We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
There was a time when I allowed my value to be determined by what I did for others, professionally and otherwise. Because hospitality is a staple in the work that I do, over-serving was a thing I wrestled with a lot. The problem this created was that if I wasn’t doing anything for anyone, or if I wasn’t working, then I felt as though I had no value. This is one of the biggest deceptions I have faced in my life. Listening to a podcast, I believe it was Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, I heard something that changed my life and it has since become my mantra: “I exist, therefore I am valuable.” Today, following the energy behind this mantra and the example of one of my mentors in particular, I have established boundaries that act as a safeguard to keep me from returning to an unhealthy work-life balance as defined by the interpreted value I internalize from my work. Such boundaries include not working on the weekends (except when traveling for work), not working past a certain hour (unless the work doesn’t require communication with anyone else), closing my laptop when I need a break, taking naps in the middle of the work day, and instead of waking up and jumping right into work, taking time to sit with myself in silence, work out, and simply be present in the moment before doing anything for anyone. Because I work largely in the entertainment industry, which is commonly known as a 24/7 industry, this doesn’t make all of my clients happy. Even after I communicate why these boundaries are necessary for me and the stability of my mental health, most of them have a hard time understanding why their phone calls get ignored after 8 or 9p EST. I’ll call them back the following business day and they will be just fine. Of course, there are exceptions that I allow within these boundaries but they are always at my discretion. All I’m trying to do is make sure that I live long enough to see the legacy I’m working so hard to establish. That means holding myself accountable to what I need to maintain a healthy sense of work-life balance, to a prosperous perspective of my own self-value, and to what will keep me energized to excellently execute my work for as long as I’m alive.
What should our readers know about your business?
The name of my business is Accessible LLC. We are an independently owned and operated consulting firm that manages a wide range of deliverables for its clients, who are mostly professional entertainment brands. This means, we quarterback any project a client needs to solve every problem they may have. I’ve grown into my business by minding my own and paying attention to opportunities as they presented themselves over the years. Every single opportunity I have ever received has led to the next, regardless of how much time lapsed in between. Running a business is never easy. There is so much about it that I still don’t know but I’m figuring it out as I go. I’d much rather do that for myself than do it for someone else and help them get rich off of my standard of excellence. I am a unique individual. My friends and family tell me this all the time. The sum of my struggles, my perspective, my personality, my gifts, and my issues gives me a particular quality that you come to know when you engage with me, and what makes me special is that I put all of that into my work. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I let my passion for excellence drive me to provide the best service I can to everyone who needs it (and can afford it).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is funny because my best friend came to town just a few weeks ago and while we didn’t get to hang out as much as we would have liked, we still got to do a little something. Also though, I’m a SUPER thorough tour manager so you can’t tell me to provide an itinerary for a week because I’d have every single solitary minute planned out to the finest detail. Here are a few places we’d eat and hang out:
• Gocha’s Breakfast Bar
• The Gathering Spot
• Slutty Vegan
• Baltimore Crab & Seafood
• St. James Live (since I’d probably be performing there)
• My family’s house in McDonough
• My house for my famous turkey burgers, drinks, and games
• Lee + White in the West End
• The gym
• A winery in North Georgia
• True Rest Float Spa
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This list is long. So many people have contributed to where I am in my journey that I couldn’t possibly name them all. Let’s see if I can do it like this:
Randall Little: First person to ever hire me as an assistant our freshman year in college. This set the tone for everything I’m doing professionally today.
John M. Borders IV: Helped me find myself and connected me with the man I desire to be.
Donnie “D-MAJOR” Boynton: Took me under his wing personally and professionally. Fathered me and all but legally adopted me into his family which gave me a sense of belonging that I hadn’t had since my mom passed when I was 11 years old. Rachel James: Sharpened me and gave me the necessary experience that led to my first big break working for a major television network after college.
Cappriccieo Scates: Believed in me before I knew how to believe in myself and never stopped; to this very day.
Derek Arms: Showed me how to be balanced in my life, my work and all of the spaces in between.
Lecrae Moore: Never threw me away when I probably deserved to be.
Jini Thornton: Tells me what to do with my money so that I can build a successful, long-lasting legacy.
Anita Baker: Showed me that I am capable of handling anything that I am given.
Ronnie Stephenson: He responded when I reached out. Gave me opportunities and the more he saw me in action, the more he believed in me and demonstrated it with his actions.
David “5-1” Norman: Took me under his wing and saw more greatness in me than what I often see in myself. He connected me to opportunities that I still don’t feel worthy of.
Roadies of Color United: Changed my life. Showed me that I could successfully build my life doing the work that I’ve come to love and connected me with individuals who are already successful at doing what I want to do for the foreseeable future.