164: Sue Izzo/Rebirth

Sue Izzo by Owen Tozer, photographed via Zoom, October 2021

My ‘lifer’ episodes, in which I interview somebody without the profile of my more famous guests, but who nevertheless has dedicated their life to the culture with similar dedication (and, in many cases, has had a similar influence), are always among the most beloved Looking Sideways episodes.

And in this episode with action sports agent and business coach Sue Izzo, I’m not afraid to say we have an instant lifer classic. Of course, as usual we discussed Sue’s life and career through the action sports industry – during which she founded Mosaic and helped steer the career of Danny Davis, Keir Dillon and Sofia Mulanovich, among others.

Photo: Tozer

But really, this open, honest and moving conversation is about the very stuff of life itself.  It’s about the biggest questions and challenges of all, which at some point we will all inevitably have to face, and how we find the strength to deal with them.

In Sue’s case, this ongoing reckoning has meant facing episodes of debilitating depression, numerous suicide attempts, a cancer diagnosis, as well as various other professional crises.

The story of how Sue found the strength to overcome these challenges, and come out the other side reborn as the person she is today, is as compelling as any I’ve yet told on the podcast. Today, she is driven by a mission to tell her story in the hope that it will provide succour to others dealing with similar struggles.

Photo: Tozer

The result is a powerful, thought-provoking and moving conversation. Just an advance warning – in this conversation myself and Sue converse pretty frankly about mental health, depression and suicide, so please be mindful before you get stuck into the episode. My thanks to Sue for her openness and honesty.

Listen to the episode below:

Show Notes

  • Sports management 
  • Cancer 
  • “..When, not if..”
  • Dealing with lifelong depression 
  • Being treated for depression
  • Attempted suicide 
  • Self worth and the idea of “..I’ll be happy when..”
  • You’re not alone 
  • Big trauma and little trauma 
  • Learning self-compassion 
  • “…My life was my athletes…”
  • Selling Mosaic 
  • Becoming an agent …
  • …and running the old school blag.
  • Being personable as a way of competing with the big agents 
  • Understanding ego 
  • Keir Dillon’s Burton contract 
  • A boutique agency 
  • Setting up the riders with life skills 
  • Working with the families 
  • Health and happiness
  • Circe Wallace and being a woman in the industry 
  • Rediscovering joy at the horse rescue centre
  • Business coaching 
  • Sports Management Mastermind, Sue’s venture with Circe
  • Helping athletes transition out 
  • Opening up about mental health 
  • Today’s challenges
  • Taking time to cultivate a relationship
  • Sue’s idea of self-compassion now 

Names Mentioned

  • Circe Wallace
  • Danny Davis 
  • Keir Dillon
  • Steve Astephen
  • Craig Kelly 
  • Jeffy Anderson 
  • Kevin Pearce
  • Peter Carlyle 
  • Randy Gaetano
  • Andy McDonald 
  • Abe Teter
  • Anne Molin Kongsgård
  • Bob McKnight
  • Michi Albin
  • Sofia Mulanovich 
  • Chippa Wilson
  • Josh Kerr 

Places Mentioned

  • Australia 
  • San Diego 
  • Vermont 
  • Connecticut 
  • Wall Street 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • LA
  • South America 
  • Tennessee
  • Rancho, Santa Fe  

Companies, Brands, Organisations Mentioned

  • Mosaic 
  • Octagon 
  • The Olympics 
  • Burton 
  • BMG Music 
  • Vans
  • Jones Soda 
  • LinkedIn
  • AOL
  • Quicksilver 
  • Pepsi 
  • Five Four Three Two One 
  • Fuel TV 
  • X Games