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Ask Me Anything: Liam Hackett, Ditch the Label CEO, Author and Activist


Liam Hackett

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  • Ditch the Label Staff

Hi everybody 👋🏼

So excited to be joining you on our Community. I've been wanting to do an AMA for sometime and now feels like the perfect time! A little about me: I'm the CEO here at Ditch the Label, I founded the organisation when I was 15. I was going through a tough time at school at the time and decided to start talking about it online and had a huge response which is where the inspiration for Ditch the Label came from. Now it's 15 years later and we're reaching millions of people each year.

Aside from Ditch the Label, I'm also the author of FEARLESS, dubbed as 'the bible for growing up'. The book covers a ton of issues, like mental health, relationships, bullying and stereotypes. 

 

So... I'm an open book! Ask me anything. Whether you're interested in my personal journey, want advice or have a completely unrelated question, leave them below and I'll be live on community throughout the day on Friday 12th November.

Liam 😃

 

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:22 PM, dipsi333 said:

Hey! I have 2 questions!

1. What's the best / worst things about being the CEO? 🙂

2. Did you forgive the people who bullied you? If you did, how did you do it? I still sometimes get angry and sad at what people have said and done to me in the past.

Hey @dipsi333! Thanks for your questions.

 

1. I'd say the best thing about being a CEO is being able to make decisions that make a real difference to people's lives and help bring about positive change in society. The worst is probably the stress that comes with a lot of responsibility!

2. Absolutely I forgive them because as an adult I've learned that they most likely were really unhappy people and probably had issues in their lives that they weren't coping with. Also I feel like holding on to anger and resentment is self-harm because the only person it affects is you. How I did it? A lot of learning and understanding, forgiveness meditations, therapy and learning to love myself! 

 

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:13 PM, jake said:

Hi liam ^^

Ok my question is, what was your coming out experience like and when did you do it?

thank you 

Good question @jake! Actually not that great. I was outed by a friend at school when I was 15 so didn't really get to do it on my own terms or in my own time. But I feel as LGBTQ+ people, we are always having to come out and I really believe that one day our identities won't be assumed and we don't ever have to even come out. Until then, I know it's scary and tough but regardless of the experience, it will always get better. Thankfully my family were super supportive, even though things were tough at school, this really helped. Even just having 1 person who understands is helpful.

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:46 PM, TipsyLisa said:

hiya, what's your morning routine like? ♡

I love this question @TipsyLisa! Well I wake up at 7, usually check my phone (which I'm gradually working not to!) I then meditate for 10 minutes, read for 10 minutes, write down a list of things I'm grateful for and the thing I'm most excited about in my day, I then get up, take a shower, followed by a cold shower for a few minutes, get ready, eat breakfast, give my cats a kiss on the head and by this point it's usually 8.30 and time to drive to the office!

At the weekend it's less structured. I like to just wake up naturally, usually at around 8/9ish, meditate in bed and usually go out to grab brunch or something mid-morning. I don't really like to have super busy weekends because I see it as an opportunity to recharge, especially if it's been a busy week!

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On 11/3/2021 at 4:45 PM, Princess-Lilly said:

hey,

if you were to represent young people or adults, what would you make a change to in this world?

Hey @Princess-Lilly, thanks for the question! If I could do absolutely anything (no rules or limits), I would probably give every person access to free therapy from an early age. That's because I think it would really reduce many of the challenges we have in the world and help people navigate difficult situations and lead to positive outcomes on mental health and wellbeing. 

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On 11/7/2021 at 7:14 PM, Saphira said:

I have a few questions 1. Where did you come up with the name ditch the label 2. What is your favorite animal and 3. What kind of books do you like 

Hi @Saphira, thanks for your questions! I've seen your blog and know how passionate you are about reptiles. Unfortunately my favourite animal isn't a reptile but I'd have to say cats! I have 2 little rag doll cats, Luna and Sol and I love them so much! 

I came up with the name Ditch the Label when I was 15. I always felt like I'd been put into a box and assumptions were made about me that weren't necessarily true. As I spoke to more people about it, I found that they felt the same and so I wondered what it would be like to literally ditch the label and see people for who they really are and not through the lens of how they look/what they're interested in/how they act etc. From that point on, it just stuck. I like it because I feel like it's empowering and encouraging.

Book wise, I really love to read books on psychology, self-improvement, spirituality and all the bits in between. I'm reading the Wim Hof Method at the moment which is all about the power of the breath and exposing yourself to the cold. Super interesting! I was recently reading a book about the philosophy of Stoicism and also @Michelle Elman's powerful book on building boundaries.

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:51 PM, BiShadow!23 said:

Does it ever feel like to much stress?

Hey @BiShadow!23! Great question. I've found that over the years I've become more tolerant of stress. So situations that would have stressed me out 5 years ago wouldn't really bother me so much anymore. I'm a huge advocate of self-care and taking some time out during stressful times so that you can clear your mind and think clearly. Occasionally it feels hyper-stressful, but this is usually when something unpredictable happens, such as the pandemic and the impact that had on DTL and the entire team. It very rarely stays stressful for a long time, I think largely because I've developed so many techniques over the years to help me reduce stress.

Being a CEO is objectively a stressful job, just because of the huge workload and amount of responsibility, so it definitely isn't for everybody!

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21 hours ago, bingabong said:

Hiii, ok my question is what kind of music do you listen to?

Honestly most genres but I would say mainly house/electronic/dance/alternative. Favourite artists are PVRIS, Grimes, The Blaze and recently into Ambassadeurs 🎵

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17 hours ago, WinterPickles said:

If you could pin point a moment when you decided that this is what you wanted to do when and what would it be?

And also...

What inspired you to do this?

Hey @WinterPickles! I was inspired to start DTL because growing up, I really struggled with issues like bullying and mental health, but didn't really have many people to talk to who were going through the same things. I started to talk about my experiences online and had hundreds of people share their experiences with me, so I realised quite early on that something like Ditch the Label was really needed and I felt inspired to help others going through difficult situations. I think that answers both questions! :) 

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:11 PM, Liam Hackett said:

Hi everybody 👋🏼

So excited to be joining you on our Community. I've been wanting to do an AMA for sometime and now feels like the perfect time! A little about me: I'm the CEO here at Ditch the Label, I founded the organisation when I was 15. I was going through a tough time at school at the time and decided to start talking about it online and had a huge response which is where the inspiration for Ditch the Label came from. Now it's 15 years later and we're reaching millions of people each year.

Aside from Ditch the Label, I'm also the author of FEARLESS, dubbed as 'the bible for growing up'. The book covers a ton of issues, like mental health, relationships, bullying and stereotypes. 

So... I'm an open book! Ask me anything. Whether you're interested in my personal journey, want advice or have a completely unrelated question, leave them below and I'll be live on community throughout the day on Friday 12th November.

Liam 😃

hope ur well

Keep smiling beautiful 

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On 11/12/2021 at 12:30 PM, Liam Hackett said:

Hey @WinterPickles! I was inspired to start DTL because growing up, I really struggled with issues like bullying and mental health, but didn't really have many people to talk to who were going through the same things. I started to talk about my experiences online and had hundreds of people share their experiences with me, so I realised quite early on that something like Ditch the Label was really needed and I felt inspired to help others going through difficult situations. I think that answers both questions! :) 

I think that you have done a great thing and want to thank you very much :)

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