You Really Need Some Therapy

Zippy Turtle is a newsletter by Nick Kennedy, offering practical tools to overthrow the dictator in your mind so you can live an audacious life. If you were forwarded this email and like it, get the next issue delivered to your inbox.

Where have you been, Nick?!?!

It’s been a minute since I last wrote you. That’s because I haven’t felt strongly enough about my writing to publish until today. So rather than fill your inbox with rubbish, I’ve held off until now. But today’s issue is a banger, so enjoy.

In this issue of Zippy Turtle, I share the danger of living an isolated life and the life-giving power of living in a community.

Read Time: 5 Minutes

In Kendrick Lamar’s Father Time*, his fiancé Whitney Alford starts off the track by saying, “You really need some therapy.”

Violins accompany this truth as if trying to take the edge off of the accusation the moment after it is spoken. When the sample of Hoskins ‘Ncrowd’s “You’re Not There” hits about 30 seconds in, Kendrick says, “I got daddy issues, that’s on me,” Literal tap dancing is heard in the background as Kendrick begins tap dancing lyrically as he invites into his therapy session in the form of a song.

(*This song is not for the faint of heart, nor children. But it is a beautiful piece of art best accompanied by the Last Song Standing Podcast)

On a cold winter afternoon after an epic powder day on the mountain, I was confronted like Kendrick (but in a nicer way) by my friend Austin. He and two other friends had gathered in my living room in Steamboat Springs, and I was comfortably ensconced in my couch partaking in Apres-ski, when he looked at me and asked me who was coaching me.

Austin knew that my coaching practice was at capacity and that I was pouring my heart and soul into my clients, and he wanted to know who was doing the same for me.

He asked because he loved me and wanted to see me become a better version of myself.

I was shocked at first because usually I am the one in the position of asking pointed questions, and now I was on the receiving end.

I hate being caught off guard. My guard is strong, nimble and well trained. It can protect me in almost any situation. I named him Bo.

I am almost never caught without Bo. But on the rare occasion when I am, magic often happens because when Bo is off duty, the unencumbered me arrives.

The unpolished and unrehearsed me.

My favorite me.

I knew what I wanted to say. I wanted to tell the truth.

I had been looking to hire a coach for over two years, but I had yet to come across one that seemed to have the chops to coach me. There are thousands of “certified” coaches out there, but very few have actually started a business, sold a business, or ever had to lay off 25% of their staff because of a dumb decision made months before. I couldn’t find any that had spent years working through marital issues, FOO issues, completed a recovery program, or been brought to their knees because of their own pride as I had.

I had done all of these things and more.

And so I said, “I’ve tried to find a coach, but,” and my sentence ended there, as Bo warned me to not come across as too arrogant.

But Austin picked up where I left off and said, “But, you can’t find one good enough to coach you.”

Sometimes, it takes a baller to know an baller.

I nervously laughed and confirmed that he had taken the words right out of my mouth.

Soon, Eddy and Trey joined in; they too were concerned that I was isolated and receiving far fewer nutrients than I was giving out.

All three tossed out ideas of potential coaches until someone said, “What about Pete?” I wrote about Pete Richardson in the final chapter of The Good Entrepreneur, so I won’t go into detail here. But Austin, Eddy and Trey knew him well and knew that he would be a good fit to coach me.

The possibilities that exist between friends are a kind of alchemy. But, when relationships are manipulated, by the need for control, they turn into a barren desert where every last drop of water is measured and allocated according to a deep sense of brokenness.  

And when a friend tells me a truth, which until that moment had been withheld from me, it will bring acute pain, but also a cleansing wave of relief.

Such truths are necessary to live an integrated life.

They are frightening, but they are not destructive.

They are not safe, but they are good.

Shortly thereafter, I reached out to Pete, and he agreed to coach me.

And within 24 hours of my first meeting with Pete, I created six new long-form essay ideas, I completed a book that he had recommended and I had reconciled with an old friend that I needed to make amends with. More importantly, Angela told me that she could tell a difference in me.

Did Pete possess some magic to unlock the good in me? Yep. Seeing the unseen and plopping it front and center for me to gawk at is his superpower.

But having friends who encouraged me to stop, become vulnerable, and ask for help gave me the nutrients needed to move forward boldly in the calling God has put on my life.

In Conclusion

Living an isolated life is a recipe for disaster. You will be able to manage it this way until you won't be able to. This is true whether you are a college student, a stay-at-home parent, or a CEO.

You cannot complete the journey alone.

I am thankful for friends who tell me truth, just as I can imagine Kendrick was grateful for Whitney to confront him on his issues.

Who do you have in your life who knows you well enough and is strong enough to call you out when needed? How can you invite them into your world today to give you the necessary nutrients? Will you do this today?

Resources for your journey:

1) A book to get you out of your comfort zone

The Comfort Crisis examines the comfortable lull that has become modern life while inviting us along on a month long Alaskan hunt. My favorite part was Michael’s visit to Bhutan where he learned about Mitakpa.

2) A proper perspective on how a founder should think about their one precious life:

3) A documentary of incredible vulnerability 

How I Am Feeling Now follows Lewis Capaldi as he writes his sophomore album following his record breaking first album. Fighting his inner critic and imposter syndrome while dealing with physical ailments is not easy to watch, but a joy to experience.

I provide audacious coaching for courageous leaders. When you are ready, there are five ways I can help you grow:

  1. Connect with me on Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, or just hit reply to this email if you have questions or want to continue the discussion.

  2. Check out Nick’s Good Books for a free list of books to help you create a new lens in your life.

  3. Online courses through The Good Entrepreneur Institute (Including the newly published 7-Day Audacity Challenge.)

  4. Group coaching through the Kennedy Leadership Program (Add your name to the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens for January 2024 cohort.)

  5. Private coaching as a Platinum Coaching Client. I have two spots open starting in September.

Talk soon,