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Conductor CEO opens up about mental health 

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This inspired Seth Besmertnik, the CEO of enterprise SEO platform Conductor, to reveal his struggle with mental health. 

His goal? To encourage his team to seek out help. And it’s a message that everyone in our community should hear. 

Here are some highlights from Besmertnik’s message:

“We all face our own demons.” As Besmertnik wrote, everyone goes through tough patches. That’s what initially led him to seek therapy six years ago. He’s been going religiously every Tuesday at noon since. 

  • “Professional support helps.”

In the process, Besmertnik made it sound like therapy is a normal activity. Because it is. There should be no stigma attached to seeking out mental health services.

  • “We are not perfect, we never will be.”

“A powerful tool to navigate life.” Besmertnik credited therapy for helping him become a better CEO and father. He noted that he has other forms of support (his wife, friends), but a therapist is different:

  • “They don’t come with an agenda, and it’s the safest place in the world to explore your thoughts and experiences and learn from them over time. I’ve uncovered so much about myself through therapy. And I continue to. I’ve learned how to turn problems into opportunities through therapy.”

Why he shared his story. Besmertnik said he wanted his team to feel “comfortable, safe and proud to seek out help in facing life. You don’t have to be depressed, or anxious or broken to go. We all need help. You all have a chance to be a better you. And I could not recommend more a way to help you get there.”

Besmertnik shared the full message on LinkedIn. You can read it here

Why we care. We’re all human. We’re all dealing with challenges. And sometimes, those issues can unexpectedly overwhelm you to the point of causing anxiety or depression. When this happens, remember it will be OK. They are just feelings. Feelings are not always reality. That’s why it’s important to seek help. We’ve lost many friends and colleagues to suicide in recent years. We don’t want to lose you. Yes, you.

Jeremy Knauff, CEO of SpartanMedia, recently put it this way in a public Facebook post: “Reaching out for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It shows that you value yourself, your loved ones, and the contributions that you can make to the world, more than you value the façade of invincibility that so many proudly and foolishly hide behind.”

And as Google put it recently via a tweet: “Your mental health is more valuable than your content.”


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About The Author

Danny Goodwin is Senior Editor of Search Engine Land. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages Search Engine Land’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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