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 these 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:
- IT 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 antibodiesand 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.
- REDUCE 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 unable you are to make really good, rational business decisions.
- IT HELPS MY NETWORKING: 2 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, whom 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!