Are you one of those people who makes a resolution to exercise regularly on New Year’s Eve? Good luck with staying committed to that resolution because there’s a better than 80% chance you won’t.
Commercial gyms are well aware that New Year’s resolutions about weight loss don’t hold water. That’s why they build up their staff to help sign up new members in the New Year and push for monthly subscriptions.
The gym will offer lower monthly fees for longer-term subscriptions because the trainers know you’ll stop going in a few months. This way, the gym’s stream of revenues is covered even if they never see you again. Likewise, fewer gym users mean lower monthly operating costs.
Smart business modeling, right?
This article isn’t promoting the exercise/fitness industry as a good business venture that’s guaranteed success. Our message is that staying healthy by exercising regularly will help you succeed in whatever business you’re in.
And you don’t need a gym membership to realize the full health benefits of regular exercise.
Why Do You Invest Time In Your Business?
This question might seem obvious from the outset. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to consider the repercussions of putting or investing too much time in their business.
Obviously, you invest time in your business in order to succeed by generating profit.
But the costs of trying to generate profits might go beyond your monthly cost of operations. These are the costs that don’t appear on the balance sheet – the cost of your health.
Investing In Exercise Is An Investment In Your Business
As an entrepreneur, you’re a hard worker who isn’t afraid of taking risks and wholeheartedly accepts the idea of sacrifice. So you put in the hours on your business hoping that the time invested will eventually yield results that are commensurate with the effort put in.
It’s only in the movies that the hero gets what he’s due in the end. In the real world, success in business is fleeting. Putting in the time, embracing the grind, and driving yourself to the ground on a daily basis aren’t guaranteed to produce the desired results.
We’ve heard entrepreneurs – perhaps even yourself – say they can’t exercise because they “have no time”. The cost of repurposing exercise time for more work time will have dangerous repercussions on your overall health.
Stress will wear out your mind and body. The pressure of earning profit will carry an emotional burden that might carry over to your relationships with family, friends, clients, customers, partners, co-founders, and employees.
And what if all of your efforts at work DID strike gold?
Those 12-14 hour workdays yielded payouts that more than made up for the time lost with family. But what if the payouts led to compromised health?
Stress has been tied to life-threatening health conditions and illnesses such as certain forms of cancer, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure, and obesity. What good will it do you to earn those millions only to spend them on hospital bills, doctor’s fees, and medications?
You invest time in your business in order to have the financial means not just to pay the bills and to support yourself and your family but most importantly, to enjoy life.
You cannot enjoy life if you’re constantly fighting for it by being frequently hospitalized, paying your doctor’s professional fees, and constantly buying expensive medications.
If you just put in an hour per day to exercise, you’ll be able to mitigate the health risks associated with your relentless pursuit of entrepreneurial success. Exercise is an investment that will help you realize your goals in business and life.
Why Exercise Is A Key To Business Success
To be clear, exercise isn’t the only component of a healthy life. The other components are diet, sleep, and stress management.
But exercise is our focus because it’s the hardest thing to do. Going back to our analogy on commercial gyms, the gym business is essentially a business that focuses on an activity that people really don’t want to do.
Dieting is hard but most people would rather sacrifice a burger for a salad instead of hitting the gym. And everyone has to go to sleep anyway. Watching Netflix is a more fun way to manage stress than performing sets of squats.
Exercise requires physical effort. Unless you’re a natural athlete or someone who’s in decent shape and reasonably fit, the effort could be more than what you expected.
As the workouts get harder, the effort begins to exert a mental and emotional toll. You find yourself thinking:
- “Do I really want to do this?”
- “There are other things I could be doing.”
- “This isn’t as fun as I thought.”
- “I’m not getting the desired results, why should I continue?”
- “People who do this several days a week are crazy.”
As you continue your health and fitness journey, your mind looks for reasons not to go to the gym and work out.
“What excuse will I give my trainer today?”
Look back at those thoughts listed above. Do they seem familiar? Those thoughts are similar to what you have while working on your business!
- “Is this really the career I want?”
- “I should have stayed as a 9-to-5 employee instead of becoming an entrepreneur.”
- “I’m spending more time at work and getting more stressed as an entrepreneur.”
- “I’ve spent a lot of money and invested a lot of my time – but I haven’t generated significant profit.”
- “You have to be crazy to become an entrepreneur.”
But despite these thoughts, you didn’t quit, right? You didn’t call up your office manager and give some manufactured excuse not to come to work. You’re still grinding and putting in the time on your business.
Most people don’t realize it but exercise is actually a metaphor for work. The lessons you’ll learn from your health and fitness journey can be applied to your career as an entrepreneur.
1. Setting Goals
Although losing weight is the most popular goal by those who get into exercise, some people have other goals in their crosshairs.
- To gain weight
- To build/tone muscle
- To improve cardiovascular health
- To get stronger
- To improve athletic performance
- To maintain body weight
Whatever your goal is, set it in stone. Setting goals gives your workouts meaning and purpose. It’s the same as when you started a business. You might have had the following goals:
- To achieve financial independence
- To become your own boss
- To manage your own time
- To establish a business that has the potential for growth
- To build a brand
- To introduce an innovative product or concept to the market
- To create your own niche
When you have a goal in mind, it’s easier to establish the direction of your journey. You can identify the processes you need to incorporate in order to design a system that will help you achieve your goal.
2. Working with a Team
While it’s possible, it’s better to work with a team when you’re trying to achieve your goals.
At work, you’ll need to hire people with specific skill sets who can ably handle key areas of responsibility. By doing so, you can focus on areas that fall under your core competencies.
In exercise, you might be better off hiring a Personal Trainer (PT) or a coach who can create your workout programs.
Similar to hiring for your business, you have to make sure the PT or coach is certified, professionally licensed, and has the experience and track record that validate his ability to deliver results.
If you have more wiggle room in your exercise budget, you might want to hire a nutritionist or a mobility coach to help you with your diet and functionality respectively.
But more importantly, find like-minded people to exercise with. Look for people with similar goals and the same mindset as you. Build a community of people who can hold each other accountable for their individual successes.
3. Creating Strategies
You can’t lose weight simply by walking on the treadmill for one hour every day. Depending on other factors such as your age, current fitness level, and body type, you might also have to lift weights, work out more frequently, and eat less food.
Likewise, pushing too hard in every workout session won’t be good for you. Not only will you burn out faster but you might increase the risk of injury.
Just like in business, you have to create strategies to help you reach your goal. This is where having an experienced PT or coach comes in handy. He can design a workout program that’s customized based on your current capabilities.
When you started running your business, progress was slow in the beginning but ramped up as soon as your efforts gained more traction. Workouts are the same.
You’ll start out light or low intensity because the purpose is to learn proper form and to build strength and conditioning slowly. As you get stronger and fitter, the workouts will get progressively harder.
Success comes down to 2 things: Consistency and Patience. Put in the work in every session and stay committed to the program. In time, your efforts will pay dividends.
4. Tracking Results
In work and in workouts, you’ll have bad days and good days. The key is to find out why by identifying the factors that contributed to the day’s outcomes.
At work, you look at the numbers and analyze why some metrics are lagging. You can also check the performance of specific departments and individuals. You might want to meet with certain personnel to get their respective feedback.
For your workout, it might be because you lacked sleep, missed meals or strayed off your diet, or felt more stressed than usual. You can evaluate your training program and analyze if you’re not recovering faster because the workouts are getting too intense given your current situation.
Once you’ve done your analysis, the next step is to develop solutions or implement changes that might help you get back on track.
The cycle of tracking results and implementing improvements must always continue in business and in exercise so you improve your chances of hitting your goals.
5. Dealing with Setbacks
Let’s say you prepared to run a 10-km race and targeted a time of 45 minutes. Around the 6 km mark, you started cramping. The situation got progressively worse and caused you to stop every 15 minutes to get massaged and to get more electrolytes.
You finished the race but registered a time of one hour and 15 minutes because of the cramps.
It feels bad to fall short of your target time but you have to take the bad with the good. At least you finished the race. You didn’t quit despite the pain and discomfort. Finishing the race proves you are resilient, tough, highly focused, and can stay committed to completing a task.
These are attributes that are beneficial to growing a successful entrepreneurial career.
If you lost a bid for a project, failed to increase your number of followers, or land a big-time client, don’t worry. Just like there are 10-km races every month, there are other opportunities on the horizon.
As you’ve just read, exercise can benefit you in other ways other than just getting you fit and healthy. Regular exercise can help you develop the necessary mindset and confidence to attain your entrepreneurial pursuits.
And you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership to get good, productive exercise.
You can work out in your home by doing Yoga, Pilates, and performing resistance exercises with light dumbbells, bands, and kettlebells. In addition to a few pieces of equipment, you’ll need a Yoga mat for stretching and maybe a jump rope for cardio.
You can work out outdoors. Go to the park and run a few rounds or do calisthenics. Go to the nearest playing field and run up the steps or do some jumping drills on the bench. Walk or bike around your neighborhood for an hour. Visit your local community center and swim a few laps.
If you have more disposable income, invest in a complete home gym set up with barbells, dumbbells, plates, benches, and a cardio machine like a treadmill or an elliptical.
Having a home gym will save you time and money compared to signing up for a commercial gym membership especially if you spend most of your time working from home.
So what are you waiting for? Put on your sneakers and get moving! The time you spend exercising will contribute to the success of running your business.
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