How to Lose Your Mind…and Find What You Need

losing your mindNot so long ago, I wrote about losing my mind in one of my Sunday Subscriber-Only emails. It was super duper. I promise.

If you weren’t subscribed then, you missed it and that’s cool. But since I went through my little mini-nervous breakdown, I’ve done more than a metric fuckton of thinking about this life and business of mine.

What I want.

Where I’m headed.

Who I want along with me on that ride.

And my readers, along with the people who were in that audience that day who heard me talk about what I wanted first hand, are the reason I keep thinking about it.

Since that day, I’ve received 123 (awww, that’s such a cute number, isn’t it?) emails and messages from people between LinkedIn and my contact form from people who were there in that room or who read my Sunday subscriber email. How do I know? I save (nearly) every email my readers send me because it’s fucking awesome that they took the time to do that.

99% were thanking me for being so open and brutally honest about the fact that I was, in no uncertain terms, losing my shit.

The 1%? No matter what you do, there will be someone who didn’t like what you had to say. That’s cool. I replied to them, too, and thanked them for being honest with ME about how they felt.

One of the biggest shifts that happened when I returned home was mixing up my pitches each month for my column over at American Express OPEN Forum. Surely there had to be an audience for my twisted take on business. Thankfully, my editors over there let me have at it with a whole different twist.

Which is why I wrote about how losing my shit has been the best thing for my business.

We spend our days trying to keep it together. Why? Because people expect us to keep it together. We’re the “experts” (blergh). The folks in the know. If we lose our shit, how credible is that?

Lemme tell ya something. It’s beyond credible. It’s human. And if I’m nothing more on this journey — as a human and a business owner — than human, then I’m going to chalk that up as one huge motherfucking success.

Losing your shit — it’s a not-so-fine art, but an art no less. And since I’ve lost mine, my load is lighter, direction more clear than it’s ever been, and I understand one thing more fully than ever:

Being in business ain’t worth a frog’s fine ass hair if you ain’t acting like a human being.

So if you’re interested, have a look at my latest column in OPEN Forum:

What You Could Gain by Losing Your Mind

If you like it, share it. Leave a comment. Invite your cat over to have a read. If you don’t, leave a comment about that, too.

I’m exhausted with trying to be the superhero. I’d much rather spend my days doing what I love:

Telling stories to, for, and about smart people who like to think


Helping people get from where they are to the next better version of themselves.

So long as I can do those two things, I am Batman.



sandra lovelace
sandra lovelace

Thank you with this post, Erika. I endure "MUST RETAIN MY OWN SHIT TOGETHER WHATSOEVER TIMES"-itis. Let me tell you, this comforts along with creates me to know that we Don't have to get the many advice or perhaps become ideal all the time. Fuck sure, 'atta lady, along with appreciate it.



Oops...part 2....If I find I'm in too deep. Unhappy in my daily pursuit of happiness too many days or weeks in a row there WILL be a correction to the course and I will get my unhappy a$$ back it a direction of happiness.

We all need to allow that compass to work instead of forcing the needle in a direction we *think* we need to be going. It seems that you are allowing that needle to work for you. GOOD ON YOU!!!

Btw...Chicago is a great city. Full of endless opportunity just waiting for you. We, your crew, are excited for you. Go get 'em Batman!


Hi Erika! I believe it makes perfect sense to "lose your shit" to gain clarity. After all, if it's "shit" that you're losing...a) who wants it and b) who who needs it anyway?!? I only know this because I've accidentally and then on purpose a couple of times ..... "Lost my shit".

I also call that "thing" inside of me that wakes me up on a given night my compass. My direction finder. I I find I'm in too deep. Unha

John Antonios
John Antonios

Erika, I just read your blog and happened to watch your TED talk on rethinking unpopular ... I have to admit, the pressure of trying to keep it together magnifies when you're the one who's supposed to help people figure everything out ... that's my role as a personal brander ... fancy title for doing what i love most .. helping others! anyway, I have been trying very hard lately to regroup, refocus, to keep it together ... but honestly, I just want to lose it again so i can find myself again .. i believe that's the right thing to do ... as always we will have haters, but who cares - i'm not trying to run for president - god forbid! thanks for the inspiration Erika ... 

Erika Napoletano
Erika Napoletano moderator

@John Antonios You bet, John...keep fighting the good fight and letting it all hang out when you can't hold it together anymore.


Permission rocks. Thanks for your riding-out-in-front all the time, fearless brand of leadership, Erika!

Aliza Stein
Aliza Stein

Thank you for this blog post, Erika. I suffer from "MUST KEEP MY SHIT TOGETHER AT ALL TIMES"-itis. Let me tell you, it comforts and inspires me to know that I DON'T have to have all the answers or be perfect all the time. Fuck yeah, 'atta girl, and thank you.

Erika Napoletano
Erika Napoletano moderator

@Aliza Stein You're welcome, lady -- lose it every now and then. It feels GREAT. Like Tony the Fucking Tiger kind of great.


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