Michael Levitt

Founder of The Breakfast Leadership Network

Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout media firm. He is an in-person and Certified Virtual Speaker, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and hosts the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. Michael’s A Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. and a former Healthcare executive, overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets.

Where did the idea for The Breakfast Leadership Network come from?

When I decided to launch a business that addressed burnout with leaders, I quickly realized that the best time to get the attention of C-Suite executives was first in the morning, before they got into the trenches of their daily lives. Leadership is my passion, and Breakfast is my favorite meal, so I created Breakfast Leadership.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Each day in my life has a theme, which has similar tasks grouped together on that day, so my brain doesn’t have to shift gears throughout the day. I wake around 5 am, do some self care exercises, eat breakfast, go for a nature trail walk, and then start on the tasks of the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I read a ton of content, talking with like-minded people, and reflection. I look at things to see how they could benefit others deal with burnout

What’s one trend that excites you?

Burnout as a topic is getting a ton of coverage, which is bringing awareness to the issue, but there’s still a lot of work to be done for people to recover from burnout, and more importantly prevent it from happening again in their lives.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Scheduling self-care time on my calendar. A good friend of mine advised me to color code my calendar and use my favorite color for self-care time. That way, if I look back at yesterday, last week, or last month, I can easily see if I’ve scheduled enough self-care time, and if not, then I can quickly adjust my future days with more self-care time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Quit stressing about the ideal, perfect scenarios. Go with the flow.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Burnout is a choice. People think that burnout is something that happens to them, but people’s behaviors, choices, thought patterns, and habits create situations that can lead to burnout.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be diligent with scheduling your time, and don’t work nights and weekends.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

LinkedIn has been a game changer as far as connecting with people that have helped my entrepreneurial growth. Bonus strategy: Hire a coach.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Signing up for too many “grow your business” courses, ebooks, etc. There’s great stuff out there, but consuming it all will only make you a reader, and not a business launcher.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Launch a course or book that teaches managers how to not micromanage, and trust their employees.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Podcast editing. I used to do it, which was a waste of my time.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Hubspot. It keeps me on task to follow up with referral partners, speaking opportunities, or other tasks.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Shameless plug: 369 Days: How To Survive A Year of Worst-Case Scenarios. It chronicles my year of losses due to burnout, and how I came out of those situations better. It provides hope to those that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is your favorite quote?

Quote from late Detroit Pistons Head Coach Chuck Daly: “A pessimist is an optimist with experience.”

Key Learnings:

Burnout is a choice and you can choose to not be burned out
Have a theme for your days and schedule similar tasks together for more productivity
Schedule self-care on your calendar daily, and treat it as if it’s the most important meeting with your boss, because the boss of your life is YOU.