Take Time

Ed Burghard“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching”
― Gerard Way

One of the challenges in branding is the time demand it makes on practitioners. To be highly effective, brand builders often work long hours and even when not working are strategizing about how to strengthen their brand’s equity. For many it is a 24×7 profession.

I confess that I was one of those 24×7 brand builders.  But, now that I am retired I have the unique opportunity to reflect on my career and offer you some hard earned perspective that might help enrich your personal journey.

There is an old saying that “hard work will never kill you”. But, I think the scientific evidence makes a strong case that it actually might. At the physical level, many brand builders sacrifice health in order to meet deadlines and ensure their brands are as competitive as possible. They work long hours each day, sitting in meetings and at their computers to manage the thousand things it takes to keep a brand strong. As a result, many are sleep deprived, lack exercise and have poor diets.

The science suggests this lifestyle is a recipe for an increased risk of heart attack. I found it sobering that researchers from the Chicago Medical School documented that people need between six and eight hours of sleep at night to minimize risk for cardiovascular disease. People who got six or few hours of sleep doubled their risk of stroke or heart attack and had a 1.6 times greater risk of congestive heart failure. The negative impact from poor nutrition and lack of exercise is seemingly endless.

Now it is easy to suggest you should get a good night sleep, eat healthy, work out and unplug from your job to give your brain a rest. But, having spent over 35-years as a highly successful brand builder, I know how challenging it is. So, instead of simply stating the obvious, I’d like to share a list of 12 things you should take time for in your life. A friend who was worried about my health provided this list to me. So, I’d like to pay it forward by sharing the list with you.

If you can take the time to do a couple of these each week, I believe you will have a fighting chance of at least partially offsetting the negative impact a successful career in brand building can have on your health and well-being.  And, my logic is that by taking care of you I will also be indirectly be helping to fulfill my personal mission of strengthening Brand America.


  1. Take time to live – Killing time is suicide.
  2. Take time to work – As you know, it is the price of success.
  3. Take time to think – It is the source of your power.
  4. Take time to play – It’s the secret to staying young.
  5. Take time to read – It is the foundation for wisdom.
  6. Take time to be friendly – It is the path to happiness.
  7. Take time to dream – It is like hitching your wagon to a star.
  8. Take time to love and be loved – It is key to your humanity.
  9. Take time to laugh – It will help you keep perspective.
  10. Take time to play with children – It will help you keep your imagination alive.
  11. Take time to be courteous – It will help you be a better leader.
  12. Take time to plan your tomorrows – You won’t be working forever.


I can’t honestly say I followed the advice myself. I can honestly say, with the clarity of hindsight, I wish I had. I don’t think I would have been any less successful as a brand builder if I took the time. I do think it would have helped me deal better with the stress of the career and would have allowed me to enjoy the journey even more.

Do yourself a favor and at least think about Taking Time. You will be more successful at your job if you do. I also think it will help enable you to better achieve the American Dream.

What are your thoughts? What would you add to the list? Please leave a comment.

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