Charles is a writer, researcher, and lifestyle management expert. He has a background in entrepreneurship and is working on an MBA at Arizona State University. He’s spent time consulting other people’s businesses (he helped develop a marketing strategy for a doorbell for dogs!) and is currently working on his 8th personal startup. He’s also in the process of writing a book on what he calls the Master Skill, and has given 50+ public presentations. Charles plans to pursue a doctorate in Organizational Behavior and would like to work at a university in a teaching role while also spending time consulting and supporting startups.
What is your “shout it from the rooftop” idea?
Lifestyle management is incredibly challenging, but very doable with the right information. I think that self-help has become more of a detriment than a support to people. My big message would be: study how the brain and body works instead of self help anecdotes.
Why is this important to you?
I suffered a lot of personal turmoil over not being able to apply what the self help gurus tell you; things like Think and Grow Rich, thinking yourself into money and success. Although mindset is important, it doesn’t matter if you’re not getting enough sleep, if you don’t have the right types of habits, and if you don’t understand how behavior change works. Lifestyle management is the foundation of all growth and development. If you want to have high output, you need a high performance machine. Lifestyle management is how you turn your life into a high producing machine.
What success have you seen in implementing this idea of lifestyle management?
Mentally, I’m healthy. Physically, I’m healthy. My relationships are healthy, and when I’ve experienced the balance between those three things, I’m just happier. And when I’m happier, I’m more productive. It makes everything easier.
What does growth mean to you?
Growth is deliberate effort to improve. Deliberate meaning, there is a strategy component and an evaluation component, and it’s sustainable. Growth is always forward moving, and that doesn’t mean you can’t take two steps forward, and one step back, because failure is integral to growth. What I mean is that it’s constantly moving a certain direction, and that you can change directions and still be growing.
How do you define success?
Personally, it’s finding joy in what you do, and how you do it. Whether that’s at work, at home, in your hobbies, that’s success to me. You don’t have to make a lot of money or be some super famous person. However, if you find things that bring you joy and you end up with a lot of wealth, that’s great. I think success in general is finding what motivates you or what drives you as a person, and exploiting that. I have a good friend who is a hard core utilitarian and very individualistically motivated. His self gain and growth, and also the resources that come with that bring him immense joy. That’s very different than someone who’s altruistic, starting a non-profit making $30k/yr, but they’re equally happy. Success can be very differently defined for different people, but ultimately it’s finding what motivates you and exploiting that motivation and drive, and being awesome.
Does your message still apply to people that aren’t entrepreneurial?
I do a lot of personality theory, and I understand that there are people who love the system, the structure, and the low risk. That’s hard for me to understand, because I’m not wired that way, so crafting my message to that way of thinking can be difficult. For example I’m a questioner, so one of my general pieces of advice is question everything. Why do you do what you do? Are you sure that will bring you the maximum happiness? That’s because of my questioning personality, but some people really do like to follow what’s always been done, that traditional mindset.
For people that aren’t entrepreneurially minded, when it comes to lifestyle management, it’s about maximizing the output of the time outside of your structure and your system. For example, my father is very traditional, he works a great job with great benefits and great retirement. He takes advantage of his time on the weekends to do gardening, go to auctions, and do other hobbies. So, my advice for him would be, during the workweek when you’re in your “normal routine,” what are you doing at the end of your day? Are you sitting there watching TV? Or is there something you can do that will bring you more joy? It’s about getting the most out of what time you do have, and that can be play or relaxation, just being deliberate about it.
At the end of the interview, we asked Charles what his goals were for 2019. His last goal seemed odd considering his expertise: “Solidify my lifestyle system, because I’m still working on mine.” A lesson can be found within this final goal: lifestyle management is hard and it requires continual work.
If you found this information interesting, consider sharing this article with a friend. You can also find out more about Charles on his website: charlesmace.net.