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    STOKE — blog

    Alcohol, Creativity and the Shady Secret of 30SECOUT

    Alcohol, Creativity and the Shady Secret of 30SECOUT

    Most of the designs we sell were conceptualized while buzzed on alcohol. I usually prefer red wine or vodka soda to be specific. 1-3 drinks, to be specific-er. 4+ drinks kick me out of the creative flow state most of the time, so there's a sweet spot. There’s also less editing to do the next day when writing in the 1-3 drink window, in my experience. Being very drunk doesn't work for me.

    Most designs we launch are successful, but some flops have been created while on the devil's juice, and while sober to be honest. What I have found is that ideas flow freely with a buzz on. Freely, as in no constraints and of varying quality. That's expected when brainstorming, and at that moment, most of them seem fantastic. That's why we need to write them down and look over them carefully the next day, sober. The problem is, sometimes we feel so convinced that the idea is impressive that we make an irreversible decision while buzzed. I don't recommend this. It's almost always better to sleep on it and exercise some discipline and patience. I've made some dumb business decisions while drinking over the years: nothing catastrophic, but things like over-promising something in the moment that stresses me out the next day. I've also ordered way too many T-shirts to sell on an unproven design, so they sit on the shelves, not making revenue. I've also agreed to do projects I don't want to or have the time to tackle. You know the routine.

    Can alcohol improve your mental processing and lead to better business ideas? Yes. It also depends on the type of task we ask our brains to do.

    You may have heard the quote, "Write drunk, edit sober." People often think Hemingway said it, but he didn't. The writer Peter De Vries did, and it makes total sense because we can see snippets of our past played out in this context.


    The publication Science and Cognition has a nice writeup on several studies examining the effects of mild alcohol intoxication on creativity. The studies found that mild intoxication improved creative problem solving but did not affect divergent thinking and reduced executive control, go figure.


    In a nutshell, alcohol improves creativity by suppressing our working memory. It reduces our inhibitions, allowing us more space to work creatively with less speed bumps getting in the way worrying about “what others might think.” It also decreases our analytical ability. Think less left brain and more right brain. You can geek out on the terminology and details HERE.


    "Research has shown that the more working memory people have at their disposal, the better they perform on all sorts of analytical tasks that pop up at school and work. But, interestingly, wielding more working memory may hinder performance whenever thinking creatively or 'outside the box is necessary." - Psychology Today


    So armed with this knowledge, can it be used to accomplish key tasks and responsibilities? I think so. Here's what I have done.

    Disclaimer: First, you need to be of legal drinking age. What I'm sharing here is not advice, so don't do this. I'm simply telling you what I do at times. 


    If I need to create a new design and I'm really struggling, I set that task aside and get back on it with 1-3 glasses of wine, no more. I work on the big picture of the design, usually in Adobe illustrator, but sometimes I simply rough sketch the idea on paper or whiteboard until my mind starts to get lazy and I feel a noticeable drop in creative energy. At this point, I save the work for later. The nice thing is if the idea the next day still seems fantastic, I can work on it without the alcohol, which is nice because I hate hangovers, even mild ones. I also do not commit to the design by ordering a bunch of products while buzzed. That is risky. I only do that after sober reflection, and if it's a new design or concept that you're not sure folks will like, go lighter on the order/commitment.


    Write your ideas down, especially when buzzed. You'll likely find that there are some hilariously stupid ideas there, but also some serious winners. I use the notes app on my iPhone because I am terrible at notebooks and remembering where I put them. Better yet, get some cool points and use a bar napkin to write your idea down. Just remember to fold it up and put it in your pocket. The next day you might pull out a life-changing concept. 



    Founder, Thirty Seconds Out

    What’s It Like To Shoot With Clint Eastwood?

    What’s It Like To Shoot With Clint Eastwood?

    I got a text from a friend a while back asking if I wanted to go to the shooting range. I was busy working on a project and said I couldn’t make it. My friend was adamant I show up, ensuring me it would be worth it. Clint Eastwood was coming to shoot that day, but my buddy wasn’t sharing that info over text. He was doing a good job of keeping Clint under the radar and respecting his privacy as well. Since he was insistent, I decided to grab my guns and head over.

    I arrived at the range, grabbed my gear, and was trying to figure out what the big deal was that day. He informed me Clint Eastwood was on his way over to do some shooting. “Yeah right,” I said. He just gave me a look, letting me know he wasn’t joking around. Sure enough, Clint rolls up 5 minutes later. 

    Clint was cool. No oversized ego to navigate and no annoying celebrity qualities that are all too common, like neediness, complaints, and cringe-worthy snobbery. None of that. He came across as more of a blue-collar guy, right up my alley. 

    We started out shooting pistols. Clint was a good shot, and yes, he shot one-handed a lot of the time. The only point of improvement I offered him was to get his shoulders more forward like he was about to throw or receive a punch. Other than that, he was solid with his weapons handling. I wasn’t surprised as he has gotten a lot of training over the years preparing for films.

    Here’s the awesome part. The moment the range went cold for the last time, Clint removes his hat, takes a knee, and starts picking up brass! My buddy and I told him he didn’t have to do that, but he said, “It’s no problem. I shot it and need to help clean up.” So, we all picked up our brass together, then we all went and had a few Coronas at a buddy's house with Clint.

    Clint Eastwood picks up his own brass, and he didn’t make a big deal about it! Be like Clint.


    New Tee- Work The Plan

    New Tee- Work The Plan

    We're back at it again with another badass collaboration. We recently got the opportunity to collaborate with, The Ready State. We always feel lucky to create with brands that uphold the same values and goals as ours. The Ready States mission is to help everyday athletes enjoy movement, agility, and strength; their end goal is to have athletes of all walks have less pain and more protection against injury. They're here to help adults of all levels understand the importance of recovery, pain relief, and self-care, especially as athletes get older. TRS gives athletes the tools to perform essential maintenance on themselves; they understand not everyone has a team of trainers to take care of them. They are here to support the everyday athlete and provides them with information to keep their bodies mobile.

    With that being said, 30 Seconds Out and The Ready State give you "Work the Plan." Featured in two different colors, make it what you want. Dr. Kelly Starrett, co-founder of The Ready State, gave us the inspiration behind the design. Starrett said, "It is about being consistent over being heroic, "Work the Plan" is the heart of the message; make the best choice out of the options presented to you. Trust yourself, don't overthink or second guess." The leopard is the core of the design, symbolizing a human being's full physical capacity. The leopard doesn't need a pep talk; it doesn't have to activate its glutes; it has access to this power at a moment's notice, ready to attack and defend in the blink of an eye. The third eye on the leopard represents the self-awareness of our capacity to be self-reliant, resilient, and badass creatures. Self-awareness can seem like a superpower from the outside, like having a sixth sense. The leopard knows what needs to be done.

    Make sure you go checkout the The Ready State and all they do. On top of adding a new badass tee to your collection a portion of the "Work the Plan" tees will be donated to the Clean Water Corps, a task force specialized in focusing on combating the global water crisis. Operated entirely by veterans, they're serving there communities once again.