to Deal with This, with Lori Gottlieb

November 17, 2022

LORI GOTTLIEB: “Especially, I think, for entrepreneurs, they get very afraid of uncertainty. You know, like, ‘I know this. This is safe, even though I have a feeling this probably isn't the right thing and I need to kind of, you know, move in a different direction.’ They think, ‘Oh, but I've invested so much in this direction already.’ Well, sunk costs, you know? So you're losing your opportunity cost. Right there is, what could you be doing with this time instead that takes you on a better track, even if it feels scary? It's like being plopped into a foreign land, where you don't know the language, you don't know the customs, you don't know your way around yet, but it might be really exciting.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there, my friend. I’m so glad you’re here today, because there is something that we as entrepreneurs need to be talking about more, and that is our mental health. Did you know that 72 percent of entrepreneurs struggle with mental-health issues? I'm raising my hand right now. I’m absolutely part of that 72 percent, and I’m curious if you are as well. 

And here's the thing: if you don't manage your mental health well—entrepreneurship can be lonely. You can have decision fatigue. You can have burnout, tons of external pressures like being part of the hustle culture, all of that is showing up for us anyway—but if we're not managing our mental health, it’s taking over. And so because I believe to my core that entrepreneurship can be one of the best gifts that you give yourself, I want to bring more awareness to this issue that runs rampant in the world of entrepreneurship and business.  

Luckily, there are people out there that take this very seriously and are willing to show up and help. And one of those people is Lori Gottlieb. Lori is a renowned psychotherapist and New York Times’ bestselling author of the book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which is currently being adapted as a television series. How cool is that? 

In addition to her clinical practice, she's a co-host of the popular Dear Therapists podcast, and she writes The Atlantic‘s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column. She's been featured many times on shows like the Today show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, and NPR's Fresh Air. And get this: her recent TED Talk was one of the top ten most watched of the year. You can bet I'll be linking to that in the show notes at And she's the creator of the brand-new Maybe You Should Talk to Someone workbook, a toolkit for editing your story and changing your life, which I personally think is a very powerful tool, and we're going to talk about journaling and about her workbook soon. 

So, we talk about finding the balance between being vulnerable and being viewed as an expert, and how to handle tough decisions that come along even when you don't want to make the decision. We're going to talk about your resistance to change and how to make it your friend, the power of journaling, and so much more.  

I really loved this conversation. I've never had a therapist on the show before. So let's go ahead and dive in. 

Well, hey, there, Lori. Thank you so much for coming on the show. 

LORI: Oh, thank you so much for having me. 

AMY: I've been really looking forward to chatting with you about mental health and some strategies and resources that my listeners can use to support them in their mental-health journey. Over the last few years on this podcast, even though it's about online marketing, because I speak to entrepreneurs, mental health has become a huge issue on this show, and we're always addressing it in different ways. So you are the perfect person to usher us into a new conversation today, so I've been really looking forward to it.  

Tell everybody a little bit about yourself.  

LORI: Sure. So I'm a psychotherapist, and I am a writer. My most-recent book is called Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and it follows the lives of some of my patients, and it's a memoir about my experience going through something as well. And I have a podcast called the Dear Therapists podcast, where people can hear actual sessions with people, at the end of which they get actionable advice that they have one week to try out, and then we hear how it goes, because I want people to see that even one conversation can help people to begin to shift and make changes. I also write the “Dear Therapist” column for The Atlantic, and I have a TED Talk called “How Changing Our Stories Can Change Our Lives.” 

AMY: Which we will absolutely be linking to in the show notes.  

I want to start out with just saying that many of my audience members struggle with showing who they truly are or being vulnerable because they're supposed to be the expert in their field, and they have to show up like that in front of their audience. And you've broken down that stigma, and you said, “I didn't want to portray myself as an expert from up on high but as a person just like everyone else.” So where did you find the strength to share your personal struggles, even though you're the expert, without the fear of people seeing that as a weakness? 

LORI: Yeah, that was so important to me because—so in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone I follow the lives of four of my therapy clients as I help them through various issues in their lives. And at the same time, I was going through something in my life, and I felt like it would almost be disingenuous to pretend that I'm not a card-carrying member of the human race when I am. So I become the fifth client in the book, and I go to see a therapist.  

And I think it's really important to show that I know what it's like to be a person in the world. I think if you're human, you have struggled in all kinds of ways. And the less we talk about it, the more we struggle; and the more we talk about it, the less we struggle. And so I think it's really important for people to understand that vulnerability is a strength. It takes courage, it takes bravery, and it also is the path to moving through whatever it is that you're struggling with. 

AMY: Absolutely.  

Okay. So the day to day of being an entrepreneur—and let's be honest, just being a human—requires a lot of decisions, often tough decisions. And a lot of times there's decisions that we just don't even want to make for ourselves. We want to hand it over to somebody else because they're hard decisions to make. So what's the best way to navigate making these tough decisions and leaning on our own intuition versus wanting input from others? 

LORI: I see so many people who come into therapy and they say, “Tell me what to do.” 

AMY: Yeah. 

LORI: “Tell me what I should do.” And what I always say to people is you have a place of knowing inside of you. And I know that sounds a little woo-woo, but it's actually not. We just get that voice drowned out by all of the noise around us. “So and so said this. The culture says this. You know, something from my childhood says this,” whatever it is, that we don't even know we're listening to. We don't even know how loud those other voices are and how quiet our own voice is.  

So what I do in therapy is I help people to hear their own voice and also to be okay with the not knowing; to be okay with the fact that this is a decision that you're making for really sound reasons, and nobody has a crystal ball, and if it doesn't turn out the way you want it to turn out, you will learn something important to make a different decision going forward. And I think people put so much pressure on themselves that the decision I make has to be the absolute right decision, and if it’s not, then they decide, “I’m bad at making decisions.” 

AMY: I see it come up a lot. One of the things that we talk about on this show is that there are no bad decisions. You just need to make a decision, see where it takes you, and then you get to recalibrate if needed. Would you agree with that? 

LORI: Yeah, absolutely. I think so many times people feel like, you know, “The longer that I analyze this, the better my decision will be.” But really, that's analysis paralysis. It doesn't actually—at a certain point, you're not getting more information; you're simply spinning in your mind, and you're getting less clear, not more clear. 

AMY: Yep. I've seen it happen over and over again. So just making that decision, getting into action, seeing where it leads you, without the guilt and the shame of “I made a bad decision.” I love that you brought that up around, you know, we don't have a crystal ball. We're not exactly sure if this is going to lead us in the right direction. But I have found, earlier in my career, building this online business I have today, I looked to everybody else for the answer. I was so afraid that, what would it mean if I made the wrong decision? So I'd ask everyone, “What do you think? What should I do?” And I never turned inward. So I love that that is what you are advocating for.  

LORI: Yeah. I think there's this misconception that another person has a better answer. They don't have the crystal ball either, so they're just making a decision based on whatever factors they're making the decision based on. But that doesn't mean it's the right decision. It just means that's how they might make the decision. But there’s no guarantee that they’re making the right decision for you either. 

AMY: Ooh, we have to remember that. That's a really great reminder. I'm glad you brought that up.  

Okay. So I wanted to talk to you about decision making, because it's a big thing for a lot of my listeners, but I also want to talk about change. So I, too, recently wrote a book. It's called Two Weeks’ Notice, and it's all about how to quit your job and start your own business. And when you do that—quitting your job, becoming an entrepreneur—lots of changes are happening in your world, and that alone can hold someone back from taking the leap, just to avoid being uncomfortable. “I'm not going to leave this job. I'm not going to start this side hustle or this business, because there's too much change involved,” and it makes you really uncomfortable. So what makes change so hard, and what are some things you could do to surrender to that change and know you're going to be uncomfortable and maybe even find enjoyment in it versus just fear? 

LORI: So there's a whole chapter in my book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone called “How Humans Change,” and it helps people understand why change is so hard and what we can do differently, because we think—you know, New Year's is coming up, for example—and we think, oh, it's like you decide you're going to make a change, and then you make your New Year's resolution, and then you're going to make the change. And of course, most of the time they don't last. So why do New Year's resolutions fail so much? Why do those changes not last? It's not like the Nike, you know, Just Do It.  

So actually, there are all these stages involved. And the first is precontemplation, where you don't even know you're thinking about making a change. And then comes contemplation, where you're thinking about it, but you're not ready to do anything about it yet. And then comes preparation, where you're starting to prepare for the change. You know, like if you're looking for a new job, you're going to start putting feelers out. You're going to be doing some research. If you're thinking about leaving a relationship, you might be thinking about, “Well, what would that look like?” If you’re thinking about doing something like moving, whatever it might be, setting a boundary, any of those things.  

And then action is when you actually make the change. And people think that's the last stage. It is not the last stage. The last stage is maintenance, which is how do you maintain the change? And what people get wrong about maintenance is they think that if they slip back, that they failed. You know, it's kind of like, “Oh, I'm going to eat healthy. Woops, I ate this today, or I didn't exercise today,” or whatever your goal is. And then they think, “Well, I just failed, so forget it.” No. Built into maintenance is that you are going to slip back because it's unfamiliar. It's not part of your habit yet. It's not part of your routine yet. You're still trying it on. So you have to have a lot of self-compassion during maintenance.  

And that doesn't mean that you aren’t holding yourself accountable. A lot of people think, “Oh, I have to be really hard on myself, and I have to beat myself up and self-flagellate because that'll keep me on track.” No. It's kind of like if you had a kid, and your kid comes home from school and said, “I did really badly on this test.” Are you going to scream at them, or are you going to say, “Hey, that’s okay. Let's look at what happened and what can you do differently next time, right? Maybe you need to talk to the teacher and get help. Maybe you need to study harder. Maybe you need to go to sleep earlier,” whatever it is. That's what happens in maintenance. It's, “Okay. This happened today. I'm going to be really compassionate with myself, and I'm going to look at what I can do differently next time to help.”  

And the reason that that stage of maintenance is so hard is that change has us leaving what's familiar. We have to lose what's familiar to us, even if what's familiar is something we don't like or making us miserable, like you're in a job you don't like or a relationship you don't like, or you're not taking care of your body in the way you want to. And it's like, “Yeah, but at least I know that job. I know that relationship. And if I leave, what if it's worse? What if I don't find another job? What if I'm unhappy?” even though you're already unhappy. 

AMY: That's powerful. Yes. The fact that you might not even want to change even though what you're in right now is not serving you, does not make you happy, but you're more fearful of, “But what's on the other side of change?”  

LORI: Right. And that's why, especially, I think, for entrepreneurs, they get very afraid of uncertainty. You know, like, “I know this. This is safe, even though I have a feeling this probably isn't the right thing and I need to kind of, you know, move in a different direction.” They think, “Oh, but I've invested so much in this direction already.” Well, sunk costs, you know? So you're losing your opportunity cost. Right there is, what could you be doing with this time instead that takes you on a better track, even if it feels scary? It's like being plopped into a foreign land, where you don't know the language, you don't know the customs, you don't know your way around yet, but it might be really exciting. So can we embrace change as the unfamiliar being exciting instead of frightening? 

AMY: So that’s such a great question. How can you make the unfamiliar be exciting versus fear it? 

LORI: Yeah. I think it’s being able to know that you can't predict everything. You can't control everything that's going to happen. So figure out, what are the pieces that you can control? because there are parts you can control. So figure out all the parts you can control—make sure you're paying attention to those—and then embrace the uncertainty on the parts you can’t control. And I think you have to have that sense of adventure, not just as an entrepreneur, but in life, if you're not going to stagnate; if you're actually going to grow.  

AMY: Yes. So that allows you to take that leap. But then, I love how you talk about maintenance in the book. So getting into this maintenance, that's where you're going to need to give yourself some grace, knowing that it's not just because you made the change, now everything's going to work out just as planned.  

LORI: Well, that's right. I mean, I think habits—and by habits, I mean our routines, the way we go through life—they're very hard to change because it's just easier to hang onto what we know. And so I think that, you know, when you have that moment in maintenance of—I like to call it, like, Chutes and Ladders, the game, where, you know, you go up and then you're going to slip back. But the more that you get back up the next day, the more this new habit becomes just part, it doesn't feel unfamiliar anymore. It starts to feel familiar. It starts to feel like, “Oh yeah, this is my new normal. This is my new familiar.”  

And then, there are times when you slip back. You're going to slip back less and less frequently. And now it's going to feel not normal when you slip back. It's going to feel like, “Oh, that doesn't feel like the me that I am now.”  

AMY: Ooh, that's the best place to get to when slipping back is like, “Oh, no, that's actually not how it's been going for me lately.” But it definitely takes that leap of faith to even get there. 

LORI: Right. And you start to feel comfortable in the new normal, in the change, and that's when maintenance becomes much more manageable. And then it becomes easy, and then you don't even think about it.  

AMY: And I do believe when you get to that place and you really kind of sink into it, the next time you're up for making a decision that will lead to change, you're more able to say, “Okay, I'm going to embrace this. I am going to enjoy this journey. I have proof that I can get to the other side of it.” 

LORI: Yes, yes. So it snowballs. It has that snowball effect, that once you have gone through that process, and you've been very compassionate with yourself around the maintenance phase, and then you've seen the change happen. And again, you know, sometimes you still might slip back even after a while, but you're okay with it. It doesn't alarm you in the same way. When you say, “Oh, I can make other changes, too,” it really empowers you to know “I can do this. In fact, it improves my life when I do this.” 

AMY: Yes. I think it's such a great example of doing the work, showing up for yourself, and it does get easier as you go. 

So anybody who's listening right now that has been struggling with “I need to make decisions in my business, and I know I'm feeling paralyzed,” or you just hate change, definitely, you've got to grab this book. The chapters in this book that go over both of those topics are golden and so incredibly helpful to many people that are building businesses and venturing out, quitting their jobs, and becoming entrepreneurs.  

I want to talk about another part that I know you are a supporter of, and that is journaling. And you actually have a self-guided journal. We're going to talk about that in a bit. But I have also embraced journaling. But I have to say, it's never something that I want to do. I just know the benefits of it when I do journal. So can we talk a little bit about the transformational practice of journaling, why you think it's important, and what kind of results you've seen for people, professionally or personally? Why journaling? 

LORI: Yeah. I think so many people don't realize that we're sort of journaling in our head all the time, meaning there's a voice in our head, and we're talking to ourselves all day long, but we're not really paying attention to it. Or if we are, we're not aware of it. And in fact, that voice in our head can be so critical. It can be so unkind. Often, when I'm giving a talk, I'll say to people, you know, from the stage, “Show of hands, who's the person that you talk to most in the course of your life? Is it your partner?” Lots of hands. “Is it your sibling? Is it your best friend? You know, is it your parents? Who is it?” And the person that we talk to most in the course of our lives is ourselves, and what we say to ourselves isn't always kind or true or useful. And those three criteria are so important. But we don't believe that about ourselves.  

So I had this client who was very skeptical of this, and I just noticed that she could be very hard on herself and very self-critical, and who happened to be an entrepreneur as well. And I said to her, “Listen, I want you to go home, and I want you to really listen for how you talk to yourself. Listen for that voice, and write down everything you say to yourself over the course of this week. And come back next week, and we'll talk about it.” So she comes back next week. She had, of course, done her assignment, and she starts reading, and she starts crying. And she said, “I am such a bully to myself. I had no idea.” And they were things like, she was typing an email, and there was a typo in the email, and the voice in her head said, “You're so stupid,” right? Now, you would never say that to a friend, not because you're being nice, because you wouldn't actually think your friend was stupid if there was a small typo. She caught her reflection in a mirror and said, “You look terrible today.” This is how she was just going around the world. This is how many of us navigate through our days.  

And so what does journaling do? Journaling helps you to really listen to, how are you talking to yourself? How do you get clarity about your thoughts? Can you be more intentional about the conversation that you're having with yourself, because you're keeping yourself company all the time, and your voice is the most important because it's the one you hear the most.  

So a journal can help you to sort through your thoughts, get clarity, discover things that maybe you weren't even aware of, that are helpful. You get a lot of creative ideas when you're journaling because you're kind of cleaning out, like, emptying the trash. You know, when you first start journaling, you might start with all the kind of stuff on the top that's all the junk. And then you go down, and you're like, “Oh, wow, look at all these great creative ideas that are in there that I didn't even know about.” And so I think it's a really helpful practice.  

A lot of people feel pressure like, “Okay, now I have to sit down and write, and I really just want to veg out and watch a TV show.” And I think the thoughts are already there, so it's more about, like, having ten minutes to just sit down with yourself, and give yourself ten minutes of your own time to just sit there, and whatever comes out comes out. It's not graded. It's not an assignment. It's just your time to be with yourself.  

AMY: It is incredibly powerful. And I'm glad you said just ten minutes, because that's all I do. Every morning is just ten minutes. But it really does make a difference. And I struggle with anxiety, and so the minute that I am done journaling, I feel like absolutely, I have just created peace in my mind. All this stuff that's been circling around and just, like, dying to get out in some way or another, now it's on paper, and now I can go on with my day. So just kind of emptying out all of those thoughts make a huge difference for me. 

LORI: Yeah. And a lot of people do that in the morning, like you said, so they can start their day fresh; and a lot of people do it at night before they go to bed, especially people who are struggling with insomnia or they don't sleep well. Because you journal right before you go to bed, it’s all out there. You have that clarity. You have that stability, that sturdiness. And then, you don't lie in bed and all those thoughts aren’t spinning around in your mind. They're all—everything's in your journal, you feel good, and now you can just relax and go to sleep. 

AMY: I might need to try that because there's been a few nights where I look over to my husband and say, “My mind is racing right now.” Like, it is 9:30 at night, we're ready to go to bed, and my mind is just, like, going a mile a minute. I think a journaling session could go a long way.  

LORI: Yeah. And again, it's, like, ten minutes. It goes so far.  

AMY: I love that. That's a new strategy, a new habit I'm going to adopt, for sure.  

Okay. So I wanted to talk to you also about how lonely it can be as an entrepreneur. So a lot of people listening, they don't have a huge network of other people that understand what they're doing or why they're doing it. Many people have left their job, and people think they're crazy for doing so, but here they are pursuing their dream of starting their own business and being their own boss. And I've always been a big proponent of therapy, and I would love for you to talk about how therapy could be beneficial for entrepreneurs who feel lonely and entrepreneurs that want to work on their well-being and even goal setting or achieving goals or making decisions or dealing with change. A lot of people listening right now have never gone to therapy, and so can you talk about that? And also, do you have any opinions about the difference between a therapist and a coach? 

LORI: Yeah. I love working with entrepreneurs and people who are taking risks and creative risks in their lives, because I did that in my own life. I started off working in Hollywood. I did film development. I was a network executive. I went to medical school. I was a journalist. I have this hybrid career of being a writer and a therapist.  

AMY: You’ve lived many lives.  

LORI: Yes. And they all—it's very cohesive because I always, I love story and the human condition. So everything I've done has related to story and the human condition. But I know what it's like when entrepreneurs experience that sense of people are saying, “Oh, that's a bad idea. You shouldn't do that. That's crazy.” You know, when I left my network TV job to go to medical school, people thought I was insane. So how do you deal with those kinds of things? How do you deal with the self-doubt? Because I had it, too, at a certain point. You know, “Well, wait. All these people are saying I shouldn't do this, or that's crazy to do this. Am I crazy? And am I making a huge mistake?”  

And I think at the end of the day, what I came down to was, nobody else gets to live your life for you, that you get one life. You get to choose how you live it. And you don't want to regret later that you didn't do the thing you wanted to do because somebody else who's not living your life told you not to. And so if you decide on your own, “Hey, I made this choice. Actually, I think I want to make a different choice,” great. You get to make those choices, but not because somebody else told you not to do it.  

And I think therapy can help entrepreneurs because I think there's so many pressures on entrepreneurs that people don't talk about, and you are alone doing it. You know, you have people around you, but you feel the weight of it in a lot of ways. There's so much pressure. There's no clear path, which makes it very anxiety provoking. So there are different kinds of paths, and you can look at the ways that other people did it, but there's no one way to do it. And so that makes it a little more exciting, but also a little more scary.  

And then I think, also, for the first time, a lot of entrepreneurs are managing things that maybe weren't things they managed before, whether finance wasn't their thing before, for example, so they need a really good person to bring in to help them with that, maybe. Or maybe they really were good at that, but there was something else that they—you know, you can't do everything. You can't be an expert at everything. And then managing people, how do you manage people? There's a lot of personalities. There are a lot of relationships that are really important, especially in this environment. And so it's really a lot of it that I work with entrepreneurs on is, how do they manage their selves so that they can be as sturdy as possible and as clear as possible and get the support that they do need? And then, how do they manage all the relationships around them?  

AMY: So many important topics to discuss. And how do you choose between a therapist and, let's say, a coach? 

LORI: Yeah. I mean, I think that any way that you reach out to get help is going to be good. I think it's important to have kind of a really good second opinion on your life from someone who's not already in your life, because I think that it's just cleaner that way. And it's, you know, I have the vantage point of looking at a situation without being in that person's life, which is helpful.  

I think therapists and coaches have some overlap in terms of what they do. I think coaches tend to be a little bit more on the making the plans, and therapists are very action oriented. I think there's this big misconception about therapy, that you're going to come in, you're going to talk about your childhood, you're never going to leave, you know? 

AMY: Right. 

LORI: Or you're going to come, and you're going to download the problem of the week, and that's that. Actually, we say that insight is the booby prize of therapy, that you can have all the insight in the world, but if you don't make changes out in the world, the insight is useless. So it's very important to be accountable for making changes out in the world. So if we talk about something in therapy and then something happens outside the room—like here's this interaction that happened or I got into, like, this decision paralysis, or I had an anxiety attack or whatever it is—we want to understand why. You know, like, what did not happen outside the room that we talked about? and again, in a really compassionate way.  

AMY: Ooh, that’s good. 

LORI: But it's important to know that therapy is very action oriented. It's very much about what is happening in the present, how can we understand it, and how can we give you strategies to move forward?  

AMY: It's powerful, that's for sure. I’ve done both coaching and therapy, and both of them have changed my life, so I'm glad that we kind of dug into that. And I hope someone's listening right now that's thinking, “Okay, I've been thinking about doing some therapy. I know I'm struggling in these areas. I'm going to make that call and make it happen.”  

But there's some people right now that just aren't in a place that they are ready for therapy, but you do have a self-guided journal. And I want you to talk a little bit about this, why you created a self-guided journal, what are the benefits, what are some of the results you've seen other people make? because this is something that is very doable for everybody listening right now. 

LORI: Yeah. So when my book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone came out, I didn't know how many people were going to read it. We've sold over a million copies at this point— 

AMY: Oh, wow. 

LORI: —and making a TV series. And it just, it resonated so strongly with people. And people said, “There were so many things that I was thinking about. I underlined passages. I dog-eared passages. I put things over my desk, over my bathroom mirror. But I would love to have it all in one place, like, all the things that I underlined, all the things that resonated with me.” And so I love journaling, as I was talking about, and I thought, “I'm going to put together this journal that so many people have been asking for so they can take ten minutes a day and just reflect.” 

So it's basically fifty-two weeks, and it's a good time because the New Year is coming up if you want to start it over the New Year. And I think it's good for the holidays, too, just because I think it's a time when we start to reflect and set goals for the New Year. And it's the kind of thing where you have a prompt every week, and then you reflect on that prompt over the week, just like you would do in therapy. It’s like you have your therapy session; you reflect on the session over the week; and then mid-week, there's a check in; at the end of the week, there's a check in.  

There are some coloring pages, which I think in some ways, if we can’t express something through words, we express it through other ways, like you can draw. You can do other things on that page. It's kind of free form. And then, there's also some exercises in there to just keep you on track.  

And I think it really takes you through that journey that somebody who coming into therapy would go through if they were coming in and they were going through maybe a year of therapy. It's really progressive. And I like the fact that when you write things down, you can go back and look and see your progress. You can see, “Oh, wow, two months ago, here's where I was, and here's what I was thinking. And look where I am now.” 

AMY: Yes. I have a good friend, Jenna Kutcher, and she's been going through a journaling exercise every day. And then at the end of thirty days, she goes back, and she rereads, highlights, kind of really understands the theme of her month, what worked, what didn't. I've never gone back, and I think that could be really powerful. I also love that it's fifty-two weeks. We've got a lot of achievers listening right now, and imagine if you did start it right at the beginning of the year and you said, “Okay, this is my commitment. I'm going to get through every single week of this and finish at the end of the year,” I think that's going to feel really good.  

LORI: Yeah. And the going back is so important. In fact, I have exercises in there that say, “Go back and reflect.” In fact, every week, I have them go back, but then later on, I say, “Go back. At the beginning you did this exercise. Now look at this exercise, and see how you did it before.” So I think it's really powerful because so many times, even in therapy, people say, “Oh, I don't know.” They don't realize how much progress they've made. I see it, but they don't necessarily see it the same way I do. And it's not like I'm recording the sessions, and I can say, “Oh, but listen to what you said three months ago.” 

AMY: Right.  

LORI: I have notes, but, you know. And so I can do that. But it's much more powerful when you see it in your own handwriting and you say, “Wow, three months ago, look what happened. And look where I am now, and look what I've accomplished, and look how I feel about that now, and look how much more peace I have around this right now.” 

AMY: Oh, that is so powerful. That's something that I really want to start doing. Again, I've never looked back at all. I'm almost afraid to look back because there's so many thoughts and just so much swirling around. But I bet I could make some really good distinctions if I did so.  

So where would people get their hands on your journal? 

LORI: Yeah. Wherever they get books: on Amazon, at their independent bookstores, at bookshop, at Barnes & Noble, wherever they buy books. And, you know, I hope that people find it really helpful and especially for entrepreneurs. 

AMY: Especially. So we'll make sure to link to it in the show notes as well.  

Before I let you go, tell me, what are you most excited about right now? 

LORI: I'm most excited about the TV series of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone 

AMY: Yeah. Tell me about that. 

LORI: I'm just excited because I think that on TV we've seen a lot of therapists. And they've either been the brick wall—you know, the person doesn't talk, and nobody wants to go to a brick wall—or they've been sort of a train wreck, the hot mess—the person who has it together in the office, but they're a hot mess outside.  

And what I was showing in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is just, we're just normal people going through normal things, and we're all more the same than we are different. And I think that just like in the book where I think people could see themselves mirrored in every single person in the book, I think of the show, people will see themselves reflected in every person in the show, and also help them to kind of think about their lives a little bit differently and maybe have more compassion for themselves. 

AMY: Oh, for sure. Do you know when the show is going to come out? 

LORI: We're developing it right now, so no, not yet. 

AMY: Okay. Well, we'll keep everybody up to date when it does eventually go live. But congratulations on everything. I really was excited when I got to have you on the show because I don't know if I've ever had a therapist on the show, now that I think about it. You have a unique perspective that can absolutely help entrepreneurs and those growing their businesses. So thank you again for showing up.  

And if everybody wants to check you out, where should they go? 

LORI: They can go to my website, which is They can find me on Instagram, @lorigottlieb_author. They can find me at Twitter, lorigottlieb1. On Facebook, Lori Gottlieb, Author. They can check out my books, my TED Talk, my column, my podcast. 

AMY: We’ll link to it all in the show notes.  

So, Lori, thanks again for being here. I really appreciate it. 

LORI: Oh, my pleasure. Thanks so much. 

AMY: As many of you know, mental health has always been very important to me, and at times it's been a struggle. I found so much comfort in this conversation, and I think it's just a good reminder that we're all out there doing our very best on our own journeys, and we have to pour into protecting our mental health and doing the work. I think that's what I really took away from this episode, the fact that you've got to do the work. And I used to not understand what it meant to do the work. And now when I think about going to therapy, but then getting out into the world and putting the practices that I learned in therapy into the situations out in the real world, that's doing the work. It's journaling every morning. It's doing my ten-minute meditation. It's talking to somebody. It's being vulnerable. That's all doing the work. And so, my friend, I think it's so very important that we do the work together as entrepreneurs, go through our journeys knowing that we don't have to be alone, that it's totally acceptable and desirable in my mind to get the support and help that you need.  

And Lori's got a lot of great resources, and so I want you to go check out her book. I'm going to absolutely start the journal in January. I just love a new start, and I like the fifty-two weeks. So if you want to do it with me, please come on this journey. And if you're listening to this episode on the day it goes live, go check out my Instagram. I'm just @amyporterfield. We're going to be giving a few of the journals away for free. So go check out Instagram if it's the first day that this episode went live, because that's when we're going to do it.  

All right, my sweet friends. Thanks for tuning in. I'll see you same time, same place next week. Bye for now. 

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