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Aaron Edelheit Leadership Podcast Fast Leader Show

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

Aaron Edelheit Show Notes Page

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Aaron was born in Marlton, New Jersey new jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and Jon.

Around the age 9 his father was reading the Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were, pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating. It wasn’t long until he was hooked.

Aaron has always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason, he’s been reading the Wall Street Journal since he was 9. He started his own money management firm at age 23 and lived above his parent’s garage.

Then, he started a small side-business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it up to 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees. He sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust.

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

He is the Chief Strategy Officer of FLO Technologies and the CEO and Founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm and author of The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle.

Most importantly that I was a good father and husband and that I tried in my own little way to make the world a better place.

Aaron currently lives in Santa, Barbara, CA with his wife Valerie and his three kids Nora, Max and Miles.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @aaronvalue to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet  

“Over-work is actually hurting our chances for success.” – Click to Tweet 

“Once you work past 55 hours, in the long run, it’s all garbage.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’re connected every second to every person that has our contact information.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’ve ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why is there so much anxiety, anger and frustration – arguably this is the best time to live ever.” – Click to Tweet 

“Success in life is not about consuming more information.” – Click to Tweet 

“You’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative – to be innovative – to be problem-solving.” – Click to Tweet 

“What’s in short supply at this day and age – it’s time.” – Click to Tweet 

“A lot of people are starting to realize that’s it’s not necessarily things but experiences.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why not give yourself the gift of time.” – Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Advice for others

Don’t be in such a rush to get to a destination. Enjoy the journey.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I need to do a better job of being more present.

Best Leadership Advice

Don’t focus on the short-term, really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change.

Secret to Success

My Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family.

Best tools in business or life

Communication – I can communicate complex things in a simple manner.

Recommended Reading

The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

Contacting Aaron Edelheit

website: https://www.thehardbreak.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-edelheit-0707b519/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronvalue

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Public Speaking

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to help us to stop doing something so that we can move forward faster. Aaron Edelheit, was born in Marlton, New Jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and John. Around the age of nine his father was reading The Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were while pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating it wasn’t long until he was hooked. Aaron had always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason he’s been reading The Wall Street Journal since he was nine, I think his dad had something to do with that. He started his own money management firm at the age of 23 and lived above his parent’s garage. Then he started a small side business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it to up to over 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees and he sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded real estate investment trust. 

 

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the US, Canada and South Africa. He is the chief strategy officer of Flow Technologies and the CEO and founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm. Most importantly he wants to be a good father and husband and that he tried in his own little way to make the world a better place. Aaron currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Valerie and his three kids: Nora, Max and Miles. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. I am.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well my current passion is to spread the message about how being connected every minute and every second of every day is not good for us both business and professionally and also how overworked is actually hurting our chances for success. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I guess we have so many different mixed messages about this particular issue that we don’t know which way to go. We hear about you have to work harder than everyone else in order to be able to get ahead and then we hear that hey, you can’t burn the candle at both ends because you don’t function well and so on and so forth. And so we see a really big confusion around this. So when you start talking about trying to find clarity in your own place, really where does it start for someone?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    About 12 13 years ago I hit a wall. I had a lot of early success in my professional career and I worked all the time and then when I hit a rough patch, my personal life my social life that could all suffer, but it wasn’t until I hit a rough patch and then no matter how hard I work no matter how many hours I put in I didn’t see any change in the business results that I realized that something was wrong and really out of desperation I needed to do something different. So I began a journey to actually take a hard break or take a Sabbath where I turned off my phone I turned off my computer and I stopped working and I tried to give my brain a break. At first all I could do was try to make it four hours

I tried to make it till noon on Saturday, that’s how addicted to work I was, and then overtime over a couple weeks I’d built it up to the afternoon and then after some time a couple of months I built it up to a whole day. It transformed my life and it enabled me at a very rough time for many people in 2008 to actually have the vision have the courage to start a business that was fundamentally against what everyone was experiencing at the time, which was buying foreclosed homes when no one wanted to buy homes. It enabled all of my success the fact that I had this day every week, I have a vacation day every week like who doesn’t want that, and found that I had this time to decompress the process for renewal every week where I could get excited for the upcoming battle every week. 

 

After I sold my company I spent the last three years researching and writing this book. There are 200 footnotes in my book because my book is the business case for the Sabbath so I wanted to prove definitively that this is good for you. There are studies from like Harvard and Stanford and Centers for Disease Control showing—and once you work past going back to your original question, once you work past 55 hours a week in the long run it’s all garbage. In the short run you can grind yourself anyone can accomplish something over a couple weeks even a month or two months but in the end it’s going to affect your decision making, your ability to think clearly, be innovative, be creative and all of this has been shown over decades of research. And so, what I wanted to show in this book and share with people is that, okay, so what do you do with this information? And my idea is there’s a tool that’s actually thousands of years old that is practice across faiths and ideologies even secular people are basically taking the Sabbath. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And the book is titled, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle so it’s kind of funny that you’re saying that we’ve known this for thousands of years thousands of years but yet we’re not only just repeating a pattern we’re actually deepening the pattern and passing it down to even younger generations. Before we got on this interview we were talking about one part of the book where you mentioned specifically, and this is based on studies that you found talking about how teens are even especially at risk with all this, and these teens are going to be people who are in the workforce really darn quickly. When we look at that entire emerging generation of workers and also looking at the fact that we have so many unclaimed hours a vacation time, is this really going to ever stop? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, that’s why I wrote the book because I want to make this case. You and I remember a time before cellphones before we were connected when you were home from work or you’d be away you’d be on vacation you might be able to call via payphone or you do long distance but it was kind of a hassle. Now we have instantaneous communications we’re connected every second but not only that were connected every second to every person that has our contact information. People can email us they can text us they can send us social media likes spokes all that stuff. They can tweet at us LinkedIn messages, so it gives us this sense of freedom that we can do stuff from everywhere and that’s why you have ideas like work-cation but it comes with a big downside and that we’ve essentially ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives out peace and quiet our down moments and we’ve given up this freedom and there comes to be a pretty significant downside as I share in the book there’s a lot of negative downsides to essentially being on call which is what you are. First response may be well I can respond what I want but they know that you’ve read it they know that they’ve grabbed your attention and this has some pretty significant downsides to our young who have no tools to cope with this. And that’s why the number one way middle school kids die now by suicide that’s why college I believe college campus health clinics are being overrun with mental health issues where it’s growing at double-digit percentages. And we have the sense in our country right now why is there so much anxiety and anger and frustration arguably this is the best time to live ever in terms of health, well-being in terms of life span everything—violence it’s all in the right directions but people are very anxious and then you see this in depression medication. And so I think it’s tied to the overuse of technology and the fact that we’re running around like chickens without their heads cut off we have no downtime. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. You’re talking about the whole downtime part, I know when my kids are on their devices or when I’m on my devices I’m not moving, what do you mean I have downtime, right?  But no, the brain is always activated. I think there was something that I heard the other day where we start talking about the fuel that we put in our bodies, what we eat, even though that it’s not from a size perspective comparatively larger but the brain actually uses over 20 percent of that fuel. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. But it’s the same thing if you think about your brain it’s a very great analogy and I’m thinking about it, think about the amount of information we’re consuming every day compared to what people used to consume. I heard some crazy statistic that the average person consumes as much information like a day that a hundred years ago someone would consume in a year like we’re just being bombarded with information, breaking news, we’re just consuming so fast, we’re not machines and in fact, success in life is not about consuming more information. What’s really important about the brands, this is what I love you have this tradition that’s thousands of years old, that’s been practiced for across faith and then the latest in neuroscience says that when you’re actually resting, daydreaming, going for a walk in the woods, you think that you’re not using your brain but there’s a part of your brain called the default mode network that goes into overdrive. And what is the default mode network? The default mode network processes information and it takes all the experiences and data that the brain is collected trying to form patterns trying to gain understanding. Think about the proverbial idea in the shower, like why does that hit you in the shower? It’s because there’s a part of your brain that’s actually working when you think it’s not. What happens when you’re running around like a crazy person and you’re working and you’re emailing and you’re texting and  you’re on your phone all the time you’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative to be innovative to be problem-solving all the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy?

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great point. I also heard study not too long ago that talked about when we start talked about—when we start talking about our listening skills and our active listening skills and our ability to be able to take information and therefore you can leverage it and decide upon it and use it intellectually is that even when we have to go to the bathroom our IQ drops like 10 percentage points because instead of listening and engaging and thinking we’re just thinking—I got to go, I got to go. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. And it’s the same thing—there’s another effect a psychological effect that has been documented for over a hundred years called the Zeigarnik effect, which is when a task is not complete it kind of remains as a weight on our brains. You think about all the tasks you have to do and it just sits there and it affects your decision-making it affects your ability to think clearly and so think about how the modern world works all the emails and all the stuff that you have to do constantly it never ends so you have this ongoing Zeigarnik effect, what’s one way to fight against the Zeigarnik effect? It’s to go ahead and say, I’m going to turn off for this period and I’m going to make sure that I get at it after this point in time. Again the idea of the Sabbath of knowing there’s this defined hard break it’s not something that I do in this period of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As you’re talking I’m thinking about what I see from a society perspective and a communication perspective and what people are focusing on right now is that I think there’s a growing, well first of all need, but then also presence in society about mindfulness. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And being really mindful of all the things that we’re talking about and in the back of the book you have the worksheets that’s kind of what you’re doing is you’re trying to get people to be more mindful of what they’re doing. You have questions to ask yourself but then you also have questions to ask your partner, friends, spouse and child. But the questions to ask yourself you have in here are, when was the last time that your phone was off for 24 hours? Did you respond to any work-related emails or texts over the weekend, on your last vacation? When was the last time you took a nap and rested in the middle of the day?–we’re not from pure exhaustion. When was the last time you read just for pleasure? It’s all these really mindful activities in order for you to say, hmm, I need to do a better job of creating structure and having that Sabbath. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yeah, it’s about creating a regular—. I am the chief strategy officer for a start-up that’s growing really fast. I am partnering to build houses outside of Atlanta, I have an investment partnership in Charlotte. I just wrote a book, it’s really hard. I have three small children. I’m on the board of a non-profit there is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and frankly sometimes it’s overwhelming. But I already know what’s coming up right in a couple hours is I’m turning off and I’m going to take a deep, deep breath and I am going to be able to just become Aaron. I’m not work Aaron I’m not this title Aaron responsible for all these people and I get that renewal and that vacation every week and it’s the best thing that I do that’s why I wrote this book it’s why I’m preaching this message. Having this defined period this hard break where I can then be myself and then think about things and take a nap read for pleasure do all these things that make life enjoyable and give long-term satisfaction spend time with friends and family but then also having that renewal that when Saturday night rolls around. I’m excited to turn back on I’m excited to get but what did I miss? What’s going on? Oh, I get to check all this stuff it renews me every week. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s definitely been a huge shift I’m sure from where you explained that you were doing that you had to find and do your research so you had a get to that rationale side and then also address all the emotional things that went along with it. And with that as far as that emotional piece, oftentimes we look towards quotes in the show to help give us some inspiration and hopefully point us in the right direction. Is there quote or two that you like that you can share? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, one that I would share is from Abraham Joshua Heschel who is a very famous rabbi actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and it was called it praying with his feet which I love and he wrote a very small book, great book, called The Sabbath, and he calls it a palace and time. Do you think about what’s in short supply at this day and age? It’s time. I think a lot of people are starting to realize that it’s not necessarily famous but experiences and the value of time is incredible, why not give yourself the gift of time? Where people can grab—your attention won’t be taken away and that you can actually just be you. So give yourself this kind of palace, I’ve called it a vacation. I’ve always loved this turn of the phrase coined at the Sabbath is a palace in time. Here’s the thing it doesn’t have to be religious. I profile people in the book that or secular, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Seventh-day Adventists, corporations that are doing it for non-religious reasons like Boston Consulting Group.

 

Jim Rembach:   There’s definitely some good practices in many of those face and religions and  if you don’t have one that you follow you definitely still have to have the things that we’re talking about is you have that mindful restful and this peace the reflection, all of those things are critically important. Now, I know that when you started talking about going through everything that you went through from a heavy work perspective and even before that and even since after that you probably had some humps that you’ve had to get over where it really got you to where you are today. Can you share one of those stories with us?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, I could tell you is I’m still addicted to my phone as much as everybody. My wife has taken my phone from my hand and thrown it in the bushes. She complains that she just sees the top of my head because I’m looking down at my phone. Just because I turn off—I wrote this book half to myself than to anyone else just to remind myself. I love Twitter, I’m on Twitter you can find me @AaronValue—this is not a screech or cry against technology it’s just like anything it can be good or bad and it’s how you use it. I just think that people were—we have this new technology we’re not realizing all the downsides from extreme overuse and from overworking. I still struggle all the time and I can tell you is that—and I write about this in the book about how important it is to prepare and how you can actually do this, there’s a lot of how-to tips but my scramble before I turn my phone off every week that’s still not something that I’ve perfected. Because there’s all this stuff to do I’m going to turn off like I’m off—there are emails to send there are people to call there’s stuff I’ve got to have be in place. And so I still struggle with it in some regards. I’m not saying and I have—please don’t think I have all the answers this is just one answer. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

 

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Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Aaron, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I think that I need to do a better job of being more present and like everyone else put the technology away and make sure I’m really focusing on the person in front of me. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? 

Aaron Edelheit:    Don’t focus on the short-term really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change. The things like what Jeff Bezos has said, it’s the people’s want, great customer service, convenience those kind of things never change.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Oh, that’s easy, that’s my Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I would say it’s communication. I think that I can tell a good story and communicate complex things in a simple manner. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners they could be from energy genre of course we’re going to put a link to, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle on your show notes page as well. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I just actually read a wonderful fiction book called, Pachenko, and it tells a couple of generations of Koreans that lived in Japan before, during and after World War II, it’s wonderful.

 

Jim Rembach:      Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/aaronedelheit.  Okay, Aaron, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Patience. I was in such a rush to be a success I even left college early you tried to graduate college early and I wanted to get out there and work and got a job and then immediately started managing money and started seeing success and I was so focused on just being a success as opposed to having a balanced life. And so when I suddenly hit a wall, and I described this in my book, and it got sick and my personal life was in shambles and then suddenly work which was everything was struggling I had no real foundation to rest upon I went to a really dark place. Now, luckily for me it was a wonderful turning point in my life and led me to start a Sabbath practice, started take taking better care of myself. I wrote this book so hopefully people don’t have to go through the same thing that I did. If I just had a little more patience wasn’t in such a rush to get to a destination kind of quaint to say enjoy the journey a little more take better care of myself and build myself up to be more successful in the long term, I would have been much better off.

 

Jim Rembach:      Aaron, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share at the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Sure. Well, you can find my contact information on my website, thehardbreak.com. You can find me on Twitter as I said @aaronvalue. You can find me on Facebook, Aaron M Edelheit the author of Hard Break and you can find my book on Amazon.

 

Jim Rembach:      Aaron Edelheit, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today for recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

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