Steve Aoki's Manager Dougie Bohay On The Importance of Stillness

'The more I traveled the world and met different people and cultures the more open minded and compassionate I became.'

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Dougie Bohay: Sitting quietly for a short period of time first thing in the morning is essential to me. After sitting quietly I usually feed my 2 cats and hang out with them.

TG: What gives you energy?
DB: The ocean, the mountains, lakes, deserts. Nature is my favorite source of energy. 

TG: What's your secret life hack?
DB: 
Have a hobby or passion outside of your work life. Playing ice hockey weekly (if I’m not traveling) is one of mine. Also making times to be in nature is a huge source of happiness for me and definitely improves the quality of my life. Being together with my family at the lake in Canada might be the best prescription for my personal happiness and therapy. 

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 
DB: I would say the Calvin and Hobbes books because as a kid I would read them over and over again and it helped develop my imagination and shape my humor. I still have all the books and enjoy them as much I did as a kid. 

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
DB: We are very intimate haha. My job demands to some degree, a 24/7 availability, but I definitely do not sleep with it anymore. I am happy to say that I set a pretty firm boundary there.

TG: How do you deal with email? 
DB: I love the work I do but it comes with hundreds of emails a day. I have accepted that they will never slow down so I make sure I am mindful throughout each day and especially on weekends to find times to completely disconnect from e-mails. Once It occurred to me that I could be on emails 24/7 if I chose to be, I started putting in practices of not doing emails first thing in the morning, right before I go to sleep and and only doing an hour or so of emails on weekends or days-off. Of course, there can be demanding or urgent times that requires me to be on email alert but I do my very best to not work around the clock. 

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
DB: If I am in my office I like to get outside and go for a walk. If I am at home, sit still and quietly. If I am on the road, sit still and quietly. 

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why? 
DB: Today haha. I have a demanding job. I will say I am getting a little better at understanding the signs that I may be burning out and making the necessary adjustments. There’s still a lot more learning I need to do but I am making an effort to take better care of myself and moving my well-being up the priority list.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 
DB: Michael Jordan had a great quote "I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” I see a lot of value in this quote and try to remember this message when things are not going the way I hoped. I think persistence and passion overcome all failures. 

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
 
DB: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” - Mark Twain. It is my favorite quote. I was born in a wonderful small city in Canada called Winnipeg but realized that the more I traveled the world and met different people and cultures the more open minded and compassionate I became. I believe I became a better, more genuine person because of this.


Dougie Bohay is a Canadian born, day-to-day manager for Superstar DJ Steve Aoki. Aoki is a Grammy nominated DJ and Producer and is a Forbes Top 5 Highest Paid DJ, DJ MAG Top 10 DJ in the world. Aoki has sold millions of records and has garnered hundreds of millions of streams and holds multiple Guinness Book of World Records including one for "most traveled musician in one year." Aoki holds numerous residencies in Las Vegas and headlines 240+ shows around the world, every year in front of millions of people.

Thrive Questionnaire

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