Chris Remus wants you to know that you don’t always need to be productive

The mindfulness blogger on the difficulties of entrepreneurship and what drove him to change his ways.

"There was just this conflict between what I felt I should be doing and what I had to be doing," said Chris Remus. (Photo by Flickr user ryan melaugh, used under a Creative Commons license)

We were 30 minutes into our interview when Chris Remus said we should start wrapping up — he had plans that afternoon with his wife and son to go to the pool and he needed to get ready.
That’s the kind of person Remus is. Spending time with his family is just as important as his daily hustle as a consultant to tech companies. Remus, who lives in Williamsburg and runs a mindful wellness blog for entrepreneurs called Just Rolling With It, is dedicated to living the entrepreneurial lifestyle in the healthiest way he can because it wasn’t always like that for him.
After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in electrical engineering, Remus moved back and forth between D.C. and New York to work in telecommunications, eventually moving to Brooklyn in August of 2010. But he was always pulled by entrepreneurship. He was happiest while running his own companies — first, a telecommunications consultancy and then a “Netflix for Bollywood,” both of which have since shut down.
“I think the entrepreneur side has always been inside of me,” said Remus, 43. “There was just this conflict between what I felt I should be doing and what I had to be doing.”
Instead of jumping back to the safety net of working for companies, he decided to run his own tech consultancy. But it was hard. He picked up some unhealthy habits to deal with the internal conflict of wanting to be his own boss versus having financial security at a company.
Remus eventually knew he had to treat himself better if he wanted to stay healthy as he went back into entrepreneurship, especially with the fact that he was starting a family. That’s when he started getting interested in mindful wellness, a practice that has taken the tech world by storm. (Headspace, the meditation startup based out of Venice, Calif., raised $30 million last year.) He said he started his blog to help others who may be struggling with the constant pressure to produce and to perform.
One healthy practice he picked up was cycling. Another was meditating, specifically shamatha meditation, which involves focusing on your breathing. It’s helped him realize how you don’t always need to be doing something to be productive.
“If you’re caught in the cycle of always doing, you’re never actually thinking about what you’re doing,” Remus said.
And with that, we sent Remus off to the pool with his family.

Series: Brooklyn

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