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20 Hobbies That Can Make You a Better Boss at Work

20 Hobbies That Can Make You a Better Boss at Work

A hobby is defined as an activity done in a regular basis during one’s leisure time for pleasure. Hobbies make life more enjoyable—research can back me up on this. The Society of Behavioral Medicine conducted a research that examined the effects of leisure to health and overall well-being. The results revealed 115 research participants to have positive moods, less stress levels, and healthy heart rates when engaged in their leisure activities. Furthermore, another study explains the effect of hobbies in moderating the effect of anxiety and stress. So, you don’t have to feel guilty about that fishing trip you made last weekend.

The following are hobbies shared by actual business owners, that can help you deal with stress and perform better at work. Remember that a hobby need not to be something you’re an expert at. Hobbies are for enjoyment and something you’re not familiar with is definitely a must-try.

1. Dancing

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    Mastering a style of dancing requires the same level of commitment and diligence required to run, manage, and grow a successful business. TrueLine Publishing President and CEO, Hajmil Carr tells how integral her hobbies are to become a great boss.

    “I am an avid salsa dancer and skier. My hobbies are an integral part of my efficacy and performance at work because they are rooted in pure passion. By delving into practice regarding something that you truly care about, you learn mastery.”

    -Hajmil Carr, TrueLine Publishing

    Dancing once a week does wonders for your abilities as a boss, and is very much an unusual trait for a startup founder like John Turner, CEO of UsersThink.

    “Dancing is the hobby that makes me a much better boss. It provides a great physical outlet, giving me more energy throughout the week, as well as being a fun activity that helps me clear my head and reduces stress so I can be more thoughtful and helpful during the workweek.”

    -John Turner, UsersThink

    2. Flying Aircrafts

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      Founder & CEO of Switch, Yarden Tadmor, is very passionate about managing his business and flying, for the simple reason that it fits his personality so well.

      “Both require me to constantly be learning, awake, and aware of my surroundings. Both include all kinds of variables and things can turn on a dime, but when both move smoothly, they really hum along. At the end of the day, you’re the one in the cockpit or the boardroom, and I really like that kind of pressure and accountability. I thrive on it and I think my employees respond to that managing by example.”

      -Yarden Tadmor, Switch

      3. Acting

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        Image Source: Flickr

        Theatrical acting is absolutely fantastic if you are a boss and looking to improve or gain new skills in such areas like public speaking, teamwork, active listening, or memorization. CEO and Co-Founder of Waverly Knobs, Evin Charles Anderson, is a perfect example of this.

        “It has greatly assisted me in my day-to-day interactions, involvement, team building, and much more. You also don’t need to be in NY, Boston, Chicago or LA as there are many community theater groups scattered across the US that anyone can become involved with.”

        -Evin Charles Anderson, Waverly Knobs

        4. Yoga

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          Image Source: Flickr

          Yoga provides relaxation, clarity and positivity. These are perfect if you’re doing a million things at the same time. Andrew Reich, Managing Director and Founder of InTouch Manufacturing Services comes to office with a peaceful mind thanks to yoga.

          “Yoga guides me towards providing my employees direction and reinforcement while not burdening them with micromanagement and the negativity that some bosses bring to work. My yoga routine also gives me the energy I need to get through the day and motivate my staff.”

          -Andrew Reich, InTouch Manufacturing Services

          5. Game Officiating

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            Image Source: FlagSpin

            Did you know that there is a third team on the field during a football game? It’s the game officials! Who knew this could be a perfect hobby for The Marketing Quarterback owner, Victor Clarke.

            “From pre-game to post-game, every move by the officials is pre-planned. As a business owner, I must learn and enforce business rules, apply correct positioning to make the right business calls, and occasionally, I must penalize poor behavior. The three priorities of officiating are to keep the game safe, fair, and fun. This should be the same priority of a business owner’s management style.”

            -Victor Clarke, The Marketing Quarterback

            6. Reading

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              Reading has always been a great way to manage stress. It also expands your vocabulary and improves cognitive function. Spencer X. Smith, vice president of sales turned consultant, who also teaches business planning and Internet marketing classes at the University of Wisconsin, shares his love for reading and re-reading books.

              “Depending on what is going on in our business, the best books (Think Good To Great) seem to morph into what I need at that time. The insights were there before, but now I’m just reading it from a different point of view. When discussing these ideas, it also helps to point to an outside source (like a book) so the discussion is more collaborative, and not an edict.”

              -Spencer X. Smith

              7. Exercising

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                It may seem counterintuitive to increase the physical demands of your body, but exercising can make you a better boss. Leading a company is both physically and mentally arduous. Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO of Chargebacks911, routinely changes her workout to accommodate the current demands of her job. As the challenges at work ebb and flow, the intensity of her exercises conforms to her stress level.

                “Exercise is my passion. I don’t grudgingly workout to improve my health or lose weight. I don’t see exercise as a consequence for eating my favorite foods. I genuinely enjoy pushing my body to its limits. I like discovering new ways to improve my abilities. But most importantly, I relish the clarity and open-mindedness that exercise provides me as I enter the office. Without a physical release of my mental anguish, I wouldn’t be able to joyfully interact with employees.”

                -Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargebacks911

                8. Traveling

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                  Traveling can help you create a culture of adventure and curiosity in your workplace. TJ Sassini, CEO of ZOZI.com is an avid adventurer. He has pursued his passion in more than 30 countries‹ from wreck diving in Australia and canyoning in New Zealand, to backcountry skiing expeditions and shark diving. He is also a two-time IronMan triathlete and also completed an unassisted solo cycle expedition from Portugal to Italy, crossing the Pyrenees in early Spring.

                  It’s important as an entrepreneur to gain new perspectives and be unafraid to get out of your comfort zone. Founder and Managing Director of Acceleration Partners, Robert Glazer, sets an example of taking a break to his employees.

                  “Traveling is a hobby that gets me out of the office while giving me time to think about The Big Picture and bring back new ideas. In addition to setting the example of taking a break, I actively look for ways to engage my team through travel, whether organizing off-site employee retreats or encouraging employees to take vacation time.”

                  -Robert Glazer, Acceleration Partners

                  9. Playing Piano

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                    Learning a new hobby is never too late for MyCorporation CEO Deborah Sweeney. She took up piano lessons six months ago and she’s loving it!

                    “It teaches me patience and it reinforces my mindset of hard work. My piano instructor is constantly encouraging me to let go and enjoy. That is not always easy for a business owner, but I continue to work on it through piano (and also in motherhood)!”

                    -Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation

                    10. Ice Hockey

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                      Here’s a tough and challenging hobby for you — ice hockey. Andrew Schrage, CEO and Co-owner of Money Crashers is by no means an expert to this sport, but constantly trying to improve his skills and the competition that goes along with participating transfers over to running his small business is a challenge he is very much willing to accept.

                      “I always strive to do a better job everyday and I have a great focus on winning and making my organization one of the best in the industry.”

                      -Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers

                      11. Fishing

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                        Fishing is a great hobby to help better your managerial skills. From the discipline it takes to get up to catch the sunrise bite before work, to the patience it requires to land that first fish, Online Marketing Manager Tim Smith of DialMyCalls knows the drill.

                        “Fishing takes up quite a lot of time in my life and it definitely improves my work ethic. Discipline and patience are two extremely important factors when it comes to managing co-workers and customers which is why fishing is the perfect hobby for me.”

                        -Tim Smith, DialMyCalls

                        12. Gardening

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                          It’s not everyday you get to work with a boss who has an intensively planted yard. Meet Christopher Peck, Managing Partner of Natural Investments. The experience of planning his personal ecosystem, then dealing with successes and failures of the plan, ripples into the similar challenges inherent in running a business and supporting the growth of his colleagues at work.

                          “The time I spend working with the soil and plants in my intensively planted yard pays big dividends in my professional life, that is to manage a 9-office investment advisory firm. These hours refresh my body and mind, of course, and they also offer a quiet time away from the desk during which integration and insight can emerge.”

                          -Christopher Peck, Natural Investments

                          13. Sausage Making

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                            Here’s something you must try at least once in your life — sausage-making. Well, butchery and sausage-making to be specific. To be fancier, charcuterie. That is the hobby of Red Sky CEO, Jessica Flynn.

                            “I think it’s important for every managerial ‘buck-stops-here’er’ to get their hands dirty and make sausage — literally. A world of meetings, emails, digital engagement, and conference calls have blunted our senses. Without the joy of creation, our ability to think creatively and lead with inspiration is stunted. Every business founder, owner, leader or manager needs to commit to creating, crafting, producing, building or cranking out something physical weekly. Put down the digital devices and get hands on.”

                            -Jessica Flynn, Red Sky

                            14. Knitting

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                              The beauty of knitting is that it relieves tension and calms both your body and mind. Business owner and author, Tara Swiger, knits a bit every night, and sometimes even during phone meetings.

                              “It gives me something to do with my hands as I think through a difficult challenge. Without it, I would surely be more likely to snap at my assistant. Because she also knits, it gives us something non-work related to talk about and bond over.”

                              -Tara Swiger

                              15. Biking

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                                Endurance sports such as biking can improve your determination, perseverance and drive at work. President and owner of FREE Advertising, Chris Bolivar, bikes almost every day and competes in Ironman Triathlons. These help him bring enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit to work everyday.

                                Here’s another avid long distance road biker. Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of O2E Brands. Biking allows him to build momentum that will keep going even after he finishes the ride.

                                “As someone with ADHD, I find that biking is a terrific way to clear my head and regain focus. Arriving to work focused, attentive, and passionate means that I am able to give my employees one hundred per cent, and in turn, they can feed off of my energy, optimism, and support.”

                                -Brian Scudamore, O2E Brands

                                16. Blogging

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                                  In addition to blogging regularly about his experiences as a business owner to help and inspire other small business leaders, Matt Rissell, CEO at TSheets, has learned to fly airplanes. These two hobbies make him a better leader because by learning to fly he is exercising his ability to take risks, which he believes is an essential skill as a business leader. Additionally, by sharing his experience, failures and successes with other small business on the TSheets blog, he is reminded of the challenges he has faced while building a successful tech company outside Silicon Valley.

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                                  17. Teaching Indoor Cycling

                                  Fitness instructor leading class on exercise bicycles in gym, low angle view
                                    Fitness instructor leading class on exercise bicycles in gym, low angle view

                                    Image Source: Huffington Post

                                    Teaching rhythm indoor cycling demands a unique-for-each-class, pre-planned choreographed routine with a heavy motivational and performance component. Each musical beat is accounted for, yet you often must pivot with plan B or C within seconds based on your reading of the group’s desires and unknowns, balanced by their needs, which are not always equivalent to their demands. That’s how Alissa Walter, co-founder of Blindsgalore runs her business.

                                    “I conduct my business like I run my spinning room — with precision and prediction yet with the nimbleness to change the whole shebang. At the end of the day both shows must go on and both crowds have to want to come back to join you the next day.”

                                    -Alissa Walter, Blindsgalore

                                    18. Meditating

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                                      As a business owner you are often rushing from meeting to meeting every day and don’t always get the chance to reflect on how your actions affect those around you. That’s where transcendental meditation comes in. This hobby helps Founder and CEO of CloserIQ, Jordan Wan, alleviate his stress and improve his focus and general self awareness.

                                      “Regardless of whether you believe that meditation provides health benefits, I think it’s a great way to block out time and reflect on the quality of your interactions with your colleagues and employees.”

                                      -Jordan Wan, CloserIQ

                                      19. Playing Chess

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                                        Chess can make you a better boss, but not in some crazy-seeing-20-moves-ahead kind of way. Chess taught ilos Founder, Sean Higgins, to appreciate losing. Every time he loses, he learns something, he study harder, and eventually gets better at it.

                                        “You learn quickly and not fear coming up short but to take those missteps and use them to become better than even you thought you could be. Because of this lesson, my team isn’t afraid to come to me with their mistakes. We can face losses together, learn our lesson, and come back stronger on the next milestone.”

                                        -Sean Higgins, ilos

                                        20. Fixing Cars

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                                          Mechanical work takes a lot of problem solving, muscle work, and tremendous patience; but for Enerpan Insulated Panels Controller, Marten Skupien, cars that most people don’t even notice are gems in disguise.

                                          “Today, I’ve got two. A 2004 VW Jetta TDI and an 2007 Audi A4 Avant. I love doing mechanical work on them because it can be frustrating but really rewarding. So doing things like replacing the suspension so that it’s lower… so much low J. The other thing that I really like doing is the detailing of a car because you can really lose yourself in the details of it, it’s nice and calming.”

                                          -Marten Skupien, Enerpan Insulated Panels

                                          Hobbies encourage us to take a break and are proven stress-busters. For busy business owners, they take their breaks with purpose. They engage in activities where they gain a thing or two that can help them succeed and become better bosses. Found a hobby that interests you? Good, now it’s time to plan something this weekend.

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                                          Jane Dizon

                                          Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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                                          Last Updated on July 23, 2019

                                          How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

                                          How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

                                          There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

                                          The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

                                          Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

                                          Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

                                          And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

                                          I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

                                          In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

                                          What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

                                          There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

                                          When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

                                          Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

                                          • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
                                          • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
                                          • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
                                          • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
                                          • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

                                          If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

                                          Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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                                          Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

                                          Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

                                          4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

                                          You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

                                          The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

                                          To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

                                          1. Value Your Time Above Money

                                          There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

                                          When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

                                          Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

                                          By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

                                          If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

                                          Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

                                          Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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                                          2. Build a Network

                                          Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

                                          One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

                                          Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

                                          A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

                                          It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

                                          You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

                                          The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

                                          You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

                                          Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

                                          In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

                                          Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

                                          If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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                                          Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                                          3. Believe It Is Possible

                                          One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

                                          If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

                                          In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

                                          A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

                                          Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

                                          If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

                                          They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

                                          Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

                                          “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

                                          By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

                                          4. Put Yourself Out There

                                          You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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                                          Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

                                          Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

                                          If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

                                          Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

                                          Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

                                          You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

                                          The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

                                          Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

                                          More Resources About Career Change

                                          Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
                                          [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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