Shredded in the Boardroom, Profitable in the Gym
If you were to start a company today, would your mission statement be to hire terrible employees, ignore accounting budgets and at all costs, refuse to improve? It might be a great PR stunt but odds are your company probably wouldn’t get too far before it crashed and burned.
But what do these very obvious business fundamentals have to do with health?
I like to pontificate that Einstein’s theory of relativity has nothing to do with E’s and squares, but with the fact that everything is relative. (At least it’s what I like to think!) So what I’m getting at is the same rules apply for success in business as they do in health.
Team = Nutrients
Let’s start off with why you wouldn’t hire terrible employees. Everyone knows amazing employees are the cornerstone to every great company. Like our bodies, a company is a living, breathing organism which requires the best nutrients to grow, adapt and prosper. For a business, these nutrients come in the shape of great people. When it comes to our health, nutrients come in the form of food. If we apply the same logic, then in order to flourish, we have to fuel our bodies with the most nourishing food possible in order to get the most out of our brains, bodies and our days. Pizza, beer and pop tarts just won’t cut it if you want your body to be profitable!
But that doesn’t mean saying bye to fun stuff, I like to go with the 80/20 rule to keep me sane. 80% of my intake comes from nutrient dense whole foods and the other 20% comes from fun stuff like Oreos and Cap’n Crunch. In a business setting I’d compare it to team members who aren’t the most talented, but you can always count on them to get you through the day!
Accounting = Calorie Tracking
Now to the second point; the importance of an accounting department. Accountants budget to ensure companies hit their goals and remain profitable while doing so. It’s the only way they can reinvest, evolve and reach their potential. Our bodies are the same way; if your goal is to lose, maintain or gain weight then the exact same budgeting principles apply, but instead of dollars, it’s calories. If your company didn’t have a budget and just hoped for the best, you’d run the risk of spending too much, or worse, spending too little. When it comes to our bodies, it’s the same story; if your goal was to lose weight and you haven’t been tracking your intake, then you’re running blind. You’re probably discouraged with your slow or complete lack of progress, and you might just give up.
I learnt this lesson the hard way in business, it took me a while to figure out that sales growth didn’t necessarily mean profitability. (We now have lots of budgeting meetings!) But when it comes to tracking my food, I use a great app called myfitnesspal. A couple of weeks of tracking will teach you so much and help you reach your goals much quicker. And you’d be surprised at how much fun stuff you can fit in your food budget when you know what’s going on!
R&D = Non-Stop Learning
And finally; evolution. A great business usually starts with a novel idea, a revolutionary piece of technology or a new twist on an old classic. But that’s not enough. Whatever the angle, if proven successful it won’t be long before they’re hot on your tail trying to grab a piece of your pie. So you can play defense, patent your idea and spend your time suing people, or you can make evolution your top priority. The faster you learn, adapt and improve, the further ahead of the game you’ll be. Same goes for us, the day we choose to stop learning is the day all hope is gone.
But we don’t have competitors chasing us per se, or do we? We’re actually competing against ourselves, and without continuous self-reflection, learning and trial we risk getting stuck in a time warp. Just like the movie “Groundhog Day”, it’s eat, sleep repeat unless we throw something new into the mix. To quote Einstein, again, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
We live in a time where information is so accessible. We have the ability to Google anything we’re curious about, or find a class about it; follow the advice of our favorite YouTuber or even read a book they may have recommended. And the real magic is that we have the freedom to go out and try things in real-time! I don’t think the last couple of years would’ve been the same if I hadn’t had this wonderful world of information at my fingertips.
When I began my transition towards a healthier lifestyle, I realized the exact same principles applied to what I was doing with my company. The right fuel, proper measurement and constant education made my health and my business improve, and sustainably. Unlike a fad diet where an instant 20-lbs drop is unfortunately followed up by a 40-lbs explosion, these fundamental principles take time and discipline to get in motion, but once you get the ball rolling, things get a little better, every day, forever.
And ain’t that a beauty!
Now that I think about it, back when I had a much sloppier lifestyle, the business was running a lot sloppier too. And now that I’m much healthier, so is my business and overall decision-making. Is the winning formula the same for business and health? Does state of mind reflect the world we create around us?
Cue X-Files theme song.