9 Ways Following My Passion Changed My Life — For The Better
I started my career in one of the unhealthiest of places: investment banking at Merrill Lynch (think 48-hour shifts and stress galore). After the financial crisis, I lost my job at Merrill Lynch, and a fancy hedge fund job offer was rescinded, so I switched gears and spent five years at health and wellness companies. First at a “LOHAS” (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) focused venture capital fund, then the San Francisco Marathon, and next Tough Mudder.
In January 2015, I took my “healthy” career path to the next level by launching my own wellness company, HigherDOSE. HigherDOSE is all about exploring ways to get high naturally, especially through infrared and next level health technologies.
We currently outfit yoga studios and gyms with infrared heating system, but we have many more products planned. Introducing the masses to a relatively unknown technology (infrared) has been challenging, but as they say, no pain no gain. In fact, starting my own company has made me much healthier and happier than I ever imagined possible. Here's why:
1. I do my work on a treadmill desk.
This is my number one health and productivity hack. Working on a treadmill desk provides a workout but also increases blood flow to the brain, which focuses the mind. For me, this means higher quality output in less time. And it’s only possible for me to work this way because it’s my own company (trust me, it’s much more difficult to work on a treadmill desk in an office full of co-workers and meetings to run off to).
2. I work when I have the most energy.
Now that I’m my own boss I have free rein to manage my energy versus my time. In a traditional office setting, so much time is wasted pretending to work when you’re just not feeling productive. None of that happens now. I go with the flow of my energy, instead of trying to fit working into a contrived, nine-to-five schedule. In my experience, this is much less draining, much more rewarding, and results in better output.
3. I get to live and breathe wellness.
Part of my job as a wellness entrepreneur is to stay informed about what’s happening in the industry. A side benefit of this is that I get to be a guinea pig for the latest health practices. From cryotherapy to deep house yoga to vitamin drips, I’ve tried it all in the name of advancing my business. Guess what? My energy, mood, skin, and waistline are all the better for it.
4. I've learned how to deal with stress better.
Launching a business is not all sunshine and roses. There are days when I’m stressed and feel like giving up. But the number one rule of entrepreneurship is persistence! So instead of throwing in the towel, I’ve forced myself to find healthy ways to manage stress. This includes meditating twice a day, spraying on essential oils, and playing uplifting music whenever I'm doing computer work (i.e., not in meetings). No matter what happens, I now have this stress-busting toolkit to apply to any situation in my life.
5. I focus on being happy.
The number two rule of being an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is being likable. When you’re starting up and strapped for resources it’s important to get talented people to want to work with you, which means you have to be pleasant and likable. So I’m always doing things to improve my mood so that I can be a bright presence (such as working out, cultivating gratitude, looking good so I can feel good, etc.). Working on cultivating this charisma has made me happier in all of my relationships.
6. I live in the moment.
Being an entrepreneur means being resourceful. I once heard that resourcefulness is the intersection of intelligence and creativity, and it makes us feel more alive than just about anything else. You are truly living in the moment when you’re in a state of resourcefulness. I recall pulling together all the details of an event at the last minute, which required being very resourceful (i.e., pulling in friends/family to help, negotiating deals with venues, securing celebrity involvement), and I’d never felt so wide awake or alive.
7. I get to choose who I work with.
One of the best parts of working for yourself is choosing who you work with. I’m so lucky that my co-founder, Lauren Berlingeri, and I found each other. We’ve grown so close that we’re basically like family. When you work with someone you truly care for and consider your family, it adds an extra layer of meaning and depth to what you’re doing because you get to experience the ups and downs together.
8. I live the brand.
Because HigherDOSE is all about exploring ways to get high naturally and bringing infrared to yoga/fitness, I’m basically naturally high and buzzed from infrared all the time!
9. I get to help others.
Last but not least, I’m bringing a product to market that is healing the world. Healing others is near and dear to me as I know firsthand what it’s like to be vulnerable (from battling acne to living through a near-death experience). In the depths of my vulnerability, I’ve emerged with feelings of empathy and unconditional love for humanity. My work with HigherDOSE is a physical manifestation of this desire to improve the lives of others. They say that when you’re emitting unconditional love, you are vibrating at your highest frequency. So I guess you could say that I’ve discovered launching a wellness business truly brings one the “highest dose” of well-being there is!
Photo courtesy of iStock