ARTICLE 15 OF 52
The personal topic of having good health isn’t talked about much in the business world. But it should be. I’ve noticed over the past year that my health has a direct impact on my business and, obviously, my performance.
I’m not a health expert. I never will be, and frankly, I never want to be. I literally have ZERO experience in formal health education and practice, and I’ll probably always be a student when it comes to living a better, healthier lifestyle. But one thing I am is a top performer who has to constantly manage and juggle a lot of daily activities. With so much responsibility, I need to make sure I’m on top of my game in all aspects of my life. My mental game has to be sharp, and more so, I’ve learned it also takes physical stamina to run high-functioning businesses.
When I was growing up, there wasn’t much emphasis on health at all. We went to gym class back when you were still allowed to compete in school to be a winner or a loser (thankfully!), but I don’t remember talk of overall health outside of “eat your fruits and vegetables and get outside and run around.” Health wasn’t stressed like it is in today’s society, so I’ve had to learn all about health on my own, motivated by a desire to make sure I’m at my best every day.
When you work a 9 to 5 job, it’s easy to get up and engage in the same sluggish routine. We tend to blame that fatigue and monotony on our job and the everyday stressors that come with it. Rarely do we consider that what we’re putting in our body might be having negative effects.
When you run a business, you will crumble if you’re not in tip-top shape mentally. Feeling tired and worn out is sure to kill any type of momentum you're trying to create in your business.
Let’s discuss a few of the things I’ve learned this past year that have impacted my performance as an entrepreneur — and had a direct impact on all my business endeavors.
The Importance of Sleep
In the entrepreneurial world, I think we get caught up in the “hustle till you die” mentality. I love Gary Vaynerchuk; I think he’s great and provides major value. But I also disagree with “Gary Vee” immensely when it comes to his “no-sleep and all hustle” mantra.
If you’re sleeping three hours a night, you’re not going to get up the next day 100 percent ready to perform. That’s just the truth. Maybe you can perform at a high-level with little sleep for a few days in a row, but a crash in inevitable; it will happen no matter who you are.
Sleep needs to be a high priority on your list. It’s a mental and physical healing tool that doesn’t get enough credit. Top professional athletes live by a strong eight-hour minimum sleep routine. Why? Because research shows sleep is directly linked with your emotional and physical well-being.
I get it. Most entrepreneurs are worried about losing time when it comes to sleep. This is just ridiculous. Start measuring your time in terms of quality versus quantity. If you’re dragging the next day because you’re worn the hell out, it makes no sense to “save four hours” by trying to grind through the night when you’re operating on an empty tank of gas. Measure your impact in terms of quality put-in versus time put-in.
As a new father and a business owner, it’s been a rough year for sleep. The missed “Zzz’s” have impacted me immensely, too. I’ve noticed that when I’m exhausted, my decision making ability is poor. My energy and leadership ability is compromised, and more than anything, my drive and fire isn’t there. For me, this is a recipe for disaster.
Start making sleep a priority and watch your productivity improve — it’s that simple. When you schedule more time for sleep, you’re forced to get more out of each hour of your day… quality over quantity. This allows us to stay true to our routine, to schedule and prioritize. These are all great skills we should be implementing in our day-to-day anyway.
Bottom Line: Sleep more. Feel better. Get more done.
Staying Hydrated Is My Fuel
I view business as my chance to compete. As a big sports fan and athlete, business and entrepreneurship is my playground. Like any top athlete, you have to stay hydrated to maintain performance, keep your stamina up, and of course, keep going.
Drinking water throughout the day and hydrating my body and mind allows me to stay focused and keeps my energy up. When I’m in high-pressure situations, I have no choice but to “be on” and can’t run the risk of being sluggish.
Research shows that continually drinking water throughout the day boosts cognitive performance, too. I don’t have the time to let a mental lapse or roadblock hold me back at any point in my schedule. I have way too many clients and team members depending on my decisions and creative input to entertain any type of mental slow down.
Water is my fuel. It’s what keeps me fresh and keeps me going. If you’re feeling sluggish throughout your work day, drink a little less caffeine and try and incorporate more water.
What You Put In Your Body Really Matters
I’m not here to tell you to eat healthier. You’re an adult and it’s your choice. I’m here to give you my direct experience. For the last six months I’ve changed my diet. My wife and I went Whole30 for a while, and just recently, my Co-Founder and I went low-carb and gluten free.
You might be asking, what does this have to do with entrepreneurship? A few years ago, I would have asked the same question. I’ve learned through direct experience just how much my diet has on my performance and my business. Again, let’s go back to the athlete example here - Top athletes don’t put bullshit in their bodies.
Since having a more conscious diet I’ve seen my performance go up immensely. I’ve noticed a difference in my energy level and all around attitude. As you follow this site, you will see what an asset I believe high energy and attitude truly is for top performers.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m learning food impacts how I feel physically and mentally. It has great impact on my overall wellbeing. This might sound simple, but for someone who doesn’t have direct knowledge or experience with “eating right” this has been a process to learn. More so, this has been an even greater processes to see how this truly impacts my performance which directly elevates my businesses.
Your Hustle Doesn’t Mean Shit Without Great Health
Let’s truly break this subtitle down. “Your hustle doesn’t mean shit without GREAT health.”
It doesn’t matter how hard you hustle if you don’t have great health to back it. The keyword here is GREAT. I’ve written before about the importance of valuing yourself and valuing your time. If you don’t have excellent (not mediocre) health, then you’re not properly preparing for success.
Listen, I plan on being here for a long time, and I plan on being a top performer for as long as I can walk. If I want to achieve this legacy, I need to be in peak health, that’s all there is to it. I can’t “out hustle” what I’m putting in my body, or hope that a strong will can outsmart any physical limitations. It just doesn’t work that way.
I’m learning that self care is one of the first steps to continual success. The best entrepreneurs I know, the most savvy business owners and every one of the top performers I have connections with all care about their health. If you want to be successful in the long-term, then focus on your health for the long-term. Small adjustments in your daily routine and diet is a great start.
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