Social Media Guru Trey Pennington Dead

54 replies
Fourteen hours ago, Trey Pennington tweeted the following to his 100K+ followers:

Sure am thankful for online friends who are real friends offline, too. Love you.
A few hours later, Pennington killed himself in a South Carolina church parking lot.

Pennington was a well known social media consultant. I'm not sure if he was ever a Warrior Forum member.
#dead #guru #media #pennington #social #trey
  • Profile picture of the author PRandContent
    This came as a shock to me, too. He was a pretty well respected social media guru.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Originally Posted by PRandContent View Post

      He was a pretty well respected social media guru.
      The statement "I want to keep living because ____." would have been going though his mind many times over the past days, weeks or even years. Void of any personal reason, the only thing left is work. And let's be real about this.... respect in the smoke & mirrors game of gurus and public speakers is going to feel pretty shallow. So when he pulled into that parking lot and looking for a reason to drive away, it wasn't going to come from work.

      There is a recent Tweet from him saying that he has a full schedule through the rest of the year, so money isn't everything.......
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby Couchman
    Whoa what a way to go. That's heavy!

    My heart goes out to his friends and family.

    TC
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  • Profile picture of the author SUPER Louie
    How sad... but why did he kill himself? Family troubles? Depression?
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    • Profile picture of the author uebomoyi
      Originally Posted by Louie Sioco View Post

      How sad... but why did he kill himself? Family troubles? Depression?
      I read some of the articles related to the story, I believe it was depression. I find it so hard to believe cause I thought he had everything. He seemed like such a flourishing human being. My prayers are with his family, I hope they can recover from the loss.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jun Balona
    It's kind of depressing to read something like that. My prayers go with him and his family.
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  • Profile picture of the author raleigh
    What a sad way to go. My prayers go out to his family.
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  • Profile picture of the author savvybizbuilder
    What a lost for a great social media guru.
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  • Profile picture of the author DominiquePrentiss
    Wow, that's shocking and heart breaking. You have to wonder what problems were plaguing him in such a way that he felt the only method for finding relief was to end his life.

    My prayers go out to his family.

    Here's a link I found about his death:

    http://mashable.com/2011/09/04/trey-pennington/
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    Very sad. Just does not make much sense to me. The tweets from last week were apparently saying he was doing great and will be in the UK this Thursday and then he just decides to take his life randomly?

    He either go some terrible news or maybe some other unknown cause that happened suddenly?
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  • Profile picture of the author webapex

    Trey
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    “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field” Niels Bohr

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  • Profile picture of the author Onora Oz
    I can't find any words to describe my mood atm... I'm shocked.
    RIP ...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Apparently, this was his second and final attempt to take his life.

    This is the second, and final scare we would all have with Trey, a man known on multiple continents by people who considered him a friend, a mentor, an advisor, a pal. A couple of months ago, Trey attempted suicide and was stopped in time, after announcing to us all on Facebook that he was hurting and going through a terrible divorce. Being church-goers and with 6 children, though people around them in person may have known something was amiss, I was surprised to hear he was struggling and in fact divorcing. His many, many social media and personal friends came to his aid - or tried to - and offered support, phone numbers, a friendly ear, a sounding board...

    Kris Colvin - Today, my little world changed.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaybaker
    any confirmed sources besides twitter?
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jaybaker View Post

      any confirmed sources besides twitter?
      At least 3 articles have been posted in this thread alone and a lot more if you Google it. :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by jaybaker View Post

      any confirmed sources besides twitter?
      Plenty. Here is one: Social media guru and father of six commits suicide | Mail Online

      Yahoo News is also reporting it.
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      Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
      Banned
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
      Matt, have you ever been depressed to the point where you are suicidal?

      I never, never judge another person harshly when it comes to matters like this, which is easy for most people to do. I don't know why some people feel this need to condemn others for actions they have done (or may not have done, depending on the case), when they don't even know the full story.

      When you are so depressed you are thinking of taking your own life, you can't think clearly. Let me say that again; when you are suicidal, you can't think clearly. It's impossible to feel anything other than pain of the worst kind. You begin to think of yourself as being unworthy to even call yourself a parent, and that your children would be better off without you.

      I remember my local newspaper did an editorial about people with depression. They were basically telling people with depression to "get help", but the way they did it was arrogant and ignorant. They went on to list statistics on how much suicide cost society and family members. In short, they were basically telling people with depression that they were selfish people, which is the absolute worst thing you can do, no matter how true it might be.

      At any rate, there is simply no point in judging this man for what he has done. He's gone. That in and of itself is a real tragedy. You can only cause negative feelings for yourself by thinking harshly of him.

      I have no doubt that his children will be well cared for, and they will probably feel the same way you do about their father. Or maybe they will forgive him. I don't know, and it's really none of my business anyway.

      My point is; don't judge. You don't know the whole story, and never will. You can't accurately paint a picture of this man without seeing the situation from his point of view.
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      • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
        Originally Posted by Joshua Rigley View Post

        Matt, have you ever been depressed to the point where you are suicidal?

        I never, never judge another person harshly when it comes to matters like this, which is easy for most people to do. I don't know why some people feel this need to condemn others for actions they have done (or may not have done, depending on the case), when they don't even know the full story.
        This is not judging. This is not condemnation. This is just straight from another father...suicide is bailing out. It is ok if all you're bailing out is from yourself. But when you are bailing out and leaving SIX children behind...what kind of legacy is that? How are they supposed to cope??

        This is just so so sad. Not for him but for his kids. No one is judging. But let's call a spade a spade. IMO.
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        • Profile picture of the author ArwenTaylor
          Originally Posted by WriterWahm View Post

          This is not judging. This is not condemnation. This is just straight from another father...suicide is bailing out. It is ok if all you're bailing out is from yourself. But when you are bailing out and leaving SIX children behind...what kind of legacy is that? How are they supposed to cope??

          This is just so so sad. Not for him but for his kids. No one is judging. But let's call a spade a spade. IMO.
          It is judgment because you don't know the whole situation. And unless you have experienced depression to the point where you think suicide is the answer, then you will never understand. All you are doing is overlaying your own preconceived notions on top of this man's decision to end his life. Your reality is not his reality.

          Depression warps your thoughts where you begin to think black is white and the sun is the moon. I've been there. You think that the people in your life would be better off without you rather than with you. You don't fully realize how crazy your thinking is because you are trapped in that treadmill of thought and it takes a lot of effort to break out of it.

          This is exactly why many people, and men especially, do not seek help when they are depressed because society judges them as weak minded. They don't get the help they need and the end up dying too early.

          It is a tragic situation and I hope the family has the support they need to get through it.
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    • Profile picture of the author trytolearnmore
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
      Couldn't have said it better.

      I'm too young to understand why people commit suicide and i can't even start imagining how his family must feel. Well, i hope that he is in heaven (if that place even exists) and his kids will somehow get over it.

      R.I.P
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    • Profile picture of the author Mollysbrother
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
      Let's be careful. Suicide is something that is so much more complex than this comment. I think, yes...tears should be shed for his children. And for him, as well. Put yourself in his shoes and imagine how painful life must have been--even with his level of success--if this was one of the only options he could come up with to make his pain go away.

      I wish we lived in a world where suicide, depression, and mental illness did not exist. But, unfortunately, we don't.

      Can't we have some level of empathy and sadness for Mr. Pennington? And, by the way, giving him empathy does not rob any feelings of sadness for the children.

      Death is sad. This is a terrible loss. My heart goes out to his family, his children, and all of his loved ones--online and offline, too.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
      This is a common anger directed at those who have killed themselves. Unfortunately, once someone reaches suicide attempt stage they have developed enough insanity to believe their life is so worthless that they won't be missed, people will get over their death quickly and perhaps the world will be a little better if they are gone.

      It isn't that he was selfish and abandoned his kids. Things would have been going on in his life that he was not equipped to cope with, it altered his mindset and he was then unable to recognize the mess he would be leaving behind.

      It can actually happen to anyone given the right circumstances. We all have a breaking point. The initial trigger for the vast majority of suicides are loss of career, unwanted breakup of family/partner and young gay males being ridiculed. Then it snowballs from there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
      Originally Posted by mattlaclear View Post

      So basically he put his own pain ahead of the needs of his six children. Being a father of six myself I find this absolutely deplorable. If any tears be shed it should be for his children. It makes me almost vomit just thinking about what my children would think of me if they knew I abandoned them that way. Bottom line is that when you bring kids into the world you need to be there for them for the duration. No matter how bad it hurts.
      Pray don't find fault with the man who limps
      or stumbles along the road,
      unless you have worn the shoes he wears
      or struggled beneath his load.
      There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
      though hidden away from view,
      or the burden he bears, placed on your back
      might cause you to stumble too.

      Don't sneer at the man who's down today
      unless you have felt the blow
      that caused his fall or felt the shame
      that only the fallen know.
      You may be strong, but still the blows
      that were his if dealt to you,
      in the selfsame way, at the selfsame time,
      might cause you to stagger too.

      Don't be too harsh with the man who sins
      or pelt him with word or stone,
      unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
      that you have no sins of your own
      for you know perhaps if the tempter's voice
      should whisper as softly to you
      as it did to him when he went astray,
      it might cause you to stumble too.

      ~ Author Unknown ~
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  • Profile picture of the author laustinseo
    how sad, my heart truly goes to his friends, family and his soul
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  • Profile picture of the author CACruiser
    I agree with Matt--when you bring children into this world your commitment is forever. My thoughts and prayers go to his family. Life is a blessing--let's count ours today-----Paul K
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  • Profile picture of the author BabyMama
    This is really sad. My thoughts are with friends and family. No one will know what he was going through or what made him do this.

    RIP may you be in a happier place now.
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  • Profile picture of the author mharris4431
    This is so sad. I'm right here in South Carolina and just heard about this.
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  • Profile picture of the author grandstar
    Suicide is a tragic way to go. At leaves it gives him peace (Eccl 9:5,10)

    Pity about the children. I just hope he left enough for their upkeep.

    That anyway won't compensate or his absence.

    Research has also shown that suicides are contagious. One family member does it and others may feel its okay.
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by grandstar View Post


      Pity about the children. I just hope he left enough for their upkeep.
      No amount of money can make up for an absent father.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
        Banned
        Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

        No amount of money can make up for an absent father.
        This is very true. Unfortunately, many fathers who are absent are not dead.
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  • Profile picture of the author NerdGary
    Not sure I heard of him... but RIP
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  • Profile picture of the author royljestr
    I agree that you shouldn't judge someone and I realize how depressed someone can be that they lose sight of reality. However in my opinion life is always worth living...especially when you have people depending on you. Suicide is never the right answer. I have been to too many funerals to know that this is never the best solution....
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
      Banned
      Originally Posted by royljestr View Post

      I agree that you shouldn't judge someone and I realize how depressed someone can be that they lose sight of reality. However in my opinion life is always worth living...especially when you have people depending on you. Suicide is never the right answer. I have been to too many funerals to know that this is never the best solution....
      You're absolutely right. Unfortunately, people who are thinking of suicide don't realize this. It's like your brain has been changed so that it can only think negative thoughts that continue in a downward spiral towards oblivion.

      It's very, very hard to help a person like this. And it's likely your efforts will fail. But that's no reason not to try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

    Not to be cold hearted, But...
    Are you all serious??

    A wealthy man with friends and family, makes the choice to take his own life, and you cry for him?!?

    What about the millions of homeless, starving, or diseased people in the world, that push on every day even though they have nothing left to live for. Cry for those that deserve your tears.
    You just said the magic word. Millions. Millions is a number, a statistic, not an actual person. People can't relate to a number. It's hard to feel bad when you hear 1,000 people die in Hati because of an earthquake. Why? Because it's a faceless number. Something that has no feelings and is not human.

    Trey Pennington, however, is a real person. He has a story people can relate to. A family. A name. These are things people can emotionally recognize.

    That's why we mourn for the one, but not the millions.

    That's also why sales letters with stories of a specific person do so well. It plays on people's emotions. Statistics don't. They are used to provide a logical justification for the feeling.

    I'm probably one of the few people that do get excited by numbers and statistics though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    Depression is an illness not a choice.

    I have worked in the mental health profession for many, many years. Being depressed isn't as simple as 'feeling down'.......it is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes you to think and feel things that are not the norm.

    Trey didn't choose to leave his family anymore than someone with terminal cancer chooses to leave theirs. He couldn't beat the illness.

    It has been very interesting reading this thread and seeing the different reactions.

    For me......the fact that he's left behind six children speaks volumes about the severity of his illness.

    My heart breaks for both Trey and his family.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bewley
    Originally Posted by Teravel View Post


    Or are you just out to make a buck as well? I see post after post here, promoting services and WSO's in signatures. This thread isn't about marketing. It's about a shameful death. How dare YOU take advantage of that.
    I think you have shot yourself in the foot mate. Joshua sig is promoting a sale that is raising funds for a very ill member of this forum.

    Least you can do is apologise.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

      I wasn't targeting one person, but the entire thread of people promoting their signatures. This thread shouldn't even be in the "Marketing" section, it should be in Off Topic section.
      I actually agree with you there, this topic would be best suited for the off-topic section. And it WOULD be tasteless for people to blatantly use this thread to promote their signatures, if it weren't for the fact that they're automatically added.

      I'd remove mine of course, but since my sig is being donated to help another person live, I think it's appropriate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    Rest in Peace!

    This is horrible!

    Bring's everything in focus when I am sat here thinking about conversion rates and my next product...

    What ever you do guys - BE HAPPY!

    All the best,

    Chris Jones
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  • Profile picture of the author Sparkdog
    My heart goes out to Trey and his family. You can read plenty online about the actual situation of Trey's passing, but three excellent posts stood out to me this morning. Each is written about the side issues this event brings up.

    First, a post about dealing with depression and what to do. If you ever hurt enough to consider suicide, please call the hotline 800-273-TALK; well before that, if you're having a bad day, talk it out with someone.

    Point of Contact - A Communications Skills Blog: What to say to someone at risk of suicide

    Second, the reflections of a blogger who deals with depression and has struggled with suicidal thoughts herself:
    The Difference Between Me and Trey Pennington | Intuitive Bridge

    Third, a post that points out the moral quicksand of blogging for page views. Topic bridging, anyone? This post really got me thinking about my own content workflow, because it does at times intentionally include topics that are chosen for pageviews. But when have we gone too far?

    Mashable Continues To Cash In On Death - Forbes
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    i am much more impressed by a man willing to live for his family no matter how bad it hurts.

    yes, this is a tragedy, but its one he created for others...his family.

    with this action he created many more problems for others than he solved for himself.

    i too am a father of two kids. (not biological), but i am their father. i cant imagine not acting in their best interest with everything i do, much less taking some action like this.

    i am sure like most of us he had flaws, i am sure he had troubles...who doesn't, but some of us choose to get up each morning and meet those challenges head on. we choose to stand and fight for a better life for those around us no matter how hard things get.

    he may have taught people many things in his life about social media, but his decision to bail on his family is deplorable.

    i know i will take some heat for this post, but thats ok. i have principals, and i live by them.

    i choose to have a lot more respect for many men who will choose to get up tomorrow morning and go to their minimum wage job just to put food on the table for their kids.

    its sad...but not for him...for his kids. there is no way adults much less kids can wrap their brains around this.
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  • Profile picture of the author phillimac
    That is pretty sad news. Money doesn't buy happiness. I wonder what he was going through until his suicide. Truly is a sad day.
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  • Profile picture of the author phillimac
    Depression is tough, I knew many people who had serious depression. It's not an easy thing to get over. I get depressed once in a while, but it's not serious depression.

    Trey must have been suffering pretty bad, and maybe he though suicide was the only way out. Sad stuff for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Depression is a disease. A very serious disease, accompanied by unbearable physical and emotional pain. Had he been treated effectively, this may have been averted, but since treatment wholly depends on the ill reaching out for treatment, many are never treated. It is often a fatal disease, as we see in this case.

    Unless you've walked in those shoes, I would not judge.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
      Banned
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Depression is a disease. A very serious disease, accompanied by unbearable physical and emotional pain. Had he been treated effectively, this may have been averted, but since treatment wholly depends on the ill reaching out for treatment, many are never treated. It is often a fatal disease, as we see in this case.

      Unless you've walked in those shoes, I would not judge.
      Agree 100%. There's an ad for a site that helps people with depression that I really like. It goes like this:

      Originally Posted by DepressionIsReal.org

      You'd never say, "It's just cancer, get over it."

      But why do some say that about depression?
      It's so true. Depression is very much like cancer in many ways. Thankfully, the one key difference is that unlike some forms of cancer, depression is curable.
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      • Profile picture of the author AuburnAngela
        Terribly sad...Divorce and being separated from your kids can be one of the most painful things anyone can go through. I read an article posted by a friend of Trey's that he had attempted suicide two months previously and that the divorce and being separated from his kids was causing him distress.

        I pray that his children can heal and the rest of his family, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamie Charles
    Mental illness is very real, depression is very real.

    Its not about being weak or lazy or anything of the kind.

    It can make successful, smart, capable people do things like shoot themselves in a church parking lot.
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Mental illness is very real, depression is very real.

      Its not about being weak or lazy or anything of the kind.

      It can make successful, smart, capable people do things like shoot themselves in a church parking lot.

      Thank you Jamie and others for pointing out that depression is a form of mental illness. A heartbreaking mental illness. Untreated, it will absolutely lead a smart, capable person to fall into such a dark hole that they can't see their way out and as if they really have no other choice. It's the illness speaking to them; their mind has gone beyond the ability to rationale.

      And unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to the illness that causes some folks to not seek treatment.

      Also, I would suspect that it's especially tough for anyone who is viewed as a leader in the positive thinking/personal development to "tell it like it is" for them, when the positive thinking movement promotes always being upbeat. I'm a proponent of the positive thinking movement, but we also need to be able to tell the truth about what's going on with us.

      So it's a tough line to straddle between "telling one's truth" and always being upbeat. I understand that Trey was model of always speaking positively. My heart breaks for how deeply he must have suffered. And my heart breaks for the six children. I can't even imagine how crippling Trey's illness must have been for him to make the decision he did. I know it is very, very difficult for a parent who has never dealt w/ the crippling illness to understand that it was, I suspect, the illness that pushed Trey over the edge.

      May we hold all the children in prayer. Success doesn't trump mental illness unfortunately. If only it did.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    This is definitely sad news. Also, since I don't know all the facts on what happened or why it happened, I don't think it's appropriate for me to make a comment about what might be the reasons behind it. It's a tragedy to the people he mentored, it's a tragedy for the children who are now fatherless.

    My thoughts and prayers goes out to the family and the communities that he was a part of.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    This makes so sad. Depression is a terrible disease. RIP, Trey.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    Those poor kids. I lost my father the same way when I was a just a kid.

    Today was my son's first day of school. And he didn't cry or look back when the bus left for school. My father would have loved his grandson.

    I'm sure Trey will have grandchildren he would have loved too.
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    What a sad way to go.
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