Healthy You, Healthy Business – Part 3

In Part 1 of this article, we took a brief glimpse into the Myth of American Entrepreneurship and saw some of the reasons why it’s vitally important for business owners to pursue holistic self-care. In Part 2, I provided a personal story from my own journey that taught me how important being the healthiest version of myself was to the success of my business. You can find these articles here and here.

Today, I’ll equip you with some simple, practical applications for self-care that have been provided by Dr. Jerome D Lubbe, a functional neurologist practicing in Atlanta.

Importance of good health for business owner

Before we get to the practical applications, it’s important to note what Dr. Lubbe says is the difference between “self-help” and “self-care”. Generally, self-help refers to a short-term solution to seemingly simple problems, and usually adherents are looking for other people to resource them to quickly correct problems. Self-care, on the other hand, needs a lifetime of self-awareness and is understanding that most issues are part of a larger picture. It’s a marathon of steady improvement. It’s important to realize that we can become healthier versions of ourselves, but realistically, we are looking at 3-5% improvement every year, and not a simple 60 day turn around. But if you were told that your business’ health/prosperity would grow 3-5% every year, wouldn’t that be something you wanted to invest in? How much more so should we make this investment in our own health?

6 Simple Ways to Becoming a Healthier You –

  1. Sleep – According to Dr. Lubbe, 100% of the patients he sees would see a 50% or more improvement of most of their symptoms if they simply got a full night’s rest for a month straight. You should be getting in between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night, and it is preferred that your sleep schedule parallels the sun going down and coming up. It’s much healthier to sleep from 10pm to 530am than it is from midnight to 730am.
  2. Water – Drinking a healthy amount of water in a day is key to promoting health. Generally, you should be drinking about half your bodyweight in water each day (in ounces). So, if you weigh 180 lbs, you should be drinking at least 90 ounces of water in a day. Alcohol and coffee don’t count.
  3. Movement – It’s important to maintain regular movement each day. 15 -17,000 steps is ideal, but unfortunately that’s not possible for everyone’s schedule. Dr. Lubbe recommends that you make it a priority to walk at least 1,000 steps per day. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise. Just and fitness for business owners
  4. Rest – Dr. Lubbe says that “rest is not a time to USE fuel, but to REfuel.” Ideally, we have 30-60 minutes of intentional downtime each day. No phones, no emails. Just rest. If you are unable to find that time in your schedule, try and take periodic 5 minute breaks where you allow your mind to go to a restful place and disconnect from the busyness around you.
  5. Nutrition – According to Dr. Lubbe, it’s healthy to eat 3 meals a day – with the biggest meal being lunch and the smallest being dinner – while having small, healthy snacks in between to keep your metabolism going. Don’t work through the day and forget to eat. Your mind and your body will be more productive if you provide them with the fuel they need.
  6. Breathing – Try regulating your breathing. Often when we are on the verge of burnout or exhaustion, our breathing becomes shallow. Try taking intentional breaths to restore balance. Counting helps. Breathe in for 1, breathe out for 2 (or double that). You will be amazed at how simply controlling your breathing can help fight anxiety and restore focus and clarity.

As you can see, most of these practical strategies are common sense, but it takes intentional and consistent practice to implement them. Pick out two of the strategies above, and try implementing them consistently for the next 30 days. See if you notice improvements in your overall physical, mental, and emotional health – and therefore in your effectiveness as a business owner.

Remember, a healthy you = a healthy business.

AC Brian

Healthy You, Healthy Business – Part 2

A few years ago, I was the Regional Director of South America for a large humanitarian aid organization. In just under 2 years, I grew our network from 25 partners in 8 countries to over 100 in 14 countries. I was on the phone all the time. Networking, responding to emails, covering logistics, putting out fires. I traveled at least 4 months out of the year, and worked countless training sessions. 12 hour days weren’t uncommon.

Healthy business owner means Healthy Business

I was proud of my work and what we were able to accomplish, but about 18 months in, I got to the point where I didn’t want to answer the phone anymore. I was sick of traveling, and I didn’t feel like I had the mental or emotional capacity to maintain relationship with our biggest overseas partners. I had burnt out.

It took me a few months to recover, but I had to make some major changes in my work-life balance. I started taking periodic breaks during the day to go outside and walk around. I got a bicycle desk so I could exercise while working. I started to set boundaries around when I would talk to overseas partners, not responding to phone calls or emails after 7pm (unless it was an emergency, of course). I played ultimate frisbee in the afternoons and made time for intentional dinners with family and friends.

When I left my position 6 months later, I left happy and satisfied – not burnt out like so many of my colleagues. My partner relationships were healthy and my productivity rate was higher than it had ever been. Our bottom line was solid and we were thriving. By taking care of myself, I had set my business and our clients up for success.

On this journey, I discovered that if I was going to be any good to my business or anyone else, I first had to take care of myself. A healthier me meant a healthier business.

business owner Health

In the next part of this article, we’ll take a look at some of Dr. Jerome D Lubbe’s practical applications for self-care, and I’ll encourage you to take a hard look at your own work-life balance and decide which areas you can make small improvements in that will make a big difference.

AC Brian