New York City is a place I never imagined I would ever live. However, after I graduated, I did what most recent graduates do: I took the first job offer that I got, which brought me to this amazing city. It’s been two years since then and I’m amazed by how much this city has allowed me to grow in such a short window of time. For that, NYC will always be a second home to me.
The Hustle Capital of the World
It has literally been a dream come true to come back to this city after quitting my job and have the privilege to work for myself. Yes, I have to somehow manage to make $3,000 to $4,000 monthly just to survive in this unforgiving city, but frankly, I have been able to thrive because of this. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere, and I remind myself of this every early morning and every long night…
It’s been about three months since I’ve returned to NYC after my three months in Colombia, and while things are going very well with my web design business and Different Hunger, these things come at a price. I recently was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, stressed and in need of an escape from this city…
I booked a one-way ticket to Atlanta, home to my alma mater, Emory University. I got one-way ticket because I wanted to keep my options open. Maybe I would want to stay longer, or maybe head off to another destination.
Regardless, it’s pretty amazing to not have an asshole boss or anyone to worry about when deciding to travel or book trips. I recently have been doing my best to take advantage of this fact as often as I can…
Finding a Balance in the Hustle (Thanks Mom)
This is something I’ve had to get better at, though. Being an entrepreneur is a double-edged sword. Your work is your life and your life is your work. Sometimes the two get so mixed that you forget why you began working for yourself in the first place: freedom.
After I returned from Colombia I spent the month at home with my parents before heading back to NYC. After I refused several consecutive trips to visit family and friends, my mom stopped me saying, “Isn’t this why you’re working for yourself? So you can take these trips and be able to work from wherever you want?”
Per usual, mama was right. I was so caught up with my work that I was neglecting to balance my time and take advantage of the freedom that came with working for myself.
Since then I have made a conscious effort to remember that my life is happening right now…
It’s not happening in two months when I hit that income goal or after I land that big client or once I finish these few big projects. All I have is the present moment, so I need to make sure I am constantly reminding myself of this and finding a balance in the hustle.
This was one of the main reasons I booked my trip to Atlanta. I needed to find a balance and escape for a bit.
As I mentioned in my latest video, Overcoming Uncertainty, I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview my favorite musician, Trevor Hall, while visiting Atlanta.
We had an amazing conversation, about a lot of different things, one of them being this very thing: disconnecting in order to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
I just got to interview my favorite musician of all time @trevorhallmusic . An incredible talent and an incredible human – this guy is the real deal and I can’t wait to share this interview with you all. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard his music, go check it out right now. #differenthunger #trevorhall #trevorhalltour #trevorhallmusic
A video posted by Matt Kohn (@matt.kohn) on Nov 3, 2016 at 4:53pm PDT
A few years ago, after nearly ten years of constant touring and travel, Trevor Hall was overwhelmed and burnt out. Music, which he considers to be part of his identity, was no longer fun because he was so overworked. He was desperate to get away, so that’s exactly what he did. Him and his wife moved to the forest of Vermont where he spent a year and a half, disconnecting from everything in order to have some very personal time.
Trevor wasn’t sure if he would ever come back to music, he just knew he needed time to heal and recover. He ended up finding that healing through music. Although he never planned for it to happen, this music he wrote during his time of healing became an album, called Chapter of the Forest, which turned out to become his most successful album to date.
It was powerful for me to hear that story, because again it showed that this need to disconnect not only benefits us personally, but it benefits us financially when we learn to really get in tune (no pun intended) with ourselves.
We live in a hyperconnected society. It’s so important that we make disconnecting from that constant noise part of our lives, as Trevor discussed in our interview. This is the place, he says, where we not only can find recovery and comfort, but it’s in this place of ‘disconnection’ that we learn to understand ourselves on a much deeper level.
The Need to Disconnect
As I’ve grown up and gotten more grey hairs on my twenty four year old head, I’ve gotten much better at figuring out what advice should be listened to, and which should be ignored.
One thing that has helped me identify advice that should not be ignored is when I receive the same advice from very different sources. This was something that happened a lot when I spoke with 75+ top performers as part of my massive round up post.
Want to find out what 75+ top performers would tell their twenty something self? Click here to get the free eBook and learn from the most successful individuals in the world like Arianna Huffington, Ray Romano, and many more.
If an Olympic gold medalist tells you the same thing as does a New York Times bestselling author, chances are that the piece of advice being shared is golden. As you survey your own mentors in your life, I challenge you to find those same patterns…
Similar to Trevor Hall’s advice above was this advice from Arianna Huffington that I came across from a sneak peek of Foundr Magazine’s new coffee table book:
If you want to learn more about Foundr’s new book featuring other business moguls very best advice like Daymond John, Richard Branson, Gary Vee and more, click here.
According to Arianna Huffington, the leaders of today don’t need higher IQ’s, they need more inner wisdom. This inner wisdom comes from our ability to conect with ourselves and disconnect from our hyperconnected world. This advice was nearly identical to the advice provided by Trevor Hall, showing you its power.
Lessons in Paradise
My trip to Atlanta was great, but I was still craving more escape time. Again, taking advantage of my newfound time freedom (wahoo!), I pulled up Google and tried to find the most exotic, tropical place I could find for the most reasonable price…
I ended up finding a flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for <$300 and decided that would be my next destination. I booked a $20/night AirBnB, and planned nothing else.
My AirBnB hosts turned out to be exotic animal trainers so I was able to spend some time playing with monkeys and my hosts’ beautiful parrots, Ginger and Bartolo. My host’s cousin ended up being my personal tour guide for the week as well and we spent the majority of our time cruising around national parks and beaches, in an effort to avoid other tourists and get an authentic experience.
A video posted by Matt Kohn (@matt.kohn) on Nov 8, 2016 at 2:53pm PST
It was amazing. Nothing was planned, the majority of my time was spent exploring and minimal time was spent “connected”.
As I sat on the beach on my last day all by myself, not a worry in the world, all I could think was “Damn. I need to do this more often.”
I arrived back in New York City last night feeling totally rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to crush it.
I challenge you too to disconnect and make sure you allow time to reconnect with yourself.
Trust me, it’s just as important as hustling your ass off.