It’s truly unfortunate. It seems that most entertainers and entrepreneurs… the successful ones – somehow manage to kill themselves to build their brand and/or business. We as creative people want to see our vision grow from a dream to reality. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and as Robert Plant once sang, ‘a whole lotta love!’ More importantly, it also requires YOU to not put yourself into an early grave. Let’s face it, we work long hours – whether in an office, on set, in studio… whatever your personal business is – you work hard for it, because it won’t work for itself. Brands and businesses of course need to be nourished; but so do you! I’ve personally gone full days in my studio without eating an actual meal. Can you empathize with this scenario? Being six cups of coffee deep… having spent hours upon hours multitasking… staring at multiple devices (IE: phone, computer, tablet) to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward since if you don’t do it, it’s inevitable that someone else will? Welcome to my life and probably yours too!
Now I’d like to be the first to inform you, it’s perfectly okay to be a hard worker. Actually, it’s a blessing if you have the work ethic to… well, work! The only issue is that we become so incredibly focused on whatever we’re currently engaged in, that our self-care takes a full back seat to the grind. I’m guilty of this too – nobody is exempt. The key to surviving and building a long-term, successful career is to develop a strategy that will allow you to schedule out specific time to invest back into YOU. Some of you may be saying, ‘Brim… I AM investing in myself by working so vigilantly’ and you’re right! I’m talking about the actual flesh-and-blood machine running the business. All machines need maintenance and without that maintenance… they break down. Sometimes, the machine – even if well-oiled can die and is subsequently easily replaced… you however, cannot be replaced!
Let’s get healthier physically as well as mentally by incorporating some important key strategies for managing yourself while continuing to manage the building of your business.
1.) JUST BREATHE.
Yeah, sounds simple right? Why is it that most of us reluctantly take the time to just stop, relax and breathe? Proper oxygen flow by taking full deep breathes are a proven method of relieving anxiety and stress. Take the time to relax; get up and move around regardless of what you’re currently in the middle of… it can wait!
I recommend reading this article HERE for a variety of breathing exercise methods.
2.) SLEEP MORE.
One of people’s biggest issues is that they can’t shut their brains off long enough to get an adequate amount of proper sleep. On average, most adults should really be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation directly takes away from your true potential, ability to be creative or make proper decisions. I’ve found taking fifteen minute power naps to be helpful when I’ve got a full schedule ahead of me and haven’t had the proper sleep in a couple of days. Pulling all-nighters are sometimes a necessity; however make sure to compensate by dedicating time for resting in between.
3.) SAYING NO IS A WONDERFUL THING.
At one point in my career, I said yes to everything. I wanted to do everything and be everywhere regardless of my exhaustion and sanity. Maybe I just wanted to prove that I could do it all, or just thought that I needed to? It eventually got to a point where I was overwhelmed and over my head. I didn’t have the time to spend on myself or with family and friends. I found that I was forever committed to who knows what! Often, these commitments were not necessarily worth my time or effort. You live and you learn. I learned to start saying that magical word... no!
Trust me, take this invaluable advice!!! It’s truly liberating and will offer you ‘found’ time that you’ll two hundred percent thank me for. Imagine being able to focus? Imagine taking advantage of once ‘lost’ time to engage new opportunities that’ll take your brand and business to the next level… what could YOU do with that extra time? Just say NO. Yes. FOMO will no doubt set in; however you’ll relish in massive amounts of less stress from feeling the need to appease other people; as well as the availability to concentrate on higher priorities.
4.) TAKE A BREAK.
Everyone needs to take a mental break… time to wind down and chill. Again, you can’t be productive if you burn yourself out. I’ve learned over the years that you need to separate home from your workspace (which is devastatingly difficult if you’re an entertainer or an entrepreneur who works from home). Albeit I personally work from home too when not at my studio or on tour; it’s more so in terms of social media; or tweaks to my website. Perhaps a few emails or calls here and there. You need to really try hard to make the separation though. Once you get home, be home.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started…
Talk to your significant other.
Play with your kids.
Grab a glass of wine.
Curl up with a book (I reserve this activity for long flights)
Play a video game (I’ve found solace in Animal Crossing New Horizons)
Phone a friend (Yes, phone! Stop texting – reach out and touch someone!)
Build a garden and tend to it.
Get a Hobby.
Write a song, poetry, a book, journal – anything creative perhaps for social media that you normally do not have time for during the day.
Take a bath. Yeah, you know that thing you used to sit in when you were little? Do it… add extra bubbles too!
Take a drive. Driving is one of the best times to unplug and just revert to #1 on the list – breathing.
Whatever you choose to do, learning when it’s time to unwind and decompress will pay off in droves. Your body and mind need that downtime, relaxation and rejuvenation to get back in the driver’s seat the following day.
5. EAT BETTER.
I’m literally the WORST at this… I love food and a portion of my career has even revolved around it. What is important though is that you nourish your body throughout the day rather than forgetting to eat for hours on end and then gouging yourself later with everything imaginable on the menu! It’s easy to order out, again… guilty. Cooking at home and portioning your meals ahead of time goes a long way. I’ve had the most success in weight loss and overall feeling of being healthy while endorsing programs like Healthy Meals Supreme or Eat Better Meals. If you’re too busy or too lazy to do it yourself – companies like these actually design a meal plan for you and deliver it directly to your door once or twice a week! We as entertainers, entrepreneurs, parents and leaders need to do better by eating balanced meals with healthier snacks in between. You’ll find that you’ll be more energetic, happier, productive and more focused than ever before.
6. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS.
Find places that you can visit outdoors in order to relax and blow off steam. It could be as simple as hitting a few golf balls at the range, or swinging at some softballs in a batting cage… maybe even just a walk at the park. Taking in the fresh air is important – especially for those who spend their days in office buildings, signing indoors at conventions, working in studio spaces, etc. – stale air can and will decrease your productivity and well-being. At The Grindhouse Radio Studios, we invested in a grill for our office building’s courtyard encouraging our employees to sit outside for lunch offering the ability to cook rather than ordering out. My family and I have made it a priority to attempt spending some quality time out each week whenever available. My wife put together a list of all the parks, beaches, landmarks and other outdoor areas that make Long Island (where we live) so unique and beautiful. We’ll randomly choose from the list and make a day out of it. It has been a game changer. You can’t forget to live life!
Furthermore, I suggest taking a brisk walk around the block in the morning as it will get your juices flowing and fresh air in your lungs – it is a great way to start your day and can put you in a great mindset. If mornings are not your thing – an evening stroll by yourself, with a friend or loved one is perfect for that wind down we discussed earlier… you’d be killing two birds with one stone. THREE if you include BREATHING!!!
7. YOUR SPACE IS YOUR KINGDOM.
One of the biggest things that I have always tried to instill in my partners, employees and even interns that have worked with me over the years is to absolutely love your space. Let’s face it – you spend most of your waking hours at your workspace and your work area, you should feel comfortable in it at all times. Sprinkle it with things that make you happy and you’ll have a constant reminder of what or who you are building your empire for!
Hope these methods help you as they've helped me! If you LIKED this article, please SHARE on social media and make sure you are following me on mine! - Brim