If you want to make it big in business, hard work, countless nights without sleep, and sheer dedication are a given. But for Hallwood Media Executive Vice President Cory Litwin (he’s famous for managing record producers and rappers such as Murda Beatz, the key to his continued success and day-to-day sanity is simple: showing gratitude.
While Litwin’s had a long road to get to the place he is today (which includes his journey to sobriety and working out in order to become healthier, both physically and mentally), he’s also picked up a lesson or two about how to appreciate the little things he has in life.
Here are a few tips from the music executive on how to bring gratitude into your life, maintain a better work-life balance, and find hope in a difficult time:
WRITE DOWN A LIST OF THINGS YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR.
Sure, this might seem like a simple task, but by making a list of all the things you’re grateful for, Litwin said it could change your perspective. He started this method with a few co-workers amid COVID-19, and now he finds himself more appreciative of the balance he’s made between work and his personal life.
“A couple of close friends, we send each other ten things we’re grateful for,” he told Men’s Health deputy editor Spencer Dukoff of his newfound morning routine. “It reminds me to do one, and you see people’s progress throughout it… Doing gratitude lists consistently for a couple of weeks literally shifts your way of thinking and perspective on things, which has been life changing for me.”
In Litwin’s case? It’s helped him find better balance between managing his music producers and starting a family.
KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME YOU DEDICATE TO WORK.
We’ve all heard the term “workaholic.” For Litwin, being home amid quarantine helped him discover how much he needed to step away from work once in a while.
“[My team and I] do a goals Zoom call every morning, Monday to Friday,” Litwin said. “Quarantine’s allowed me to be much more efficient with my time… I can do a phone call—two minutes, bang it out, move forward. I now have more time to spend with my family, my dogs, and I actually feel like I’m getting more work done.”
BE OKAY WITH TAKING TIME TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
It’s hard to focus on anything other than work when you’re at the beginning stages of creating a career for yourself. But Litwin learned the hard way via months on the road that it’s just as important to create a balance between your work life and personal life.
“I almost broke many times in the beginning because I had zero focus on self-care or mental health,” he said. “Part of how I got my success was from being so tunnel-visioned, focused on making Murda the biggest producer… I thought it was either be successful in music or have a family life. Now I can have both, and that’s from making a shift two and a half years ago, mentally, physically. Focusing on my self-care and all that.”
BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PAST—BUT HAVE HOPES FOR THE FUTURE.
You know the age-old saying “never forget where you came from?” It doesn’t just apply to the rich and famous. While Litwin takes the adage to heart with him, he’s all about looking forward and setting goals for himself, whether it be business or at home.
“I know many successful executives and artists who came to LA and slept in their cars and were homeless, because they didn’t want to get the 9-5 job to support this,” he said. “They wanted to do everything to support their life, and they made it happen… I think I have a pretty good life now, but there was a couple of years where it was very, very hard.
“You have to be willing to go through whatever to get to the other side,” he explained. “If you’re not, then it’s better to get out now before wasting a couple of years.”