Haulage boss attracts 1.2m views as he shares mental health story

Olly Magnus at the Magnus Group headquarters in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich

Olly Magnus has been forthright about his own mental health struggles after taking over the business his father started - Credit: Magnus Group

A Suffolk haulage boss who shared his struggle with mental health in a post on LinkedIn has become a social media sensation.

Olly Magnus took over as chief executive of Ipswich-based Magnus Group in 2019 after the death of his father, who founded the firm.

The Great Blakenham-based business included a fleet of more than 50 articulated vehicles and 120 staff. It has continued to do well following a recruitment drive.

He has since faced a rollercoaster of emotions — from self-doubt to worries about the future. He admits to suffering from “imposter syndrome” and lacking self-confidence — and to feeling damaged and vulnerable.

He shared the emotional battering he has taken in an early morning post in January on LinkedIn following a sleepless night. His “This man is” post went around the world — attracting 1.2 million views and more than 24,000 reactions.

He said he was “overwhelmed” by the response when the post went viral — but “proud” that others were now following suit with their own posts in the same style. 

He has used his platform to benefit mental health charity Young Minds — which supports children and young adults with mental health problems — by launching a Just Giving fundraising page to raise funds for it. 

“The response to my 'This man is' post was phenomenal. It’s mind-blowing and humbling. I feel honoured that others are now doing their own,” he said. “Because of the response, I felt it was appropriate to take that momentum to help others.”

Most Read

Money raised from his appeal will allow 30 families to get the support and advice they need, he said.

“We are all struggling. Whether that is with remote learning, working from home, furlough, redundancies – it’s really hard whatever your situation,” he said. “The impact of Covid has had a disproportionate impact on the young so now is a great time to support Young Minds. We can help give the next generation the support they need.

“This all started on LinkedIn with me sharing my story but I’m just Olly from Ipswich. Everyone has a story and everyone needs support. Hopefully, this fundraising will help families and young people with their story.”

He added: “With the return to school causing a lot of anxiety for many young people, and the risk of job losses as furlough ends, it would be great if we could raise more.”

If you would like to support Olly’s Young Minds drive go here

Olly’s LinkedIn post read:
This Man is 47 
This Man runs a business & employs 130 people 
This Man worries a lot & sleeps badly 
This Man fell 40ft off a balcony 
This Man spent 12 days in intensive care 
This Man taught himself to walk again 
This Man cried uncontrollably at the doctors 
This Man did counselling for four months 
This Man got bored so stopped 
This Man’s heart stopped repeatedly 
This Man misses his Dad more than you will ever know 
This Man struggles to talk about any of the above 
This Man was made to justify himself in his own business to a third party 
This Man took that really badly 
This Man came out on the right side of it 
This Man suffered confidence issues 
This Man moved away from where he wasn’t appreciated 
This Man was told he would never be a success and ‘didn’t have it in him’ 
This Man is not driven by money 
This Man will never forget the disrespect 
This Man took a big gamble on Magnus 
This Man backed himself 
This Man invested every penny he has 
This Man enticed great management to join him 
This Man & his team work really hard 
This Man wants to do the best for his staff 
This Man knows his weaknesses 
This Man is very loyal 
This Man is done when he loses trust 
This Man is vulnerable 
This Man is me - Olly Magnus 
This Man is just the same as you 
Follow your dreams #backyourself