“Living Our Best PR Life” is Mark Mohammadpour’s Motto as He Helps Communications Pros Thrive
During their conversation, Mark shares the story of his weight-loss journey and how that personal transformation inspired him to help his colleagues live happier and healthier lives.
A Personal Transformation
In 2007, Mark Mohammadpour faced a turning point. After years spent climbing the ranks at major firms like Weber Shandwick and Edelman, and working with colleagues as a board member and president of PRSA Oregon, he knew something had to give.
For years, Mark had neglected his health by eating a poor diet as he focused on advancing his career. We all know there are no 8-hour days in the PR world. Mark embodied this reality as he constantly traveled, taking care of his clients’ needs at the expense of his own. All that time spent in airports and hotel rooms in cities across the country added up, leaving him overweight and unhappy.
At his peak, Mark weighed 350 pounds. Flying coach had become almost unbearable. He suffered from sleep apnea and felt physically uncomfortable in nearly any environment. To make matters worse, his weight was negatively affecting his mental outlook, which began bubbling up at work. Instead of thinking about solving problems, Mark dwelled on them — a transformation his colleagues couldn’t help but notice.
On top of his career concerns, Mark also had a personal motivation to change. In December 2007, Mark proposed to his girlfriend, Christine. Deep down, Mark knew he couldn’t continue advancing in his current mental and physical state. To return to health and be the best version of himself for his new bride, Mark had to make some changes.
Focus on What You Can Control
To get the ball rolling, Mark knew he needed to start small. He began by focusing on his diet and incorporating exercise where he could. These small, steady efforts made a difference. By the time he got married nine months later, Mark had lost 110 pounds, and his work life had transformed. Ten years later, Mark has kept the weight off and now focuses on helping other communications professionals live healthier and more balanced lives.
It’s a Stressful Career
Every year, CareerCast.com releases a survey of the most stressful jobs. Without fail, PR executives rank with enlisted military personnel, firefighters, air traffic controllers, and journalists as people who work under the highest amount of stress.
Unfortunately, because PR is a service-oriented industry, many executives check their egos at the door and accept stress as an unavoidable part of the job. As a result, they don’t always take care of themselves as well as they should. This attitude is what Mark wants to change.
Mark’s new company, Chasing the Sun, is designed to help communications workers grow and thrive by incorporating health and wellness into their careers. On top of fitness and diet advice, Mark also coaches his clients on maintaining a healthy mind and body, while fostering effective working relationships.
In Mark’s view, helping executives reprioritize their health is vital for the industry. As role models, mid and upper-level managers will set the tone for more junior level workers. If executives impose their unhealthy habits on their subordinates, that cycle will perpetuate itself as those junior workers continue advancing in the industry. Mark’s working to interrupt that cycle now, so the industry will be healthier for years to come.
Hear More from Mark
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Mark and Amy’s conversation — including the most common health mistakes Mark sees executives make. If you’d like to see Mark speak in person, he’ll be giving a talk at the PRSA International Conference in San Diego on Sunday, October 20th from 12:50 – 1:40 p.m.
About the guest: Mark Mohammadpour
After a career spent rising through the ranks of some of the country’s most respected PR firms, Mark Mohammadpour needed a change. Overweight and unhappy, Mark chose to prioritize his health and bring new meaning to his career. After losing over 100 pounds, and keeping the weight off for more than a decade, Mark now provides health and wellness coaching to communication professionals nationwide through his company Chasing the Sun. You can also subscribe to the Chasing the Sun podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Connect and follow Mark on social media:
This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.