At age 35, Jason Garner had it all: he worked with A-list acts like Coldplay and Usher, was twice named to Fortune Magazine’s list of the top 20 highest paid executives under 40, and had the fast-paced, luxurious lifestyle that every Wharton student aspires to have. As former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation, he helped grow the organization into a billion dollar behemoth leader that world sees today. Even more impressively, however, was how he got there. His hustle, drive, and determination helped him rise from a high school-dropout who worked jobs as a flea-market parking attendant to the CEO of the world’s largest event promotion company. He seemingly had it all. And then one day he decided to leave it all.
“I was sitting at home with my mom, who was dying of ovarian cancer, and suddenly, none of this made sense anymore. I wasn’t happy with myself, but importantly, I had no idea who I was,” says Garner.
After his mother had passed, he decided to quit everything he had spent the last 37 years working for and re-evaluate the balance in his life. “What I came to realize was that I was always pushing to do more. I was never satisfied, always scared, and constantly looking for more success.”
Garner spent some time on the beach, detoxing and clearing his mind. “Finally, I was able to breathe for the first time in my life.” He then sought teachers, spending hundreds of hours with Daoist Masters, Indian Yogis, and Zen Buddhist monks. Garner shares his lessons learned and chronicles his transformation in his new book, “… And I Breathed, My Journey from a Life of Matter to a Life That Matters.”
He outlined his daily rituals with me during my interview with him this past week.
Stretching: “I start off my day early with stretching. Take deep breaths. It’s important to be flexible, adaptive, and fluid. It’s easy for the body to become rigid, and stretching really opens up the body.”
Meditation: “It helps me love myself, to truly get into touch with who I am.”
Green Shakes: “Look at your body from a deeper level-it’s a body of cells. My cells then become stressed, and stressed out cells constrict and prevent the flow of nutrients and energy that our body needs. A green juice tells my cells that they are loved, and allows them to expand and send energy throughout my body.”
But Jason, I counter, I’m a business school student. This zen-like life, which seems awesome, doesn’t seem very practical. Time for meditation, breathing, and making green shakes? With all the recruiting, studying, and extracurricular the average Wharton student has, how feasible is this really?
“Life will never get easier, it’s only going to get more complicated. You can always say you can do this later in life when you will have more time, but the earlier you start, the more rewarding your life will be. I wish I was able to love myself the way I do now much earlier on.”
Currently, Jason serves as a consultant for athletes, entertainers, and other business executives, helping them with businesses considerations and well as helping them retain balance in their lives. In addition, he blogs weekly, sharing insight and lessons from his past life and present.
For more information on Jason and his new book, please visit his website, JasonGarner.com.