Top Biller and Former MMA Fighter Reveals How He Defeated Depression and Anxiety, with Will Bourne, Ep # 56

If you’ve ever faced major challenges, disappointments or setbacks in your recruitment career, you’ll really relate to and enjoy my interview with Will Bourne.

Will is the founder of Rekall Consulting, a recruiting firm based in Birmingham specializing in talent acquisition outsourcing for startup and scaleup technology companies. He is a former competitive martial artist, he has been in the recruiting industry for 10 years and recently launched his own business. He’s the author of a new book, “The Fight for Your Life.”

In this conversation, Will is totally open and honest about his struggle with mental health issues. Although it’s slowly getting better, the recruitment industry’s competitive culture hasn’t always been conducive to mental health and wellbeing.  To hear more about this very important topic, listen in as Will reveals how the biggest fight of his life wasn’t in the dojo or in the ring – it was with depression and anxiety.  He hopes that by sharing his personal experience, it might help at least one person.  Maybe that person is you?

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:20] Will’s amazing story – from quitting school to starting a technology recruitment business.
  • [12:30] Competitive martial arts and its crossover with recruiting.
  • [26:14] Will opens up about mental health – from being a successful top-biller to having a mental breakdown and then rebuilding his physical and mental health.
  • [30:36] Will talks about his book, “The Fight for Your Life”
  • [38:00] How modifying your self-talk and being aware of the words you use habitually can help your mental health.
  • [45:00] Will discusses his work with the mental health charity, Mind.org.
  • [47:09] Is the recruiting industry’s culture prone to mental health issues?
  • [52:10] Will’s business model and hitting his 12-month goal within 90 day

From Leaving School Early to Succeeding in Recruitment

nteresting is an understatement to discuss Will’s story on how he got to his current recruitment career path. Will left school early, feeling that the traditional education system wasn’t for him. His first job was washing cars. Motivated by his brother, he went back to college and completed his high-school education and enrolled in university. At the time that he was also competing in martial arts – he still felt that university life was not for him and left after a year.

He then landed a job at a bank, from a telesales position to being promoted to a management role. He then left a very secure position with the bank to pursue a recruitment career, starting back at the bottom as a candidate sourcer.  Was all the risk he took to walk away from everything and re-start his career worth it at that point? What were the mistakes he made and what did he learn from them? 

A Healthy Discussion on Mental Health

“I never really gave mental health a second thought… it wasn’t even on my radar. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that nobody’s safe from it… mental health is still one of the most sensitive things that you can try and protect.”

Recalling his experience, Will shares the three separate life events that knocked him sideways and in combination contributed to his mental health crisis.  Firstly, the breakdown of a relationship.  Secondly,  a big setback financially.  Finally, the death of his stepdad, which was completely unexpected. All of it just culminated and he fell into a deep depression. He also added, “I didn’t understand it for quite a while. Everybody was saying to me, ‘just snap out of it’, ‘what’s wrong with you…’ I didn’t know what was going on and I went to speak to the doctor, I filled out a questionnaire which was like 10 questions. And after that questionnaire, it was a case of ‘anxiety depression.’” Back then, Will felt that there was not much great mental health care available. This is why he believes it is important to talk about this topic and make it a lot more accessible and have people talk about it openly. This moved Will to write a book, “The Fight for Your Life”. Hear Will talk about how he came about writing this book and see the link below on where you can get it.

Mind Charity

Will supports the mental health charity, Mind. He does consultation and supports helping organizations through seminars in creating a better mental health environment in the workplace. Will said, “I learned a lot from that. What you get back from volunteering, I can’t recommend enough to anybody listening, if you got time and if you got the mental capacity to volunteer on something, what you get out of it is insurmountable.”

If you want to know more about this organization, you may refer to the link in the below section.

Will Bourne Bio and Contact Info

Will started his journey in recruitment after an injury put a stop to his developing career in competitive martial arts. Since then Will has been a top biller, top-performing team manager, has launched as a funded startup, been the MD of one of the UK’s biggest fintech recruitment companies and more recently Will has decided to do the startup journey all over again, this time with his own money, during a pandemic. Not to mention during the above process having a mental breakdown, being diagnosed and medicated for anxiety depression but ultimately bouncing back to the man you hear speaking today. Depression anxiety and medication-free, and missing some of his ribs…

People and Resources Mentioned

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