I was looking in the mirror trying to see the new scar on my back. Trying to turn my head so I could see where it is just under my shoulder blade. (Cirque de Soleil would be proud of me!) It still hurts from the surgery last week, but now I’m getting curious about the healing process… so I twisted and turned…
And then it hit me… for years I’ve been focusing on wealth and happiness but mostly ignored my health. Not ignored… I took it for granted.
Yes I admit, I was super healthy (on the outside) and fit so there was no direct reason to focus a lot on my health… much better to spend that time on my business and making some money.
Little did I know that I was ignoring all the signals that my body was sending out, until I couldn’t ignore it anymore and stopped to listen. I wrote about that here.
What do you value?
Looking around this seems to be true for most people. We obsess about money and being happy, but take our health for granted. If anything, the past 6 months have taught me that without your health you struggle to be happy and make money. Sure, there are happy and sick people… and there are also very wealthy sick people around… there are always exceptions to the rule.
I just found it very difficult to focus on the business while I recovered from major surgery and taking a lot of pain killers.
Of course other people jumped in to help. The team has been amazing (extra bonus points for my husband who not only did most of my work, but also kept the family going, including the horses, dog and chickens).
But still… the business suffered from the loss of attention. Things went on auto pilot – we didn’t have as much client contact as we normally do and that shows. That’s why I’m writing this: I don’t want you to be in a scenario where both you and your business are sick at the same time. When you’ve been out of action for a few months you realise how important it is to have processes and automation in place to keep the business rolling.
And while we have solid processes and automation, there was one thing missing… the checks and balances… keeping the finger on the pulse of the business. What about quality control? What about client or supplier relationships? That can’t be automated so you need a solid process in place for when you can’t do it.
If my experience is anything to go by, a major surgery or illness appears out of nowhere. You don’t have a lot of time to prepare so you need to be able to activate your playbook that you created earlier when everything was going well. Just like with a will and testament you need to be serious about how to run your business without you being present (both physically and mentally).
What you don’t learn at Business School
Over the course of 18 years I have attended many business courses and training programs. From 1 days workshops to a 3-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT.
Looking back, in none of my entrepreneurial classes, courses and workshops has there been any focus on nutrition and health. We learn how to run a business. How to work towards a minimum of 10% net profit and how to manage resources. But what about the management of your most precious resource.. your own body?
As business owner or entrepreneur (heck even as a professional) we run hectic and stressful lives. We need to learn how to manage this stress level and understand what stress does with our body. We need to know how to help our bodies to be healthy and fit to support us on our endeavours or wealth and happiness.
Do you schedule exercise every day? Do you meditate or do some form of mindfulness activity? How often do you actively stop and think about the things you are grateful for?
This is what I would have liked to see at business school… all supported by solid research and evidence on why it is important (as we entrepreneurs tend to be super critical unless the evidence is laid out in front of us and can’t be ignored).
You are what you eat
And while we’re talking about lessons for business people…. what about nutrition? Do you know what your body needs? Do you understand what your food does to your brain cells and how it impacts your stamina and concentration?
It’s no secret that as a result of my tumour surgery I started researching nutritional impact on the body. As a result of that I switched to a mostly plant based whole food diet. This will be a challenge for business lunches and breakfast meetings, I am aware of that. But I learned that the effect of processed food and meat/dairy on my body results in me ending in hospital. And I rather do the breakfast meetings and business lunches 😉
I feel healthy, the oncologist told me the last test results were pristine and my brain fog has lifted. Now I just need to wait for the scars to heal from last week’s surgery and I’m back in business.
Healthier than ever before!
Many people wish for health, wealth and happiness in their life. Time to start learning what that means for you…