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Tunji Andrews: 3 Ways Exercise Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

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Like never before have I started seeing entrepreneurship within the same context as war. Both require preparation, strategy, and execution.

In both, it’s a ‘kill, or be killed’ game (At least business-wise). With both, you have the general (CEO) that rallies the troops (staff) to victory or defeat.

Also, in both scenarios, while it isn’t exactly a prerequisite to be mentally and physically fit, the higher the fitness levels, the greater the chance of survival, which is key to victory.

While the entrepreneur may not have to leap over walls and charge at the enemy, he/she will have to stand through hours of deliberations, take long flights, sometimes back to back, exhaust themselves mentally over and over again, be on their feet through the day, starve, etc. All of these are putting extreme pressure on your body to deliver, and believe me, nothing is worse than having your body break down on the day of your big pitch, or that day you were meant to seal the deal.

If you too are considering using exercise as a catalyst for success, know that you’re setting yourself up for some amazing returns.

Here are 3 ways in which exercising has made me a better entrepreneur:

Improves My Immune System
It is said that health is wealth, and it is a fact that physical activity helps to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This helps to reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Also, exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.

Reduces Stress
Physical activity reduces stress hormones and increases the production of endorphins that give you a natural high. Getting in a workout, whether before work or during the workday can allow you to approach your work with a calmer mindset. The more stressed you are, the more you are unable to make really good, rational business decisions.

Helps My Networking
Two spots I know to be levelers are the golf course and the gym. Whether working out at the gym or participating in a team sport, fitness can help you network with prospective clients or strengthen existing business relationships.

My gym for instance boasts of a few bank MDs – some of the biggest tech names and a few power players. We’ve now come to be fitness buds. Fitness challenges open a window into individuals’ personalities and allow you to communicate with others in a very different way and consequently learn more about each other than would normally be possible over a cup of coffee.

It may come across as everyone is on this get fit or die trying mission. However, it isn’t one of those over-stated trends that people are looking to implore. The benefits really do outweigh all the hard work put in, and after a while, it becomes a habit.

In my time as an entrepreneur, I have learnt that if you must do something with your time other than work-related activities, it is either you’re spending time with family or loved ones, or you’re starting good new habits. Exercise, I would definitely say, is one of them!

Tunji Andrews is the Lead economist at TTAC Africa, a European Union consultant, under the EU SUFEGOR project, a financial literacy advocate and a renowned media personality.His work, which brings him in contact with thousands of people, continues to help bridge the knowledge gap within the Nigerian society, in the areas of Macro economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.He's an award winning business radio show host, with various radio shows across the country, Co-host on Ndani TV's analyse this and celebrity blogger hosting the #DearEntrepreneur series on Pulse TV.

2 Comments

  1. Nakoms

    June 26, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Tunji, I like the way you romanticize and glamourise the entrepreneural life of “kill or be killed”, the hard grind and rigours that go with it, but let me be a spoilsport a bit, for the benefit of the uninitiated. The real grind is in the 9-5 job that sucks the essence out of you leaving you with no time for those workout and networking opportunity.

    12 years ago I escaped from that deathtrap called payed employment where the real risk takers are the employees who would sweat day and night (in naija there is no 9-5) to make one mans dream come true and is always left with the short end of the stick weather the business succeeds or fails.

    If you are an employee for these small time entrepreneurs and you are r working your ass off while he is in the gym demand for some percentage of the profit otherwise he will move on to other things when the business collapses.

    Remember I warned that I will be a spoilsport? It’s just that I almost losing my health working for an entrepreneur and I have made it a duty to encourage people to move to the otherside. It’s no big deal. The main ingredient more than anything is imagination and character!

  2. FAJ

    June 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Dear Tunji, truth be told you have summarized the importance of taking care of our body cum taking care of our mind.

    If your body is in disarray, your mind can’t function, hence your “business”, “work”, suffers because your mind -which is very powerful- cannot comprehend great, earth shaking,God-given ideas!!!

    For one who lives in Lagos, it’s almost hard to find time, the available time one wants to use it to rest (if it’s even possible) and then, the available gyms are too far, or too expensive to maintain membership, having a personal exercise trainer is another seemingly pocket draining attempt. The one who decides to jog or take long walks after a few days, gets discouraged…..

    So how can i the entrepreneur do this and maintain…like you do?

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