Keeping Things Simple Isn’t Always The Case In Business…the bill always comes due

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Our love of technology has given professionals, such as myself, the option of working our own way…what ever that may be. For me, it is from where ever I happen to be, at any hour of the day. There is no need to see clients face to face when we have FaceTime and real time collaboration apps and tools.

Recently I learned a very hard lesson. That no matter how hard you work, nor what you may achieve…the bill always comes due. For the past year I have been working, quite diligently I might add, on building and launching a new brand in a consumer space that I was not an expert in when I began. The Food and Lifestyle space, while I have lived it well, I didn’t understand the inner workings, until now.

While I am extremely good at my job, and have launched and helped build some of Americas biggest brands over the years, I have to ask myself if I can still do it. Everyone says 40 is the new 30 and when I look in the mirror, I forget at times that I am almost 50 years. Like a woman told me yesterday, I wear my age well, but actions still wear a person down.

For the past few months I have literally been working 60-80 hours a week. And it finally caught up with me. I have heard of people being hospitalized for exhaustion and kinda of wondered how it was even possible for a person to get to that point. Now I know. It hits your like a house being dropped on you. I was down for an entire week and couldn’t even eat, let alone work or take care of my family. The bill came due.

As the person that has been preaching balance, I failed to live by my own words. Take time for yourself. Be good to yourself…whatever that means to you. Make sure you are getting rest. The human body cant keep going on 2-3 hours of sleep a day. It will always protect itself by shutting down and going into a hibernation type mode.

Lesson learned, I am back to work and keeping things balanced. Which for me, means shifting set deadlines, asking for help and being proud of the way our brand has evolved. It is not the company I envisioned 10 years ago, but what has emerged is a brand that I honestly, can’t believe I built. Once the revenue streams are in place, our family will be set for a long time to come. It is becoming a true family business and I had nothing to do with it. They asked to be involved. I couldn’t be more proud.

I am working on our companies first real commercial and mapping out the media outlets to place it on. One of the interesting things I have found is my target audience has chosen me. While. I was working towards millennials, it is actually Gen X that has showed initial support. And I’m talking across all platforms. Isn’t it amazing the information you can find with out paying an outside firm? The analytics provided by social media, Google and WordPress are indispensable.

My point with telling you all of this and being so transparent, is that many of you are friends and peers that I would not want to see this happen to. Learn from my mistake. Keep the balance in your life or you will pay the price. For me it was exhaustion but just as easily could have been a major heart attack. I have already had one, when I was 20 and it runs in the family.


Freshly Squeezed News: How We Nudged Employees to Embrace Flexible Work

How We Nudged Employees to Embrace Flexible Work

Michael Harris-Arzon

President, ArdynnMG

Ardynn Publishing and 

The LIME Magazine

Keep Things Simple….Take Your Work Home

It’s been a while since I posted anything and for that I sincerely apologize. This past year has been extremely trying as I struggled to find my way. As a professional with nothing but the strictest of work ethics, I found myself floundering like a fish out of water. When most people were ringing in the New Year with anticipation and jubilation I was being rushed to the Emergency Room with the worst health scare of my life.

After 6 touch and go days of laying in a hospital bed I was finally allowed to come home. But I was a different person. I no longer had the energy or drive of a Twenty Something. But as the next few months passed and I grew inpatient with the doctor ordered bed rest, I had plenty of time to contemplate my life, personal and professional. What I realized was that I no longer wanted to be the power player I had been. I wanted to enjoy my family and community.

I have always been the type of person to bring work home with me and thankfully we live in an age of technology where I could do my job from anywhere at anytime. So instead of doing a little of my work after the kids went to bed as I had a tendency to do, I had been forced to bring ALL of my work home with me. And guess what, I liked it. I found that I was less stressed and spent more time with the family than any other professional I know, while still putting in 50 – 60 hours a week.

Technology and a forced situation had given me a new outlook on how to stay successful. Granted my calendar seemed fuller, but it was spotted with entries like:

Pick kids up from school
Start dinner
PTA Meeting
Conference Call
Social Management
Kids Doctors Appointment
Webex Training
Article Deadlines
Play date with son’s friend from school
Watch the News
Date Night

The point being that by completely integrating my two lives has made me a happier person. So don’t be afraid to bring work home with you. Track your hours in the beginning until it becomes routine and in no time at all you will see that work and home life are one and the same. So break the chains of your traditional work day. You’ll thank me for it, I guarantee it!

Michael Harris – Arzon
The Simplistic Professional