Some of the most inspirational people to me are entrepreneurs. Their focus, determination, tenacity, and a willingness to believe in themselves and their dream is something we can all learn from.
I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs over my lifetime and have found that besides all of these amazing qualities, they share one that’s not so great. It’s sad to witness and all too common, but many of these inspirational business owners fail to focus on their health.
The common complaint and misconception is that they simply don’t have the time. All of their energy is spent on building their company. There simply doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to focus on healthy eating, exercise, or any other component of a healthy lifestyle.
Because I find these folks so inspirational—and if you are an entrepreneur, I tip my hat to you!—I wanted to create the ultimate guide to a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to promote an ideal: the healthy entrepreneur, or, if you’re social media savvy, the #healthyentrepreneur.
My hope is that entrepreneurs who read this will find the inspiration and motivation they need to be the healthiest, most awesome version of themselves. By implementing just a few changes each day, you will be healthier, happier and have more energy to make your business in the amazing entity you know it can be.
Step #1 to being a Healthy Entrepreneur: Start Your Day off Right
The most important thing you can do for yourself is get a great start to your day. There are 3 steps to my daily morning routine.
1. Lemon Water: Start your day with a cup of warm lemon water. All you need to do is warm a cup of water and add the juice of half a lemon. I recently posted a blog about the importance of this healthy morning drink, but here is a re-cap of the benefits:
- It gets your lymph flowing by keeping you hydrated. And, when your lymph is functioning well, your immune system is stronger and you have more energy.
- It balances your electrolytes by providing potassium, calcium and magnesium.
- It cleanses your liver, which is your cleansing organ. Better cleansing means less chance of disease.
- It improves digestion.
2. Exercise: If you want to get your motor running, exercise in the morning. I promise you, you will have more energy throughout the day and more brain power. Two very important components to an entrepreneur’s success, don’t you think? I thought you would agree with me!
Just in case my word isn’t enough, this article by Ciara Conlon, an entrepreneur and Productivity Coach, will prove my point. In the article, Conlon explains that a morning workout never appealed to her because she’s not a morning person. I think a lot of people can relate to that. However, Conlon now looks forward to her morning workout because it gives her more energy throughout the day, reduces her stress, and improves creativity and productivity.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: Starting your day off right will give you the energy and brain power you need to make the most of your day at the office.
A Little Bit More on the Importance of Working Out
We already know that exercising in the morning is a valuable part of becoming a healthy entrepreneur, but why is exercise in general so important? Let’s take a moment to review why exercise is beneficial to everyone.
- Lose weight
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Increase energy
- Improve brain power
- Reduce stress
- Sleep better!
Most of us are aware of the benefits of exercise, but we still don’t do it. And, while time is the #1 excuse for not working out, the fact is that, even if we had all the time in the world, exercise would still be difficult. Why?
Exercise isn’t always comfortable because of muscle soreness. To make matters worse, exercising can feel incredibly awkward. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know the steps – it’s so frustrating and embarrassing, especially if you’re surrounded by a bunch of people.
Gyms are your one-stop-shop for all things exercise related, from personal trainers to classes to all of the exercise equipment you could ever imagine. The problem, though, is that there are other people who have been exercising for a long time and it feels like you’re surrounded by experts. This is a recipe for embarrassment.
Here’s the thing: you will get better, and the people around you were beginners at one time, too. Try to approach exercise the way you approach your business. Be willing to learn, focus on getting better and never, ever give up.
Entrepreneur Josh Steimle wrote an article about why he prioritizes his workouts, even ahead of his business. He says, “Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.”
While it won’t feel like it at first, eventually you will get better. And, as a goal-oriented person, setting exercise goals can empower you to go after business goals. So, even if you feel stupid in the gym, take heart – you will figure it out.
To get started, write down why you want to exercise, what you hope to achieve. Make it as personal as possible. The more specific you are, the better vision you will have regarding why you want to be a healthy entrepreneur. That kind of vision will give you purpose, and drive you to get up early and head to the gym.
Tip: Make sure you workout for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week to see the best benefits.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: Exercise contributes to weight loss, cardiovascular health, more energy and better sleep. By staying healthy you get to spend more time doing the work you love and less time sick in bed.
3. Meditation: After you enjoy your morning exercise, take about 10-20 minutes to sit in silence. Should you meditate after you exercise? Definitely!
According to MindBodyGreen.com, meditation can raise testosterone levels, meaning you’ll have more energy and strength to complete your morning workout. And, the deep relaxation you experience activates the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in more energy even if you woke up tired.
Meditation can be hard if you’re just starting out. The mind tends to wander and that can be incredibly frustrating! Thankfully, some apps have been created to help people with their morning meditation routine.
- Headspace: This app teaches you the basics of meditation in just 10 minutes. What a no-brainer!
- Calm: Mindfulness is important in every aspect of your life. It helps you to reduce stress, think more creatively and gain energy. The calm app teaches you how to meditate with a focus on mindfulness.
What to Eat After Your Morning Workout
Note: If you deal with blood sugar issues, have a snack before you workout so you don’t pass out or get sick.
Ok, so you’ve started your day off right so far. Don’t give up now. It’s time to figure out what you’re going to have for breakfast. Here’s a quick Go-To Breakfast Guide:
1. Eat real foods. Please, please, please eat real foods: organic, non-GMO, non-processed foods. Eating real foods reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides and processing chemicals. Chemicals can cause a ton of health problems, including allergies, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A lot of people think eating real foods is too expensive, but this guide from HealthGuide.org will show you how affordable it can be. Besides all of the health benefits, this guide explains where to shop for organic, real foods and how to find affordable food.
2. Make a green smoothie. Ok, you knew I was going to mention this, didn’t you? Of course I was! Green smoothies are an awesome way to get your greens each day. Yep – I said it: every day.
A daily green smoothie allows you to consume more greens, and is easier than trying to chew your way to your goal. Because the greens are so concentrated, it’s like getting a shot of vital vitamins and minerals into your system.
Green smoothies don’t have to be complicated or taste disgusting. There are a ton of recipe blogs online that show you the step-by-step process and provide some delicious recipes. Why not try the Tropical Mango-Rita Green Smoothie, or the Post-Workout Green Smoothie?
3. Drink some water. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of illness and exhaustion. Your warm lemon water shouldn’t be the only form of water you drink during the day. Sorry Starbucks lovers but coffee doesn’t count.
I know, I know – coffee is way more exciting than water, but there are some ways to add some pizzazz to your water. First of all, drink filtered water. That will definitely taste better than tap water. Second, add some fruit to your water.
Infusion is totally easy and can lead to some very tasty water. Try strawberries, citrus fruits, mint leaves, peaches, or blueberries. Fill a pitcher up with filtered water, add your fruit and/or mint, and then leave in the refrigerator overnight. Believe me – you will have some awesome water the next day!
To figure out how much water you should drink each day, check out this calculator from Bodybuilding.com.
4. Eat mindfully. To eat a truly healthy diet, you have to actually know what you’re eating. In other words – you need to become an ingredient detective, the Sherlock Holmes of reading food labels.
How can you do this? You’ll want to start off by developing your deduction skills. Look online to find out which ingredients to stay far away from and why. Knowing the “why” is crucial, providing the impetus necessary to change your eating habits.
I recently posted about some of the most toxic food ingredients, plus there is a multitude of in-depth blog posts and articles that will give you more information.
What should you eat instead? Whole, nutrient-dense, all-natural foods are best: organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. When buying packaged foods, make sure they’re non-GMO, organic and that the ingredients list is short – the shorter the better. Fewer ingredients mean more food, less chemicals.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: Healthful eating is yet one more way to start your day off right! It will give you more energy to power through your busy day.
Diet and Exercise Aren’t Enough: Spending Time on Personal Development
Eating healthful foods and exercising 5 days a week are wonderful ways to become a healthy entrepreneur, but they’re not enough. To enjoy a truly healthy lifestyle, you need to focus on your mental and emotional health. In other words: personal development.
Your outlook on life has an immense impact on your health and your relationships with others. As Kris Carr says in the documentary Hungry for Change, it’s not just what you eat, “it’s what’s eating you” that we all need to work on.
But what if you don’t have time? Make it! Yes, personal development is that important to a healthy lifestyle. Motivational speaker and entrepreneur John Earl Shoaff said, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
As an entrepreneur, your #1 goal is to achieve success, whatever that means to you. But, in order to achieve that, you need to be the best person you can be. When you work on your personal development, you will improve your confidence, become more motivated and be in a better position emotionally to inspire your employees and customers.
To help you succeed, there are a number of books, blogs, online courses and podcasts that focus on personal development. Here are some of my top picks:
1. The Greatness Guide, by Robin Sharma
“A problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem.”
2. The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss
“Life is too short to be small.”
3. A New Earth, by Eckart Tolle
“Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
“Skills are cheap. Passion is priceless.”
2. Lewis Howes
“There’s one thing that makes all the difference between failures that hold people back and the failures that push people forward. And that’s hope.”
3. Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income
“It’s really easy for work-related things to get out of hand, making us forget sometimes why we’re really working in the first place.”
1. NeilPatel.com - Some of the best digital marketing tips out there.
2. DanMartell.com - One heck of an entrepreneur who has experienced a ton.
3. Greatist.com - Everything you need & more about health. Well plus, Eat Greens Every Day.
1. Lynda.com - Learn software, creative & business skills to achieve your goals.
2. Udemy.com - Another online learning and teaching marketplace with over 40000 courses.
3. Coach.Me - A coach that goes everywhere with you, helping you achieve any goal, form any habit, or build any expertise.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: Personal development helps you become the best version of yourself. You learn how to view yourself and others in a healthier life. This will give you a boost of confidence to pursue your business goals and help you become a better boss.
Digital Detox: Take a Break from Digital Media
People in general these days are connected to some sort of device throughout the day. Entrepreneurs, however, are even more so – and not just during the day, but at night too. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think technology is great. Living life and running a business without it seems almost impossible. But, I also think we need to break away from technology occasionally. In fact, I think it is better for our health to do so. And I’m not the only one.
Have you ever heard of digital detox? This is the act of unplugging from all technology for a specified period of time. Some people find they need to unplug multiple times each day, while others take a full day a week off from their devises.
Why do we need to detox? For one thing, social media has been shown to affect people in interesting, non-healthful ways. In some people it promotes narcissism, while in others it leads to depression. Texting, tweeting and instant messaging are adversely affecting us too. More people have shorter attention spans, have difficulty carrying on a complex conversation, and have a hard time showing empathy.
Another problem with being plugged in is that the light from the screen on smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers can mess with our brain. According to The National Sleep Foundation, these devices trick our brains into thinking its daytime. The result: insomnia.
If you can do it, try unplugging from your phone, tablet and computer a few times throughout the day. Take 10-20 minutes each time and go for a walk or do some stretches. At the very least, get off all of your devices, including your TV, an hour before going to bed. Read a book, drink some tea and spend some time meditating. It’s a great way to end your day and promote sleep.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: As entrepreneurs, we need our sleep! We also need to know how to carry on a conversation and de-stress. Unplugging multiple times per day or throughout the week will help you accomplish this.
We All Need To Get More Sleep!
We’ve heard for years that we need 8 hours of sleep each night. That opinion has recently changed. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, experts have done studies which show that the ideal amount of sleep is 7 hours each night. One of the professors conducting the study said that the mortality and morbidity rate was lowest amongst people who slept for 7 hours per night.
As an entrepreneur you may be thinking that 7 hours is not an option. There are many business owners who routinely get 3-4 hours of sleep each night. This is not contributing to the success of their business. In an article on Entrepreneur.com, successful entrepreneurs listed getting sufficient sleep as one of the top 5 things they do that has led to their success.
One of the things I do to get enough sleep is to go to bed at the same time each night. Doing this trains my body and mind to start relaxing and getting ready to shut down for the night. Try to start getting ready to go to sleep 30-60 minutes before your intended time. Meditation is relaxing and will help you let go of the stresses of the day so you can actually fall asleep quickly.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: More sleep, better sleep = success! ‘Nuff said.
Hold Yourself Accountable As a Healthy Entrepreneur
I totally get how busy you are as a business owner, but sometimes we can be a little too easy on ourselves when it comes to our health and wellness. We use excuse after excuse. “I’m too busy.” “I have to focus on my business.” “My business has to come first or I won’t succeed.”
To all of these I say: bull. And I’m calling myself out on this too. We all use these excuses because we believe them to be true.
But, now that we know that having a healthy mind, body and spirit is vital to a happy life and to success in business, we have to hold ourselves accountable. Remember that taking a break from your business to care for yourself just feels counter-productive. In reality, it is the best way to achieve success.
Wellness Hack: Write your wellness goals down. Add yourself to your calendar – your workout times, your digital detox times, even your “shutting down for the day” time. Make yourself a priority. If you need some help, get an accountability partner. This could be a workout partner or a wellness coach. Knowing someone is counting on you will motivate you to stick to your goals.
Why This Is So Important For Entrepreneurs: To achieve success we have to put ourselves ahead of our business.
Living the Life of Your Dreams as a Healthy Entrepreneur
I know I’ve said it repeatedly, but I’m going to say it one more time: pursuing a healthy lifestyle = success in business. You love what you do; otherwise you wouldn’t spend so much time and effort to make your business grow. If you want to keep doing what you love for years to come, please focus on your health and wellness. You are in control: give yourself permission to be a healthy entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, what steps do you take to achieve your best health? Do you feel like you could use more support or accountability in making your health and wellness a priority? If so, let me know. Join the conversation by commenting below or on Facebook, or by sending me a private message on Facebook.