“I love hearing just the ripple of the water and the sounds of nature around to relax and fall asleep.“
Markus, the bon-vivant and nature lover. He is an entrepreneur, musician and world traveler. In 2014 he founded AEIJST– an organic and handcrafted Styrian Pale Gin together with his dad Wolfgang and his siblings Paul, Lisa and her boyfriend Andreas. Recently he started renovating an old farmhouse in the idyllic hilly landscape of Southern Styria, Austria. His great appreciation for the beauty and the good is not just well reflected in his authentic award-winning Pale Gin but also in his way of living and his sleeping habits. We are happy Markus invited us to have breakfast with him.
“At a certain point in the afternoon I really wake up – that is when the ideas and motivation really start flowing.“
What are you doing during the day?
I am Markus and I am producing an organic and handcrafted Gin in Southern Styria, Austria. I am running the business together with my two siblings, my dad and my sister's boyfriend. I don't really have a regular schedule. Sometimes I spend the whole day wrapping and packing up Gin bottles, sometimes I am on the road and on meetings, sometimes I spend the whole day peeling lemons, cutting juniper berries or prepearing other things for our Gin or I am renovating the small farmhouse I live in.
Are you an early bird?
No, not really – but it depends. I always try to get a good amount of sleep (around 8h) but since I go to bed fairly late, I usually get up around 8 or 9. I just moved up to the Langaberg about half a year ago when we started our Gin business and the nice thing about my little farmhouse up there is, that in summer the very first morning rays shine directly through a small window into my face and wake me up gently. If anyone else would wake me up at 5 in the morning I would be pretty annoyed - but really – who does get mad at sunshine? For me that is the best way to wake up and start the day.
How does your alarm sound?
I recently got this alarmclock that wakes me up with fake sunbeams if the real ones are hiding between clouds outside. It´s funny. It starts with an orange, lighter light and gets more and more intense.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I turn on music and check my e-mails.
Do you like having breakfast? And what do you have?
I really love to have a good, long breakfast with scrambled eggs and ham and some fresh fruits or a smoothie. I don´t really do that during the week though, that´s more for the weekends. During the week I am ok with a coffee and something down the road.
What time of the day are you most productive?
I am most productive in the late evenings and nights. After a certain point in the afternoon I really wake up and the ideas and motivation keep flowing.
Do you think sleep influences your work?
Yes, sleep influences my work for sure. Everyone that is saying something different is lying. Of course it depends though – if I don't get any sleep and I have to go to an event the next day where I have to talk lot with people about our Gin, it’s not really adventageous to look and feel like a zombie. If I just have to be in our warehouse it doesn´t really matter, I will get the work done... maybe it takes a little longer but it doesn't really do too much harm.
Do you get enough sleep?
Where do you sleep best?
Hmm I have slept at many places already. But I think that I sleep best at home in my old farmhouse on the Langaberg in my own bed. Apart from that, I like hammocks a lot. A friend of mine down at the lake put one between two trees so that the hammock is floating above the lake which is pretty nice. I love hearing just the ripple of the water and the sounds of nature around to relax and fall asleep.
Do you have any rituals before going to bed?
Haha. Yes, I do push ups!
Do you remember your dreams?
Yes, I remember dreams relatively often. But mostly it’s just parts of it and mostly it’s something I experienced during the day, just mixed up in a crazy adventure.
Did you ever dream an idea that you brought to real life?
Yes! I actually was dreaming of doing a round-the-world trip very vividly night after night before I actually decided to start planning on it and realizing it for real. When I was little I also once was dreaming about something that I buildt in my spare time then – I can´t really remember – it was some kind of device I think.
Do you care about what you wear for sleeping?
Describe your bed in 3 words.
Pillow-y. Small. Bright.
What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep.
When I was in San Francisco for a while I was wandering around with no shoes and no shirt on and I accidently fell asleep in a park. When I woke up there were 10 homeless people sleeping around me. That definitely was special.
What do you think happens while we sleep?
I think that we process a lot that happens during the day mentally and physically.
How many sheep do you count?
I don’t do that. I think I could count a million. I´d be too focused on it so it would have the opposite effect on me.
What do you want to dream about tonight?
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