In the race to win new deals, retain existing customers, beat your competition, increase your ROI…why should you stop to take care of your health?
In Steve Jobs’ case, he paid less attention to his most powerful asset – his health. And we know what happened. Walter Isaacson tells us in his book “Steve Jobs” how the Apple founder used to stay late working at Apple and fasting and eating less.
The doctors believed that his immune system was weakened because of his poor eating habit. “In the spring of 2008,” writes Isaacson. “Jobs’ cancer returned because, he insisted on his peculiar diet of certain fruits and vegetables. He lost over forty pounds while his family watched in dismay.”
Building a business empire shouldn’t cost you your life. Just imagine how awful it would be to build a great company, only to die shortly because you forgot to take care of your health.
Here are three reasons why you should take care of your precious health (even if you’re the CEO of a multi-million-dollar company).
Your energy powers your business
You might think that all you need to do more is working long hours without interruptions. But that’s not the case.
When we work longer, without taking breaks to relax, our energy levels drop. We’ll enter into what experts called “ultradian rhythms,” a 90 to 120 minutes cycles during which our energy levels deplete and we fall into a state of “physiological trough” – physical restlessness, yawning, hungry, etc.
And when that happens, our work slows down. Why? Because we’re tired and have difficulty concentrating on doing what matters. The sad reality is that, most entrepreneurs don’t care when they are in a state of the physiological trough. Thus harming their health.
The right thing to do is to try to manage your energy.
- Instead of working long hours, you take breaks to regain your energy
- Instead of sleeping less, you sleep more to stay focused
- Instead of sitting all night by your computer, you should spend at least 30 minutes to walk, jog, or do some pushups
You need more energy to work more. Your energy levels not only boost your productivity, they also help power your business.
Your diet is important for your productivity
Busy entrepreneurs don’t care about healthy diet. A CEO from Ikeja can eat a KFC meal throughout the day. A co-founder in New York can survive with pizza for months. An employee in Bali can feed on a local fast food chain for their entire working days.
However, junk foods are not good for our health. A study by the United Nations’ International Labour Office found that inadequate nutrition affects worker productivity, physical work capacity, and performance.
Entrepreneurs need to be conscious of proper nutrition and good diets to not only get the energy level needed to perform at their best but to also to reduce spending much on health care and sick days.
You can pack healthy lunches to your office or order some fruits and veggies from a local vendor across your building. Do anything you can to eat healthy meals because, baby, your health is your wealth.
Your health is your wealth
When I started freelancing, I used to work for about 16 hours a day, writing, researching, and reading content marketing ideas. I was so obsessed with my business, not minding my health.
One day, my client-turn-friend Stephen emailed me, after he had paid me for a contract job. “How did you spend your money?” he asked. “I invested them on Internet data,” I replied. His next email was an eye opener to me. Mr. Stephen urged me to “invest in your health and lifestyle,” he said. “Eat a lot of fish, oranges, and grapes,” he advised me. “Your health is your wealth.”
I took his word to heart since then.
- If you have health deficit, there’s no way you can enjoy all the money that your company is pumping.
- If you’re not healthy, you can’t get the time to think long and deep to innovate and beat your competition.
- If you’re ill, you can’t even show up in your office and turn things around.
Beyond this, you also need to look good in your suit as an executive. That’s a sign of good health and well-being. Exercise helps you look fit. Good vitamin C creams and lotions beautify your skin. Designer perfumes make your personality more powerful and charming.
So, start investing in your most important assets—your health—before it’s too late. Take time off from work to relax and recharge. Sleep for at least 7 hours a day. Eat good diets and nutritious foods. Go for a walk, swim, or do some yoga to regain your energy and stay alert.
That’s the only way to survive as an entrepreneur. You build yourself first (by taking care of your health). Then build your business.
Photo Credit: Darren Baker | Dreamstime