Sep 10 • 1HR 27M

When enough is enough | Andy Johns (ex-FB, Twitter, Quora)

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Lenny Rachitsky
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
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Andy Johns is a former tech exec and VC who had a successful run at several startups—including Facebook, Twitter, Wealthfront, and Quora—but left it all behind a few years ago to take a new direction in life. Now a mental health advocate, he aids military veterans with PTSD, guides burnt-out high achievers to new paths, and shares his healing journey from childhood trauma and mental illness through his newsletter, Clues Dot Life. In this episode, we discuss:

• Why Andy left his seven-figure VC career behind

• The four-step process of deep personal transformation

• When suffering is necessary vs. unnecessary

• Tips for finding a good therapist

• How a writing practice can help you heal

• When you’re in need of radical transformation

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Find the full transcript at:

Where to find Andy Johns:

• Twitter/X:

• LinkedIn:

• Website:

• Newsletter:

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter:

• Twitter/X:

• LinkedIn:

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Andy’s background

(04:45) His personal burnout story

(12:55) The high incidence of mental health struggles in tech

(14:41) Why Andy walked away from a seven-figure VC job

(20:29) His work in mental health advocacy 

(23:32) The four-step process of deep personal transformation

(31:40) The ego’s involvement

(33:23) Necessary vs. unnecessary suffering

(37:01) First steps in understanding your suffering

(38:59) Advice on finding a therapist

(42:11) How a writing practice can help you heal

(43:47) Two methods for writing to gain self-understanding 

(47:47) Signs you’re dealing with more than just typical job stress

(52:22) How to move into a place of self-compassion

(57:16) The unpredictable timeline of healing 

(59:59) How to develop compassion for others

(1:02:19) Why not everyone needs a radical transformation

(1:04:10) The story of Pema Chodron’s transformation 

(1:06:06) What holds people back from making changes

(1:13:29) Finding your own unique path to healing

(1:17:32) Andy’s closing message to anyone feeling pulled toward a new chapter

(1:18:59) How Andy is doing now


• How to know when to stop:

• Heroic Hearts Project:

• Panic attacks and panic disorder:

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma:

• Vipassana meditation:

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment:

Moby Dick:

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times:

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Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.