We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Ley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Before I discovered the cheat code to my own life, I lived under the false expectation that career success must equal absolute burnout. But, in return, I’d earn money that could buy me all the materialist things I really didn’t need. The catch was that I was exhausting my time, spirit, and energy on a career I didn’t love, and couldn’t afford to enjoy the things I was accumulating or the life I was (not) living. I conditioned myself into believing that if I wasn’t hustling 25/8, then someone else right behind me would take my spot and I’d lose. I reached a breaking point, due to overwhelming stress, and quit a good-paying job to intentionally change the trajectory of an otherwise uninspiring path. During that self-inflicted joblessness, I soul-searched, hard. When the dust settled, new light shined in and exposed doors cracked open that I previously thought were locked shut and barricaded out of reach. I made the commitment to myself that I would only say, “Yes” to professional opportunities that aligned with a core selection of disciplines or genres of work that I wanted to work within. Since that decision, the universe has delivered—by way of eliminating or reducing the chances of me signing up for something I know I don’t want in the first place. Now, I get to do what I love on pretty much my own terms because I’m protecting my time. That time is fluid, and its balanced ratio is shared between work and life in such a way that work and life are no longer competing goals, but cohesively one.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Better Drinking Culture (you can call us BDC) was founded by a group of friends sharing stories about their experiences with alcohol. What we uncovered through these stories was that nearly every negative experience associated with alcohol was the result of drinking too much. Empowered to do something about it, we drafted a set of guiding values of what we believed a better drinking culture should look like, and after printing some T-shirts for ourselves that others wanted, we realized we actually started a movement. Our mission is to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction—a lifestyle free from pain, harm, and regret. #BecauseHangoversSuck. While it’s a simple concept with a logical purpose, that doesn’t mean that it’s been easy. While issues surrounding alcohol are almost always automatically filtered in one of two absolutes—prevention or recovery, BDC identified an overlooked demographic: drinkers who desire a healthy relationship with alcohol, and we give them a platform to feel empowered to do just that. BDC is not anti-alcohol. We address people and alcohol in a way that Prevention thinks is still taboo to save drinkers from hitting rock bottom where their only option is the other end of the spectrum, Recovery. So, we wrote The Drinker’s Manifesto—an honest, eye-level conversation that calls out the absurdity of our current drinking culture and instead inspires a better understanding of how we can approach alcohol and our drinking behaviors. BDC and The Drinker’s Manifesto are making moderation aspirational.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’re headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, and admittedly haven’t spent much time in Dallas. So, if you’re ever in our neighborhood, contact us and our CEO, Jason Ley, can recommend the best, most reliable spots that will appeal to your personal speed—whether you’re just passing through or making a staycation out of it.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to Camden Brieden, co-founder of Better Drinking Culture—for his unconditional love and unwavering support of my efforts in leading the BDC movement, grounded in his encouragement to make sure that all the while I’m taking care of my mental health and holistic wellbeing.