At the time of writing what you’re about to read, I’m just a day removed from being in Vegas for probably the 10th (or I don’t know … maybe 15th) time in my life … and at least my 6th or 7th time in Vegas for the PPAI conference. For those not in the same industry as me, we are the forgotten industry making up somewhere around 25 billion dollars of branded merchandise otherwise known as swag or promotional products.
I began my career in the Promotional Products industry 14 years ago when I was a “senior” in college, but in Truth … really just a kid.
Right before having the idea and launching the business, I earned myself the glorious designation of receiving a DUI. During this time in my life, I was searching for something to prove my worth and not let my DUI define me. I was broken and full of shame, yet determined to use my failure as a way to propel myself into personal development.
As an aside, when I started out in my career, I used fancy marketing terms to describe what I did; yet when I simplified it to “I put logos on things” – my business began to take off. I started blogging back in 2016 or so, and in those days my content was centered around business. If I were to tap into a version of myself 8 years ago, I’d be compelled to share that when it comes to marketing your brand, simplicity is key to get in the door … save the fancy jargon for after you’re in. “People don’t have time these days” … and that statement right there brings me to the purpose of this article …
Hustle Culture & it’s Detriment to Mental Health
My identity has become closely tied to the promotional products (AKA the Swag industry), so much so that during my younger years, I even centered my brand around the persona of “SwagSam.”
My identity was twisted in knots as I bought into the hype of “hustle culture” which led to a quarter life crisis … although I ignored it, downplayed it and shoved it down. Then my saturn return (30th bday) shook me up to awaken the fire within.
This overwhelming (and neglected) stress led to my spiritual awakening and for that I’m truly grateful and humbled.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and for some reason “Hustle Culture” has glorified spending that time “working”. I fell for this trap.
I mastered the lifestyle of a solopreneur chasing financial freedom as I built a million dollar business and in the process was named to Silicon Valley’s 40 Under 40 list in addition to the Swag industry’s Rising Stars. I know what it takes to succeed in business, so much so that it nearly cost me my life.
I was dying inside … and to hide from my own misery I turned to alcohol to numb the pain and checked out through fantasy football “with the homies” as an outlet to distract myself from how unhappy I truly was.
My life was consumed by stress … my thoughts racing … my fears centered around closing the next deal … and in the process ensuring my client’s project would be a smashing success.
Chasing dollars and connections as a means to grow my business to fill the void within.
Until I could no longer ignore it and the “dark night of the Soul” came for me.
Like I said, I was numb. I was at the point of no return and would say “YES” to anything that could help me climb out of that ever hopeless pit of depression. AND what happened next has been well documented in my podcast Soul Seekr and book, “SOUL/Life Balance” and for the purposes of staying on point I’m going to refrain from going down that memory lane with you, so let’s make a right turn together to get back on track …
As I said “YES” to confronting the neglected parts of my psyche through years of Shadow Work, psychotherapy modalities like Internal Family Systems (AKA Parts Work), becoming a Yoga Instructor & Breathwork Facilitator; I finally came to know what it takes to feel Inner Peace.
In the past 5 years I’ve explored the nature of existence through psychedelic therapy, akashic records sessions, traditional talk therapy, soul-centered healing retreats, and many training certs. To say I’ve “gone deep” on my healing journey would be a decent summary of the Truth.
Now, I have clarity for what’s next. It wasn’t always this way, in fact I would say the first 3.5 years of my healing journey was centered in confusion of what I’d do next career wise. I felt so anchored in my health … feeling the best physically in my body, the most clear mentally and connected to my emotions … Yet, I had an inner turmoil spinning in my gut when it came to my career.
Publishing SOUL/Life Balance on 2/22/22 changed everything. With the launch of the book, I chose to get into public speaking and that was also just after I started teaching yoga and leading men’s groups. Ever since, I’ve been focused on sharing the practice and philosophy of SOUL/Life Balance to corporate audiences on stages across the nation – literally as far from Cali to Minnesota to Florida and down to the South and back to the west coast.
The burning desire within the core of my very being is grounded in the vision to bridge the gap between PRIORITIZING Mental Health & Workplace Culture.
I’ve seen the stress in business first hand as I’ve contributed to it, I’ve rebelled against it, and I’ve been a victim of it.
The good news is things are a changin’ and despite the devastation of the lockdowns in 2020, the corporate world is beginning to respond to the call to address the mental health of workers across the globe. Recent studies suggest that the workplace landscape is ready to answer to the needs of their workers mental well-being, inspired by the recent news of “Anxiety being the #1 disability” per the World Health Organization (The WHO).
It’s Time to Overcome the Overwhelm.
We must move beyond “checking the box” of basic mindfulness practices in businesses, leaders in business must learn how to become COMPASSIONATE Leaders in the workplace.
I am so excited about the launch of my forthcoming book tentatively entitled, Overcome The Overwhelm as in it I’m giving the straight up formula to move beyond anxiety and stress to access inner peace and lead from a place of true authenticity. These tools are so necessary to integrate into daily life so that we can transform the workplace culture with more compassionate leaders that is so desperately needed in today’s evolving and changing workplace.
My mission is to teach the tools to OVERCOME OVERWHELM through the practice and philosophy of SOUL/Life Balance and I’m here to encourage the rise of COMPASSIONATE Leadership and eradicate the glorification of “Hustle Culture”.
The vision is to bridge the gap between PRIORITIZING Mental Health & Workplace Culture.
Drop a comment below if you’re down with the movement and want to learn more.
P.S. If you’d like updates on my upcoming book, Overcome the Overwhelm or are interested in my Compassionate Leadership Coaching offers and/or Keynotes & Workshops, send me a message to Sam@SamKabert.com.