A Day in the Entertainment and Media Business, as Told by My Blood Pressure


I know I'm not alone when I say that when I get home at night from work, I'm exhausted.

I love my job at Situation. (Fun fact: I haven't taken a sick day in almost 14 years!) But whether it's a good exhaustion or bad exhaustion, I am flat-out exhausted at the end of the day. That's what you get in the highly-charged environment of the entertainment/media, an industry that runs around the world and around the clock. You either love it or you don't; I love it.

Any good mentor will tell you the obvious: you can't do what you love, if you don't take care of your health. I know, I know. "Easier said than done," right? But, there is no truer statement when you play the long game.

When I strapped on the new Apple Watch this past week, I inadvertently got a sneak peek into how much energy it actually takes me to make it through the day. There I was at the end of the day, exhausted, winding down, when I began playing around with the watch. I was honestly shocked with what I saw when I pressed the "activity" button.


That day, I had burned 4,300 calories, walked 12.32 miles over nearly 23,000 steps. No wonder I was so exhausted! I'd inadvertently walked almost a half marathon. If you asked me how much I had walked that day, I would have guessed half that amount.

This day included a three mile jog in the morning for some exercise, a trip to a major client event we were producing for this year's TV upfronts, a walk to an industry conference, and a visit to a reading for a new live show being produced for the stage. Plus, a few heated phone calls dealing with the unexpected as I walked between meetings. Sure, this day was slightly busier than a normal day...but not by much.

Exercise and movement are obviously good things. But without a sense of mental preparation for this kind of energy usage, such exertion isn't healthy or sustainable. That pace is a one-way ticket to "burn out."

I work with big incredible entertainment and media brands with big incredible egos and big incredible stakes in the big incredible city of New York. My business takes a lot of energy to maintain. There are three guiding principles to working in the entertainment and media business:

1) No plan survives first attack
2) Expect the unexpected
3) Someone in the room likely has a bigger ego than you

Without a doubt, these three principles strongly affect my blood pressure every day. Being confronted by that data, the hard numbers of the daily grind, is a great thing. And I don't even have to visit the doctor for the facts. In the lineup of People I Don't Like Visiting, the doctor is second only to my dentist (my lawyer is in third place).

No matter what industry you devote your energy and passion to each day, take whatever measures you can to be aware of your pace, energy use, and the grind of your schedule. Use a flashy new gadget to help you out. Or not. I just happened to "trip" onto this wealth of personal data by accident. I'm very happy I did and I encourage you to trip as well if you haven't already.