Successful Leaders Need Self-Care, Too

Within every celebrity and within every successful person beats the real heart of a real human that needs self-care. Humans are flawed, we are capable of so much significance but with that comes struggle. In fact, part of what makes us so amazing are our struggles. We all want to celebrate the wins but we can’t have the wins without the losses. So the question becomes who will be there with us during our lowest moments.

The issues surrounding mental health and success are completely intertwined. It takes a trusted community of friends, counselors, and advisors to connect with us on a human level to help us on our journey’s towards a healthier state of being. Today I want to help you Start Now Start Simple in your own personal journey towards improving your mental health, giving you a few strategies you can take action on today.

Successful Leaders

Success comes at a cost

So much of the world is geared towards the pressures of having a certain bank balance, driving a certain car, wearing a certain watch, and maintaining a certain image even if it’s just to walk down the street to the local coffee shop. There is this requirement to BE somebody and that comes at a cost including and beyond the financial toll. My journey from being a behind the scenes Entrepreneur to appearing onstage over 120 times a year has led to a hectic lifestyle. I’m now on a flight every 2-3 days, I’m living almost exclusively in hotels, and I have had less than 10 home cooked meals in the last 5 years.

One of the greatest struggles, for me, comes with the fact that it almost seems as if this is a lonely journey. There is no handbook for the life that has graciously been given to me and there is certainly no book that will guide me through the hidden costs. When you reach the highest levels of your field you realize you have to learn on the job and that job is often all consuming. My focus then is not on who takes care of me when I get off stage but instead I focus on how I can be the best version of myself when I am on stage.

My professional expectations are high and I don’t think I have been better at what I do than now but at the same time I am the most broken I have ever been. These seemingly divergent realities are both true at the same time. I am able to put on a hat and perform genuinely and give my best but privately I don’t think I have been struggling more. I’m at a tipping point and something has to change.

I believe in a world of abundance but we are also limited as human beings. We are limited by time, limited by energy, and by the amount of attention we can give to any number of different things. For example, I love pleasing others; helping them feel seen and heard but that comes at the cost of being there for myself. While giving to others is important I also believe you can only give to others if you are overflowing with abundance within yourself. If you only have 24 hours in a day and you spend 18 of those hours concerned about how you can better love others then you can easily find yourself sneaking in a naughty meal at McDonalds 20 minutes before catching a flight. Multiply these kinds of decisions over 100 days and you begin to see its effects on your physical health. Bad health decisions then lead to various expressions of escapism. These are the beginning triggers of an avalanche which spirals downward without restraint.

Noise and fanfare

The noise and fanfare of life in the spotlight drowns out the important internal questions of am I happy or am I on the path to fulfilling my purpose? These questions can be ignored longer than just a year or 5 years but can continue for 20+ years making it increasingly difficult to do an internal audit of your life, direction, and purpose.

Can we retain our joy in this world
we exceed our wildest professional milestones
have remained stagnant in our personal growth?

You might be a multimillionaire, world famous, or even Time’s person of the year but all of that doesn’t mean that the person behind the accolades isn’t completely overwhelmed by this journey.


Times Change…so should you!

Whether you’re a celebrity or not we are all under pressure. Times change and businesses pivot therefore you personally have to take the time to audit how you’ve changed as a result of all the changes around you. Sometimes we need a place to simply pause and just breathe. No amount of money in the world can buy time. We have to be intentional about carving out those sacred moments to ask these important questions to ourselves. Take time out to think, go to the forest, play an instrument, just to be with yourself and sit with your feelings.

We live in a society that does everything it can to push away anything that is not comfortable. Every technology that takes off does so because it makes life easier. You can summon an Uber at the touch of a button or pay your bills while in the line for a flight and all of this has trained us to be uncomfortable with the feelings that come with waiting. Similarly we don’t like to sit with disappointment or anger so we try to drown those emotions out with pleasurable distractions.

What if we begin to change that today? What if in idle moments you start asking yourself ‘how am I actually feeling today?’ For me, often the answer is I’m not sure. Am I happy? Am I anxious or even depressed? It takes a moment to identify the emotions we are experiencing in a given day but this exercise is worth it because when we lose touch with our emotions we begin to lose touch with our humanity. The more out of touch we get, the more weight we add to our struggles.


None of these mindset changes will happen overnight but I want to encourage you this week and at least once a week going forward to sit with just your thoughts for at least a half an hour and ask yourself a few questions:

Practise Self-Care

  • How do I feel today?
  • Where am I in life right now?
  • What are my expectations?
  • What is currently bothering me?

Keep a journal nearby so you can write down a few thoughts in that moment. Self awareness is the missing key for many successful people and getting a toolkit of questions we can ask ourselves is the key to understanding who we are and building a resilience that can weather the storms both now and in the future. If you are intentional about building these moments into your life you may find that you have become equipped to work through the challenges of this life with a greater degree of composure and success.

Keep me posted on your journey and feel free to reach out to chat if you need someone to speak to in confidence. In all of your dreams I am committed to helping you Start Now, Start Simple.

Dan Ram ignites the stage as an in-person event and virtual event MC/ Moderator & Speaker at over 100 events a year. He has shared the stage with international luminaries including President Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, Nico Rosberg, and Grammy-winning artists and celebrities. He has also been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 leader 2020 as well as a Top 100 Yale Alumni in Technology 2021. Level up your communication skills through his course and mastermind “Speaking Success”. His passion is to inspire people with his motto ‘Start Now Start Simple’ in building a future we all want to live in.

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