[Podcast] Time to Make a Change: Prioritizing Mental Health

"No matter where you are in life, no matter how much you think you've got your life together, everybody needs a therapist; everybody needs a counselor... they are a life changer."

LinkedIn, the professional networking site, completed a survey that showed the majority of people make a career shift because they were concerned with the lack of advancement opportunities within their place of work. Followed closely to this concern were things like poor leadership of senior management, work environment/culture, lack of challenge, compensation and rewards and recognition. Most who experience these shifting reasons are able to regroup, refocus, and move on with a new opportunity. For many, however, their reasons for leaving a career are not found on a “Top 10” list. Life, itself, is unpredictable. Even the happiest and strongest of us can often find themselves seeking a fresh start at an unexpected moment.

For me, that moment took place in the Spring of 2006 - a moment frozen in time forever. I had prepared for a career in teaching, graduated with a degree in education, and was ready to set the world ablaze as a golden-apple-winning, ultra-creative, change-the-world teacher. College prepared me for feeling successful in the teaching profession… but I didn’t pay attention to its teaching of HOW to be successful. Constant mistakes, missteps, and misjudgements soon put me in a position where I needed to say goodbye to the teaching profession and to be forever labeled - even if it is just self-glossing - as a failure. What I chose to do next would shape the rest of my life - and would bring me to this discussion with our guest, whom I love and cherish. I mean, check this picture out with the two of us and my wife, Heidi, from the Bow Tie Ball in September of 2014!

I had the distinct pleasure of discussing this topic with an individual who has helped shape who I am and continue to be as a professional; who has had his own moments where change became inevitable and necessary. My guest in this session is local author, Mayor, master networker and bow-tie-afficionado, Danny Beyer.

Our pod centers around Danny's decision to leave a job where he had created a successful career - a leap of faith in order to save his mental health. A "nagging in the back of (Danny's) mind" was the impetus for Danny's recentering of his priorities and an important conversation with his wife while in France. This decision was not an ease one. The transition from the job he had built from the ground up to a job with no promises other than a chance was one filled with sacrifices. Like Danny shared, "To go from being needed, to being wanted, to having emails, to having flyers, to having requests.... to nothing over the course of six months was nerve-wracking, anxiety-driving, terrifying."

Even after he had made the successful transition to this new career, Danny shared how A Single Conversation allowed him to reframe his life and purpose with the help of counseling. We remind you often at Facing Tomorrow that you are loved, you are needed, and you should never feel like you have to walk this journey alone. Of course, one of the most powerful moments shared by Danny "There are people who care about you; there are people who want you to be ok. It is not admitting failure or defeat by asking for help, because we all probably need it more than we've ever needed it before. Send that text - send that message."

This conversation was truly awe-inspiring. Right before the release of this episode, Danny led a remarkable effort in support of a member of our community - showing his heart and dedication. Starts Right Here founder Will Keeps and two students were shot. The two students sadly lost their lives; Will was attempting to stop the shooter. Starts Right Here (SRH), located in the heart of Des Moines, is a program designed to serve youth in a supportive, empowering environment. All young people deserve a chance to rise above the circumstances they were born into and to reach their mental, emotional, physical, and economic potential. Danny had it placed on his heart to help Will and SRH through this tragedy and started an online fundraiser. Within just a couple days, Danny's network raised over $10,000.

It's not often we are able to share a full, fancy bio of our podcast guest, but here is Danny's from his website:

Danny Beyer, MBA is a networking specialist, bow tie aficionado, and author. Through his network he has achieved success in both his professional and personal life. In 2013 he co-founded the Bow Tie Ball, a charity event centered on bow ties and networking that raised over $100,000 for Variety, the Children's Charity. His book, "The Ties that Bind: Networking with Style" was published in 2015 with the second edition available in early 2023.

Danny is a keynote speaker on networking and building real connections and frequently blogs on those topics for the Des Moines Business Record. In 2013 he was chosen as the Amy Jennings Young Professional of the Year through the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Young Professionals Connection and was selected to the 2014 Business Record 40 Under 40 group. In 2016 he won election to the Dallas Center City Council and currently serves as Mayor.