The Company We Keep

In this week's episode of THE COMPANY WE KEEP podcast, Jason reveals the five different ways he manages his stress, especially during the holiday season. From faith to organization to finding your joy, if you're feeling overwhelmed, take 20 minutes and just listen to some ways that might help.

Show Notes

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Show Highlights:
(00:00) Introduction
(01:22) It's a stressful time of year
(03:10) #1: Faith & Prayer
(06:53) #2 Creating Space & Quiet Time
(09:29) #3 Organization
(16:01) #5 The Power of Saying "No"
(19:44) Recap

This Episode is Sponsored By:
Harbortown Financial Group
To learn more: Reach out to John MacDonald at and 716-276-7613.

What is The Company We Keep?

Jason Pearl is a second generation entrepreneur, bootstrapping business owner, loving husband, devoted dad, and raging Bills fan. He tosses aside the idea that you can't have it all and devotes his life to proving it wrong. Grab a cup of coffee and join Jason every Tuesday morning as he dives into topics to help everyday business owners and entrepreneurs think differently about growth and success, and how to achieve a better balance in both business and in life. He’s also shining a giant spotlight on some very smart people in his inner-circle that have helped ignite his success along the way.

[00:00:00] All right, all right. Welcome back to another episode of The Company We Keep podcast. I am your host, Jason Pearl. This is a podcast for everyday business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders who want to think differently about growth, want to think differently about success, and want to find better balance in both business and in life. Season three, and this episode, is sponsored by John MacDonald and Harbortown Financial Group. John and his firm work with individuals, families, and small business to build customized financial plans using their holistic goal-based approach. If you want to contact John and his firm, all the details will be provided on my website, in the show notes under the podcast tab. I'm really excited for next week. I hope you tune because John will be joining us for the next episode of this podcast.

[00:01:09] But today, I felt really called to be able to speak, and to talk, and to teach about a topic that I know we all deal with during this time of season. The Christmas season isn't always peppermint mochas, ice skating, Christmas parties, and spreading holiday cheer. I know that. Me, personally, I used to get super stressed out during this time of year, and I'm sure that a lot of you experience some level of stress during the Christmas season, so I wanted to talk about that today because I think that, it not only affects us in our person life. through my teachings of head, heart, and house, when the house isn't in order, or when the house is stressed, everything else is in danger, right? The head and the heart are now erratic based upon unrest or stress in your personal life. So, I thought it would be really important to talk to you guys today and share a few takeaways that I have implemented in my life that have really helped me out, and have really helped me become better at managing and processing stress. and as I record this episode, it's, the first couple of weeks of December, so it's during the holiday season, and there's a lot going on, right? Some of you may be stressed about the political unrest that's happening in our country; some of you may still be concerned, fearful, and very stressed about what's happening in our world with the COVID pandemic; some of you may have stresses at home, some of those are relational based, some of which could be financial based; and some of you could be really stressed at work. I know, in my profession, this is the time of year where everyone's trying to run really fast to hit their year-end goals, and that creates a lot of stress, especially around the holiday season. So, as we get started, the first item that I wanted to share with you, the first, kind of, takeaway that I wanted to share with you, how I process through stress, which may not be a surprise to you, is through faith and prayer, So, I'm not here on this podcast to be on a pulpit, and to try to preach to you guys, through this podcast, but I do think it's extremely important for me to share my heart and to be honest with you what has worked and what is the singular thing that has really changed the way I look at, not only how I process stress, but how I live my life. I grew up always with some level of faith, some level of Christian faith, but over the past 10 years, I've created a personal relationship with my faith, that's the rock that I put all my weight on, my faith has been able to get me through some extremely stressful times. And I know it seems, ironic that we're talking about stress during the Christmas season, and the Christmas season is all about the hope in the world of Jesus, so many of us put so many additional stressors on this timeframe when it was never intended to be a stressful time of the year. It was actually supposed to be an exciting time of the year, with it filled with hope and happiness, But, again, in the world we live in, we find ways to create additional stress from that.

[00:04:25] But to, to give you some actionable takeaways of how I'm able to work through stress with my faith is prayer, I've had many conversations with people about, my faith and how it's changed my life, especially over the past decade, but prayer is how I consistently work through my issues, So, some of you may, uh, meditate or do things like that, whatever works for you, great, but for me, and I know it works for me, and what I know to be true in my life is that prayer is how I consistently work through stresses that I have.

[00:04:54] I normally find quiet time in the morning when I do my morning reading, and I pray and I ask God to help me with whatever the day is bringing to me, because, when you have faith, God gives you enough for that singular day to get through it, Daily bread is, the way they explain in, in, in the Christian faith that I have and, gives you enough to get through the day. And I know that when I start my day with prayer, it's how I'm able to work through the stresses that happen in my life. And as we go through that, so I, I would recommend trying to block some time out, right? If you happen to have faith in your life, but maybe you're not super active in prayer, put it on your calendar, We've talked about organizing and, and calendering before, put that on your calendar.

[00:05:33] It's how I start my day and I know that it puts me in the right heart posture to take on whatever the day has, and recommend that to you because with this faith comes the difference between being stressed, being happy, or being joyful, and, being filled with joy is something that comes from the inside that cannot be effected by anything externally, okay? When you have joy in your heart you have joy internally, it cannot be ef- effected, externally, where happiness oftentimes is based on the circumstances that you have in your life; so a way that you can think about it is happiness depends upon what happens in your life, where being joyful is inward, right, and it can't be exposed by anything happening externally, So being joyful, regardless of the circumstances, is what helps me work through my stress, and that joy only comes through faith. So, again, if you don't happen to have that in your life, you're curious about that, or you're interested in learning more, I'd be happy to have a personal conversation with you in regards to that because I know what it's done for me, and how it's changed me, and I would be happy to have a conversation with you.

[00:06:44] So the first for me, working through stress is faith and prayer. Secondly, creating space and quiet time for the things that you enjoy. I know. You could say, Jason, I get it. That sound great, but I got kids and I got work, and I got extracurriculars, and I got this, and I got that. I don't have time. I don't have space. I can't do anything that I enjoy, which is why I'm super stressed. One of the things that I would do is I would first challenge you, and I would say, is that really true? Do you have zero space in your life to do things that you enjoy? You've heard me say this multiple times, you can't pour out of an empty cup so you have to fill yourself up.

[00:07:27] So what are some of the things that you could do that you enjoy that help fill you up? I know for me, I listen to music a lot. my musical choice has changed based on point number one in my faith journey. I have Sirius XM, I listen to The Message all the time, it's uplifting, spiritual music that really always puts me in the right frame of mind. It doesn't mean I won't listen to other stations, or whatever, but I know that when I need to center myself, I'm very specific about what I choose to listen to. You've heard me say multiple times before, protect what you consume with your eyes, with your ears, with your mouth. Same thing here. If you're stressed, be careful to what you listen to. Are you listening to music that gets you amped up and gets you angry, or whatever, or are you listening to music that calms you down, that brings joy, creates happiness, things of that nature? I would suggest doing that.

[00:08:17] But maybe it's not music. Maybe it's reading. Maybe it's just sitting down and reading your favorite book. It doesn't have to be nonfiction, it could be fiction, it could be about business, could be Whatever you enjoy you to do when it comes to reading, you can create space for that. Maybe it's exercise, I have a lot of close people, to me that love to get up and they start their day with exercise. I, for one, enjoy that, but as we, have talked about in the past, it's one of the things I struggle with. I have a morning routine. Um, morning reading is one of the things I do. I would love it to be morning reading and then exercise, I just need to be more, more diligent and more organized in my life to be able to do that.

[00:08:52] But I do know that when you get your body moving, you're going to be able to fill yourself up; you're going to be able to feel better about the day, Or it could be something else. As long as it's a healthy habit, as long as it's a good, wholesome habit, creating space and quiet time for the things you'd enjoy are going to help you work through the stress. again, there could be some of you out there that say, Jason, again, I don't have the time, you don't understand, you don't get it. that's where point three comes in, okay? So, if you are listening to this podcast, and you say, that's great, Jason. You're a hack. Okay, I'm going to stop listening to your podcast because you said that I need to create space and quiet time for things I enjoy, and I don't have that so you don't know what you're talking about. This is where my challenge comes in, and maybe this is where our relationship ends and you stop listening to this podcast. If you do, it sounds more like a you problem than it is a me problem.

[00:09:37] But here it is, it's point three: organization. Okay, I get it. I've got two kids, I've got a wife, I've got two dogs, I run a business, I'm extremely involved in, in, in a volunteer capacity at my church, and I have a lot of other things on my plate. The only way I get to all of it is through being organized, okay? That's how I do it. So, when insanity is happening, wherever you're at, even if you're listening to this podcast, and you're, like, I'm stressed, I'm in the thick of it, I don't know what to do; I would say one thing, stop, sit down, get a pen and a piece of paper, or pull out your iPhone, or your, whatever phone you use, and start taking notes on it. I don't even care of you write a text to yourself. Create a list of things that you need to get done, or you need to achieve, There's something very therapeutic about writing down the list.

[00:10:29] Some may say, Jason, when I write lists, it makes me even more stressed because I see how much how I have to do. I would say, set yourself up to succeed, write the list and start checking it off. I used to be a pen and paper guy, now I use the notes in my iPhone. I create the little bubble notes so, so that when I'm done with that task I click it and it goes away. That's how I set my lists. So, if you're in the moment right now, if you feel like you're drinking from the fire hose, I would say do yourself a favor; stop, write down everything you need to do professionally, personally, whatever you have on your plate, write it down and then start organizing the time in your day to do it.

[00:11:13] So, here's something I do know; lots of people I talk to, they've streamed every episode of every show they want to watch on Netflix, and on Amazon Prime, and on Disney Plus, and on Hulu, and on whate- Peacock, right, Apple Plus, Apple TV, whatever it is. I talk to people all the time that said, "I sat home this weekend and I watched 45 episodes of Yellowstone." more power to you, but I would guarantee you that's creating some of your stress. That's not me saying, Jason, you just told me I need to create time and quiet time for things I enjoy. I enjoy streaming movies and just shutting my brain off, and I would say, great, do that to a point, right, so, you can fill yourself a little bit. But if watching television, or sitting on your couch and watch football, which I love to do, if that's what you do all weekend and then you don't get your to-do list, or you can't get the work done that you want to get done, then you need to organize yourself better. Maybe you take little bite size, times to do those things that you love, but you have to sit down and you have to organize yourself.

[00:12:18] I know for a fact, I have not always been good with this, because one of the things that helps me fill my cup up is quiet time, and sometimes it's quiet time doing absolutely nothing, So, some would say, that's maybe just you being lazy. maybe it is, but it fills me up, but if all I did was fill my cup up the whole weekend sitting on a couch, I would not be able to get to more of the things I need to do and would guarantee myself that I would be a heck of a lot more stressed, So, I have forgotten things a lot in ear- earlier in my years of life, just ask my wife, If I don't write things down, I forget them. So what I figured out was I just need to start writing things down, even if it's a list to go to the grocery store, to get, the three things my wife needed me to get, or if it's when I need to pick my kids up from school, or the extracurricular activities, I put it on my calendar, I organize myself, and I make sure I get everything done. So three, organize yourself; to-do lists, digital, paper, whatever, just do it.

[00:13:19] delegation, right? Now, I'm speaking to you high performers, high achievers, right, type A personalities, I know this because I'm married to one, right? She's a perfectionist. I, not so much, she is, right? Delegate. Oftentimes, high performers and high achievers like to do things themselves because it's done the way they want it to be done. Progress over perfection, you've heard me say that multiple times, and I just want to share that if you find yourself in a leadership position, whether it be business or in a volunteer situation, or whatever, you need to use delegation. I just got off of a couple weekends of watching my wife plan events at our church, some winter festivals, and, I watched her evolve, right, because she's delegated so much and these events have taken place and they've been beautiful and the old Tiffany would have never been able to pull them off because she would have tried to do it all on her own. And her and the team that she worked with at multiple campuses of our church, they did an amazing job putting on this event, but delegation is so critical, right?

[00:14:31] And there are times that if you're a leader, and you're the bottleneck, it's your problem. It's a you problem, you're not delegating enough. Delegation is key. So, I'm going to say this again to all the leaders, all the perfectionists, all the high performers, all the type A-ers out there, delegation is your friend. Lean into it, learn how to do it. I promise you, you're going to see good things come from it. Okay? You have to delegate.

[00:15:04] Now, if we talk, if we're talking about a little work, even at home, I've got a 10 year old and a 14 year old, chores, Even when they don't it exactly the way you want to do it, delegate; vacuum, dust, clean the toilet, take out the garage, get new toilet paper and put it on the toilet paper roll, right, whatever it is, you have to have other people help you out. Okay? Others need to step up in your life. You may say, Jason, I listen to your podcast, I'm a single person. I live by myself, I can't delegate to anybody. I'd say, okay, if that's the case, then you need to prioritize what's most important to you, and then you need to do the things that are most important, and you need to leave the other things out, That could be a way that, if you're saying, individually Jason, I'm the only one I can rely on for business or work, then you need to prioritize what's most important. And then, finally, of how you can work through stress during the holiday season and any other month of the year, it's in the power of saying no. Yep, N-O. Two letters, one word. No. season two, episode four, I talked a lot about the power of saying no. I'm not going to regurgitate everything I said in that episode, but if this is something you struggle with, I highly recommend going back and listening to season two, episode four. we all know it's hard to say no. Saying yes to something means saying no to something else. It's okay if you're not at every networking event for business, or every Christmas party in your neighborhood, or every Christmas party or holiday party for business. It's okay to say no. So many of us, we live in a world where we try to make ourselves so busy. We spend so much time doing things in our life as opposed to living our lives. And no better time than this timeframe of the year, to be able to start reprioritizing what is most important. I'm recording this podcast on a Sunday, last night, it was a Saturday night, and during the day my wife and I cleared out entire schedules, She works at a church. she's uh, youth pastor at a church, so Sundays are business days for us, she, she and I both cleared our schedules, we went to lunch with our kids and, and my sister and her husband, had an awesome time, did some Christmas shopping, then came home and just hung out. We were invited to two different Christmas parties; one in the neighborhood, one outside the neighborhood, we had all sorts of stuff to do, and we just sat and just were together, We had dinner together, I made my world famous bolognese, it was awesome. It's definitely not world famous, it's a plus in the Jason category in the household when I can actually make dinner, patting myself on the back here, But we, were able to just sit down and enjoy ourselves as a family, and that was a way to fill ourselves up. My wife and I, actually even at that point in time said, you know what? The kids were going to watch a show together, and my wife and I sat down and watched a show together. We filled ourselves up, got to bed early, hit the ground running this morning, and it was great. You know why? Because we said no to doing other things, and I know that's so hard, especially when you're somebody like me that loves being out, loves being social, loves having things to do. I get it. It's hard to say no, but the world's not going to stop turning, right, life isn't going to stop because you didn't show up for that last party, or that networking event, or the, the holiday party in your neighborhood, or whatever the case may be. It's okay to say no. Don't create more stress for yourself, just say no. Okay?

[00:18:45] This is not an easy thing to do. I'm not sitting here saying that it's so easy to just take stress that you have and just do these five things and, all of a sudden, poof, the stress is gone. But I promise you, if you're intentional about working through your stress, which starts with recognizing that you are stressed, right, then start now trying to work through it, even in the thick of the holiday season, There's so many stressors that are out there, again, and some of those could be financial, and it doesn't mean that the financial stress is going to go away, but how do you manage that stress, how do you get through the stress of what's in front of you today, whatever life has put in front of you?

[00:19:24] Try these five things. I do believe it will work. I hope this episode has helped you. I know that I, again, just like last week, I had a separate episode planned, but in my life I had a lot going on. I had a lot of things that were causing stress and it just reminded me that sometimes simple steps to work through stress is what it's all about, and that's exactly what I did, so I hope you give these takeaways a try. And again, if you're, also, just as a side note, I don't know if you have a relationship with faith, if you have a relationship with your God, if you're looking to deepen your faith, or if you want an introduction to who Jesus is, I'm happy to talk to you no strings attached. feel free to reach out.

[00:20:02] You can go to my website, fill out a form. I'm happy to schedule a call with you. No strings attached, no money, no nothing. I just, it's something that I know has completely changed the trajectory of my life and I'd, I'd be happy to chat with you about it, too. God doesn't want to keep his love for a select few, he wants to share it with everyone, and he's going to help you work through that stress through faith in him and through prayer. I hope this episode encouraged you today. and I hope you use some of these takeaways. Also, and finally, I hope you've enjoyed season three. it's been a little different this, this season, right? We've had a couple of guests on, we've talked about some really interesting things. I had my daughter on last week. That was super fun, next week is going to be the last episode of season three, It's going to launch on December 21st. My good friend, and sponsor, of this season of The Company We Keep podcast, John McDonald of Harbortown Financial Group, he's going to be joining us. so I really hope you tune in, with that episode dropping on December 21st. so finally, if you're enjoying the season, if y- if this is the first time you've ever tuned in, and enjoyed this episode, I'd love to hear from you, right? I'd love for you to subscribe, write a review, check out my website, whatever it is. would just love to keep the connection points going.

[00:21:03] So, I thank you so much for being so kind with your time, being so gracious to me, and, I really hope and pray that, after you listen to this episode, that whatever stress you're having in your life, you could use these takeaways to help, get you on a path to working through that stress and being able to process it in a more efficient way, okay? So, I'll be thinking about you all and I'll be praying for you. Thank you for keeping me company today. I really appreciate it. I'm Jason Pearl. This is The Company We Keep. Until next week, I'm out. Peace.