Trey Pennington: Dead, But Not Alone

Trey Pennington Was A Success Story and He Had Friends …

He had 4982 Friends on Facebook and 111,317 followers on Twitter.

I was one of them.

He also apparently had community of friends in the church where he worshiped in Greenville, SC.

That’s where he chose to kill himself 23 hours ago.

Here’s how Bridget Pilloud describes Trey …

He was a marketing genius, a dad, a sweet, intelligent person. He believed in the ability of people and had the unique skills to carefully relate marketing and social media in a real, easy-to-understand way.

Condolences and memories and expressions of grief spill over Facebook and Twitter including one that said …

 “One of the worst things about social media is we can be surrounded by so many and still feel completely alone.”

You can be a massive business success and still be alone, because …

Helplessness carries stigma.

Countless friends of mine who have been massively successful in Internet Marketing, Authoring, Speaking or Business are struggling right now.

And they don’t want to admit it …

Because their business and future success depend on their current success.

Or so they think.

They feel as though if they are going through tough times, they are no longer successful and the longer it lasts, the more they think it will never get better.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Say you can’t enough times and you will believe it.
  • Say it’s over and it will be.
  • Say you are a failure and you fail.

Shout it from the mountain top …

We ALL struggle!

You are not alone!

Life has ups and downs no matter what level of success you have seen.

All around you are people with massive problems and the people who are well known and put what they know out there for the public to comment on, struggle just as often as the person who is not in the arena.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Thodore Roosevelt – Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Let’s not be too quick to condemn.

Trey Pennington had depression and he killed himself.

As Bridget Pilloud  says, “Depression is a whole-body disease. It’s a mental illness. It’s not something that people need to just get over. It’s not something that people can help.”

If you feel suicidal, but don’t feel as if you can reach out to those in your immediate network, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Get together with people.

Trey Pennington’s last post on Twitter was …

Be attentive to the people around you.  Many of them are hurting and you would never know.

As Bridget says, “None of us has to go through life alone, and none of us should die because we felt too alone to go on. Love social media or hate it, be the connections your friends and family and colleagues need—even if it doesn’t seem like they do.”

Let’s get together.

All the best,

Ken McArthur

And more, more, more.


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  • David Simone

    totally heartbroken. this is the second suicide in about as many months of somebody I loved.

    • Amazinggrace1111

      It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Not the correct answer.

  • Edwards24

    I think it’s more than that. I was a successful magazine publisher for 15 years with two young sons. Now I am alone, my two sons are 22 and 25 living elsewhere, I have no husband, no job, no money. $20 total but finally starting a good new job this week. Honestly, it takes much more than success or non-success to end your life … Although I feel alone a lot and only have a few friends online and off … I’m just saying that it’s got to be much more than this … I think it might be a difference of body chemicals, chemicals in the brain. He LOOKED like a happy, successful man. How could someone desert his kids? It had to be something that we can’t see and will never know. RIP. God bless his family and friends.

  • Doldena

    How very sad

  • Sanyika Calloway Boyce

    Ken, I you are a gem among men. You always have a smile, kind word and a wonderful way of bringing insight and perspective to the wild and wacky ride of entrepreneurship. I know how close to your heart the subject of suicide is and how genuinely committed you are to connecting with people – hey THAT’S EXACTLY why you created JVAlert, and because of it hundreds and thousands of people who only know each other by “Likes” and Twitter handles get to go from virtual buddies to offline friends. Continue making an impact in the lives of the people you reach, teach and touch. You matter. They matter. We all matter. I’ll be sure to pass this on to my virtual friends so that they know they’re not alone. Hugs to you my friend. -Sanyika

  • Shel Horowitz-Green Marketer

    What a shame! I cried when I saw his last Tweet. Condolences to you, and to all who knew him.

  • Aj Martirano

    Excellent post Thanks ken we have to tools to make a difference but so many of us are so busy we just dont take the time

  • Richard Posner

    Suicide. When it all comes down to it, you can have all the money and recognition that money can buy, but if you don’t tame the ghosts of past hurts that interfere withe your present…life can feel meaningless and absurd. At first, I thought Ken was talking about Frank Kern’s cousin, a character who seems to really thrive on IM energy. When I realized it wasn’t him, it occured to me that it could have been him. Many comedians are very angr people who turn off their thermostats by venting in absurd ways. Trey Pennington has passed. I didn’t know him, but wish I could have smiled his way moments before his demise. May I say to my self and ya’ll: Your selfless smile or tender touch is not for special occasions only. Everyday is a chance to be a meaningful specific with random acts of kindness. Even one life spared makes the extra effort worth it.

  • Michael Searles

    I feel it right now for the family and friends who new this man. A tragedy which ever view you take. Condolences.
    Can I please add, as a survivor of this same condition, it feels so good to be free from it today. All the points you
    make in this post make perfect sense Ken.

  • Matthew Radin

    Trey’s tragedy reminds me to remind others: “I can’t hear what you are saying … your actions speak too loudly!”
    For those of us who are Believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Jesus, the Messiah, it should make
    absolutely no sense to us that Trey would commit suicide in Church. Nevertheless, we have been promised that God makes
    ALL THINGS come out for good for those who love Him. I receive Trey’s action in committing suicide IN CHURCH, as a call to action for myself and
    my fellow believers. It’s not enough to speak and preach about our faith. We MUST TAKE ACTION to demonstrate our love, care and
    compassion for each other… our love for each other must bear fruit.
    Please send an email to me,, if you would like me to pray for you or with you.
    Only through prayer can we experience the true Shalom … the peace that surpasses all understanding. Without God, we truly ARE helpless.
    With Him, all things are possible. I just said a prayer for abundant peace and love for Trey’s family and friends and his Church members
    as they go through these difficult times. Please agree with me for Trey’s family to emerge VICTORIOUS, in Jesus’ name!

  • Donna Rougeau

    Thank you Ken for being wise enough to share truths in a tender, kind, strong way. Digesting this news impacted me deeply, I didn’t know Trey yet I do know Trey… many of us do and to his family, friends, mentee’s and the rest of us – I wish peace, hope and healing for the wounds old and fresh.

    I appreciate your call to truth, and your care for the tenderness of a soul called home.


  • Eren Mckay

    Honestly I’m so sad right now, I hardly know what to say…
    Thanks for letting us know..

  • promotional pens

    Beyonce. I mean Trey Songz is hot, but his sings are not good