Jessica Perez and Castell J.R. Barnes are the Co-Founders of GRTR Management, a creative consultancy that focuses on securing branding and speaking partnerships.

In this article, Jessica and Castell shares insight on how to stay productive and avoid stress.

Avoiding Stress:

A large percentage of entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with stress and burnout. 

When talking about stress, Jessica Perez and Castell J.R Barnes referred to it as a “given state that is present at every level of what we as humans identify as calm or manic. It is tamed based on our attributes to be mentally strong and have tough skin. It is an everlasting game of self and external control.” 

Jessica and Castell are able to avoid stress and burnout through meditation and workouts. In their words, “Meditation keeps us grounded and centered. On top of that, our after-work workouts are key as well.” 

But that’s not all Jessica and Castell had to say. 

“Another great way to avoid stress is to not put yourself in stressful situations. This can be done by not entertaining a stressful party or having systems and processes in place that make your duties easier to perform. The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to burnout. Having to manually do tedious things that can be automated or continuously deal with stressful things can wear a team down. When the GRTR Management team feels that we are crashing, we take a 7-day break/vacation once a quarter. Our breaks keep us personally and professionally alive, fun, and exciting.”

Staying Productive:

As Co-Founders who happen to be engaged, Jessica and Castell have the luxury of living together. This enables them to hold each other accountable, as well as commit to the late nights and the super early mornings that are both required to keep GRTR Management going. 

A typical day for them usually starts with Jessica cooking and serving breakfast followed by a 30-minute stretching and meditation session. If they have enough time before work, they like to squeeze in an episode of their favorite business podcasts or read a chapter of a book. 

As simple as it may be, there is great value in consuming a healthy meal and disconnecting from technology to silently breathe and re-align. In their words, “It allows them to holistically exhale and prepare for the thousand-and-one tasks that come their way.” 

When it comes to keeping track of deadlines, this is what Jessica and Castell had to share.

“Our calendars and cell phones’ alerts are our best friends. They keep us on track for deadlines and any other important tasks. When it comes to executing each task, we tend to delegate the workload evenly amongst us two or assign them to our small group of interns and freelancers. 

At the end of each quarter, we hold what we like to call a “scorecard-meeting” to address the amount of revenue that we’ve pulled in and the statuses of any pending branding or speaking projects. If we start to notice that the performance numbers aren’t matching our team’s output, we either keep pushing or reconstruct our acquisition strategies. Numbers don’t lie.”

Dealing With Difficulties and Challenges:

Jessica and Castell had the following to say when it comes to dealing with difficulties and challenges:

“We recommend five practical tips on dealing with difficulties and challenges. The first tip is to stay centered on your goals. Whether they are financial, physical, or spiritual, having the ability to remind yourself and your team of the mission that you all are set to complete can overcome a lot of the challenges that occur. Don’t be afraid to have motivational talks with your team; it builds character and morale. 

The second tip is to always communicate with full transparency. When you are clear and direct with people, it creates a smaller chance of error. Error is at the core of any challenge, so dealing with it head-on can decrease any difficulties that arise. 

This leads us to our third tip of making sure that there is an active contract that explicitly spells out the terms and conditions of a business relationship. It should also be signed, where copies of the contract are distributed to all committed parties. From a business standpoint, a contract can be what rectifies challenges. 

The fourth tip is to be solution-oriented. We’ve all experienced times where a group of people will solely focus on the problem and not the solution. Encourage your team to use manuals, past emails, search engines, and their team members to solve problems.

And finally, have fun. A lot of conflicts are engendered by us just being too hard on ourselves. Your passions and dreams should be enjoyable. Make it that way. Celebrate all of your wins. Show people that you care.”


Advice for new entrepreneurs:

“Study your craft, put in the work, and keep going. Entrepreneurship takes time. You need to be patient, scrappy at times, and genuinely convince others that what you have to offer will benefit them. Entrepreneurship is bigger than our egos. It is about serving others. It is truly a legacy play that should change the lives of those around us. Stay the course and continue to take action. Your vision matters. Your team matters. You matter.”