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

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


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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

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/when-enough-is-enough-andy-johns-ex-fb-twitter-quora/#transcript

Where to find Andy Johns:

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/cluesdotlife

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewjohns/

• Website: https://www.clues.life/

• Newsletter: https://andyjohns.substack.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-know-when-to-stop

• Heroic Hearts Project: https://heroicheartsproject.org/

• Panic attacks and panic disorder: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4451-panic-attack-panic-disorder

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/0143127748

• Vipassana meditation: https://www.dhamma.org/en/index

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808

Moby Dick: https://www.amazon.com/Moby-Dick-Herman-Melville/dp/1503280780

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times: https://www.amazon.com/When-Things-Fall-Apart-Difficult/dp/1611803438

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.