Punch Out or Burn Out: Why the Most Successful People in Marketing Pursue Hobbies

punch out

By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” – Proverb

Hustle culture is everywhere. Scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, I see post after post from people who’ve bought into the idea that every waking moment must be dedicated to growing their business. It also seems as though nearly all their moments are waking, because there’s no way they could sleep and also network / podcast / publish / speak / place PPC ads across the interwebz.

But the idea that “the hustle” is the only path to success is a lie. Or, at the very least, it leaves out some important truths. Some people hustle nonstop to succeed, that’s true.

But many, many successful people intentionally “punch out” of work in order to decompress, recharge, make the world a better place, or simply be for a while. And science supports their choice: research indicates that having a hobby improves your performance at work.

Pursuing a hobby can also help you to avoid burnout, a phenomenon many experience, but few acknowledge (at least publicly). Even if hustle mode is in full effect, take a minute to ask yourself some hard questions about your energy level, your job satisfaction, and whether you feel appreciated at work.

You might find that you’re experiencing symptoms of burnout without realizing it. A large percentage of U.S. adults report experiencing many of the common signs of burnout, including feeling drained, feeling like they’re achieving less than they should, and having negative thoughts about their jobs. “Punching out” for a while can help to alleviate the pressure.

As the co-host of “Punch Out With Katie and Kerry,” I get to talk with the most successful people in marketing and business about what they do when they’re off the clock (and why they do it). What I discover, time and time again, is that success in business requires “punching out” on a regular basis.

The guests Katie Robbert and I interview on the show are people you’ve all heard of: authors, international keynote speakers, well-known social media personalities, and marketing stars. These are people whose professional successes make them the envy of some and the aspirational career template of others.

Here’s what they all have in common: every one of the industry stars we interview makes time to pursue hobbies, support charitable causes, build collections, or have a “side hustle” outside of marketing that rejuvenates them. Their hobbies of choice typically fall into five main categories.

Hobbies that feed your soul

Volunteering Mari Smith (upcoming Season 3 guest) tithes to support the Pachamama Alliance. She also works with the HeartMath Institute.
Mentoring Mark Schaefer mentors at-risk youth and women in business.
Dog rescue Amber Naslund rescues pitbulls.
Charity auction Mitzi Perdue is planning a celebrity auction to support anti-trafficking organizations.

Hobbies that strengthen your body

Fitness – Jeremiah Owyang (upcoming Season 3 guest) completely transformed his health through healthy eating and doing crossfit workouts several times a week.
Competitive bodybuilding – Laura Petrolino dominates in bodybuilding competitions.
Cycling – Gini Dietrich is an accomplished cyclist. Fun fact: she’s done so much cardio conditioning by now that her low resting heart rate alarms nurses!

Hobbies to lose yourself in

Gaming – Chris Brogan plays video games (among other pursuits), but it’s not just about winning. He talked a lot about the community and tribalism inherent in multiplayer games.
High-performance driving – David Thomas immerses himself completely in high-performance driving. When you’re behind the wheel of a speeding car, you must devote one-hundred percent of your attention to the task at hand, leaving no time to focus on work or other concerns.
Horseback riding –  Brooke Sellas rides horses. The combination of physical exertion and bonding with the animals goes a long way toward improving energy level and outlook.
Murder Mysteries – Rob Zaleski literally loses himself in his hobby: he and his fiancee portray colorful characters in murder mysteries.

Hobbies to replenish your creative juices

Sculpting – Samantha Stone tries a new hobby every year. One recent undertaking she tried was sculpting. Although the finished piece doesn’t always come out the way she’d envisioned, she says that learning to step outside her comfort zone and accept imperfection on some level has made her more effective at work.
Calligraphy – Rob Croll took a calligraphy class, and still has his final project on display at his house.
Writing musical theater – Dorie Clark moved to New York City and, swept up in the creative atmosphere, decided to try writing musical theater. She’s currently participating in a two-year program to learn the craft.

Hobbies that stoke your passions

Collecting – Some hobbies bridge your passion and your work, like David Meerman Scott’s Apollo collection. His book, Marketing the Moon, brought together his love of all things Apollo and his vast knowledge of marketing. For some marketers, the love of the hunt stokes their creative fire. Katie Martell collects vintage table lighters, and Keith Reynolds has a set of elaborate rules for collecting books (no Amazon allowed).
Rock concert photography – Jason Miller (upcoming Season 3 guest) has long used rock and roll metaphors to help marketers create better content, but he’s also an accomplished concert photographer, with a published book of photos.

A quick glance at this list should illustrate that success and a balanced life can absolutely go hand in hand.

Make time to nourish your mind, body, and spirit: punching out will pay dividends in every area of your life!

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is a writer, lawyer, speaker and educator. She’s also a Learning Designer at MarketingProfs. Kerry hosts the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast and gets people to open up about their cool collections, weird hobbies, and inspiring side hustles on Punch Out With Katie and Kerry with co-host Katie Robbert. Find Kerry on Twitter.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

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