Ways to Recharge
The pressures of being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming. You must have outlets and even guilty pleasure you turn to for a release. This is not contrary to the idea of being an entrepreneur. This is actually a way to be a healthier, happier, more productive and more eﬃcient entrepreneur. These were Michael Dermer’s go-to strategies for recharing:
- Working Out. To me, there is nothing like a good sweat. When you are kicking the shit out of yourself, it’s hard to think about your balance sheet. During the most difficult of days of IncentOne, in early 2009, I would arrive at my oﬃce at 5 a.m. and jump on the Stairmaster we had in the gym in our oﬃce. Every day I would set it to the highest level and sweat my ass oﬀ. Sometimes after my day, I would go to the 8:45 p.m. Bikram Yoga class at 83rd and 3rd in Manhattan. Ninety minutes. One hundred and five degrees. It was cathartic. Some of the best workouts I had were during the toughest times because my mind was completely elsewhere. Breaking a sweat every day was a huge release.
- Reyna and Brendan. The time I spent with my brother’s kids, Reyna and Brendan, was magical. My brother and his wife lived on 52nd Street and Lexington in New York and I would go there Saturdays around 3 p.m. to watch them until about 7 p.m. Seeing their young faces allowed me to take a step back and get lost in their smiles. Seeing them take joy in the basics of life left me with energy to take on the challenges of being an entrepreneur. My brother and sister-in-law thought I was helping them by giving them a few hours to themselves. They were helping me a lot more by allowing me an opportunity to reorient my perspective.
- Bourbon. I was never a big drinker. I only drank socially, and I had never found an alcohol that I liked. Of course bourbon is all the rage these days but in 2008 bourbon was nothing more than Jack Daniels. Then, I had a discovery late one night at a friend’s bar. Even a few sips were calming. Today I am the proud owner of a refined bourbon palate and too much knowledge of brown water. Angel’s Envy. Blanton’s. Tincup. Larceny.
- The Twenty-Year Commute. My Mom and Dad were from the Bronx. When they had me, they moved to Freehold, New Jersey— sixty miles south of New York City where my Dad worked. For twenty years, he boarded the bus in Freehold and rode ninety minutes into New York City to his oﬃce on Madison Avenue. Twice a day, each day, ninety minutes each way, for years. Now that’s grit. Now that’s dedication. What I was doing paled in comparison. Every time I felt soft, I remembered the sacrifice he made. Staying up late to work on an investor deck always seemed easy when compared to twenty years in a bus on Route 9 headed to New York City.
- The Greatest Generation and D-Day. It always bothered me that our generation and today’s generation don’t realize the courage of our parents’ generation. The sacrifices that they made to make the America we know and love, are too often forgotten. This is especially true of the military and of World War Two and D-Day. Soldiers stormed the beaches at Normandy, knowing there was a good chance they would die minutes after they got there. Imagine the courage. Imagine the sacrifice. I’m not even sure we can. If you get the chance, read about it, go to the World War Two museum in New Orleans. To this day, every Memorial Day, I sneak away from whatever barbecue or family event I am at and sit for a few hours at a local Memorial Day service. While fighting to save our business, these stories helped me get back on track when I faltered.
Whether it is bourbon, working out, yoga, meditation, spending time with your family or going to the movies alone, you need your release. Find your release and make it a part of your week.