Episode #8: Matt Glazer

 
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Matt is the Managing Director of Blue Sky Partners. He has spent his entire career in the organization management industry, gaining valuable experience as executive director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce and Progress Texas. Beyond his time in the non-profit space, Matt has successfully launched four companies — a regional homes tour (Weird Homes Tour), a statewide advocacy non-profit in Texas (Progress Texas), and an international festival focused on entrepreneurship (Small Business Festival). His work has given him firsthand knowledge of the challenges and solutions that both nonprofits and for-profit businesses encounter on a daily basis. Matt is a passionate grassroots organizer, communicator and connector of people, both within his home state of Texas, and far beyond.

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When Matt Glazer calls his bipolar disorder his superpower, it’s not just a catchphrase he uses. He genuinely means it. From using his experience to deepen his communication skills, produce creative work, or reframe the idea of “failure” when working with his team, Matt is serious about using his superpower for good. He’s also serious about removing the cultural stigma of mental illness, which is why he’s passionate about sharing his own story. On this episode, Matt and I talk about how his journey with bipolar disorder has intersected with his life and work, including how he’s found a rhythm that supports his mental health, why he walked away from political campaigns for a new career path, and why more conversation, above all else, is what we need.

My most creative writing and the best things I’ve ever done from a creative standpoint have probably been when I was either in a manic or a depressive state. That’s just the nature of the disease. That said, I also have to be really mindful that it cuts the other way too.

Here are some of the things Matt and I chatted about:

  • Why it wasn’t a surprise when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but it was still shocking
  •  The impact of having candid conversations about mental health in relationships and at work
  • The moment he walked away from a job because of a lack of understanding and empathy
  • Why his focus is on achieving work-life rhythm, rather than work-life balance
  • How he came to think of his bipolar disorder as a superpower, rather than a disease or illness
  • Why his morning routine, running, and reading before bed all help him find a sense of rhythm
  • The influence that high-performers can have on the cultural conversation about mental illness
  •  The backhanded compliments (from people who DO mean well) that can hit the hardest
  • Why he strives to live with a level of positivity each week, striving for more good days than bad
  • His favorite journals, which he uses during his morning routine:
    -The SELF Journal for daily and weekly planning
    -Ink + Volt for monthly planning
The more repetitions we have, the more comfortable it is. It wasn’t hard for me to write a story or an article about living my life with a mental illness, because I talk about it all the time. But the very first time I talked about it, it was like asking somebody out on a date.
We have this negative language and negative stigma of all these things that happen in people’s lives, that if we really just take a beat and we think about the framework of it — it’s not that I’m struggling with mental health issues, it’s that I’m succeeding with mental health issues.

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