Chris Hewett’s work was getting the best of him. Although he enjoyed the industry which occupied his work (video games – who wouldn’t?) the hours and stress were a drain to his soul. Instead of gritting his teeth and pushing through the discomfort – like so many entrepreneurs do – Hewett turned for help. He picked up a variety of self-help books, many in the genre of spirituality.
“Everything in my life was out of balance. I put everything I had into my career and was neglecting my health, my relationships – I hit a low. I did a lot of reading, and unlike other points in my life, I followed through,” says Hewett. “Over time I discovered that you can transform your life if you apply a few simple principles into your daily routine. I went through a personal transformation.”
It was after this transformation that Hewett released F.E.A.R, Monolith Productions‘ best selling title to-date. “It wasn’t a coincidence. Because I was more well rounded, happier, I was working at a higher level, despite working fewer hours.”
A New Calling
After more than nine years at Monolith, Hewett felt an urge to head in a new direction. “There was nothing fun out there with tracking tools to monitor ones mental well-being.” With the huge dividends Hewett’s self-help work paid on his own life, he recognized the opportunity to help other entrepreneurs struggling through similar hard times.
Life Game uses a tree as a the symbol for one’s well being. Each time a positive action is performed, the tree’s health improves. Bloom instead focuses on sending gentle reminders throughout the day to encourage the user to follow through on his/her outlined well-being actions (e.g. scheduling a date, doing pushups, eating a healthy snack). The games have 50,000 active users and 275,000 downloads, respectively.
I caught up with Hewett to pick his brain on the insights he’s gained in terms of improving and preserving well-being and how entrepreneurs can benefit.
Tech Cocktail: In your opinion, how are entrepreneurs failing in regards to their well-being? What is the biggest lifestyle mistake being made today?
Chris Hewett: Anytime you’re doing something new, it requires a lot of creativity. Not just product ideas but everything from marketing, employee management – the day-to-day stuff. If you’re moving at 100mph, you’re not leaving enough space to actually let the creativity and innovation enter. You get lazer focused, the blinders go up, and you miss things. I personally don’t think it’s the right idea to work 80 hours a week. You can do that at first, but after a while you need to schedule in free time to let this creativity re-emerge.
Tech Cocktail: What are your top tips for reducing stress?
- Do something creative in something other than your work. For me this is music, painting, and writing.
- Capture miscellaneous thoughts and ideas. I tend to use Evernote or e-mail myself short ideas and phrases. It’s important to capture these short thoughts that could develop into something bigger, even when you don’t have the time to flush the ideas out.
- Exercise. When I’m done running I have this natural endorphin high that often catapults me into a new inspiring idea.
- Look at other people’s creative works. Whether that be a magazine, book, or anything where people are coming up with new inspirational ideas.
Tech Cocktail: What were the books that catalyzed the radical changes in your own life?
Hewett: I read a lot, but really one stands out about the rest – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. The whole premise of there being a lot of power in being present is simple, yet transformational. I wasn’t leaving enough space to have good thoughts come in. Even when you’re not working, you are because your thoughts are consumed by work; it becomes all too easy to get caught in a negative cycle.
Mindbloom is a Seattle based media company. To learn more about Life Game and Bloom? Check out the videos below.