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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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                                          Published on January 28, 2020

                                          How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

                                          How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

                                          As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

                                          Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

                                          Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

                                          To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

                                          Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

                                          So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

                                          1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

                                          This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

                                          The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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                                          The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

                                          2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

                                          Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

                                          When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

                                          The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

                                          3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

                                          Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

                                          Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

                                          4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

                                          Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

                                          Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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                                          The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

                                          5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

                                          This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

                                          If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

                                          Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

                                          6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

                                          This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

                                          What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

                                          7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

                                          Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

                                          Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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                                          Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

                                          8. Why Should We Hire You?

                                          If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

                                          By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

                                          This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

                                          9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

                                          Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

                                          This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

                                          If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

                                          10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

                                          You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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                                          What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

                                          Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

                                          You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

                                          Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

                                          Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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