From my May 2018 column for The Kitsap Sun / Kitsap Business Journal…
Being an entrepreneur requires a “warrior mentality.” As CEO or President, being the “boss” means you fall under this definition of entrepreneur, so pay attention to my next statement.
If you don’t follow my Weedin Warrior Mentality Code, your business could maim you for life, or simply kill you prematurely.
Being a business owner is demanding. While it’s an aspiration to take on this challenge to build a legacy and create wealth, it’s only a good thing if they are around to enjoy the rewards.
I’ve compared being an entrepreneur to being an athlete. While an athlete trains both body and mind, all too often entrepreneurs do neither. The consequences are severe to the health of the owner and the business. In this 3-part series, we will explore ideas and concepts on how to create your own “warrior mentality” to not only accelerate business growth, but also enhance your own health and lifestyle.
The concepts will be broken out into three categories: Personal Health, The ROI of YOU, and Company Culture. In this column, we will tackle Personal Health…
Entrepreneurs and executives are driven. They work long hours, take financial risks, and care deeply about clients, employees, and legacy. Some of the stress that comes with the job is self-inflicted, yet much is still out of their control. If they aren’t mentally, physically, and spiritually fit, the ramifications are dangerous.
Mental Warriors: Mental warriors invest time in attitude and knowledge. Listed below are my best practices on how to become more mentally fit to deal with the stresses of being the boss:
- Invest your time and money in learning. This means both professional and personal development. The opportunity to improve how one thinks through videos, books, podcasts, and more has never been greater. Taking 10 minutes a day to learn something new leads to better creativity and innovation.
- Hire a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches, often several. If an entrepreneur thinks that he or she doesn’t need a coach because they’re long on experience and don’t need anyone challenging them, then they are making a grave mistake. Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and countless other world-class athletes enjoyed greater success and longevity because they hired coaches. From a mental standpoint, being able to discuss critical issues and gain outside perspective keeps one from “breathing their own exhaust.” It’s also freeing and creates a stronger level of confidence in decision-making.
- Improve mental toughness. Mental toughness is that innate ability to respond and be resilient to adversity. Being mentally tough is not easy; it takes discipline, practice and perspective. To grow your mental toughness, dedicate yourself to the first two practices above!
Physical Warriors: This is the area that I see that is least valued by entrepreneurs. Athletes and soldiers must be physically fit to compete and fight. Entrepreneurs compete and fight daily, too. Check out these best practices to improve your fitness level:
- Diet is everything. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Sugar is more addictive than any illegal or legal drug, and maybe more harmful. Carbohydrates in excess will increase weight and dull brain power. What you eat will exacerbate how you deal with stress both good and bad. The best thing I ever did to improve my overall health and capacity to run a business was to change what and how I ate. It will be the same for you.
- Exercise. You don’t have to exercise like a professional athlete, but you do need to move. Invest time in 30 minutes of exercise a day: walk, swim, bicycle, yoga, golf, or box. In order to best deal with mental stress, you must change the brain chemicals through physical exertion.
- Accountability. If you’re going to really improve, then find someone who will hold your feet to the fire. It must be someone that won’t let you slide, and that you respect. Accountability partners work the best.
Spiritual Warriors: This isn’t a faith-based issue; although for many of you it might include it. Here’s what I mean for the purposes of this exercise: what are the things that bring tranquility to your spirit?
- Create habits that bring peace of mind and spirit. It’s comfort food for the inner workings of your mind. For me, a good cigar and a complimentary libation once a month is good for the rejuvenation of my spirit! For others it might be a form of exercise (walk in the park), spending time with grandchildren, or reading a good mystery novel. When these become habitual, they become part of your “therapy.”
- Be quiet. This is hard for me, but I’ve created a discipline about finding quiet time. I’ve made it fun by allocating time during the day to quietly practice my putting stroke in my exercise room. The getting out of my head to focus quietly on something else is good for the spirit. For others it might be meditation or prayer. Regardless, find that spiritual comfort zone to rejuvenate the all-important spiritual part of you.
- People Power: On the other end of the spectrum, cultivate friendships that also rejuvenate you. Make sure they are outside your professional life. I enjoy spending time with my neighbors (sometimes smoking a cigar with libation in hand) as a tranquil time to simply enjoy life. You can be an introvert and still find companionship and support from people.
Final thought. Find one thing to improve in each area. It’s better to move one thing forward a mile than ten things forward an inch. If you choose just one from each, in 30 days you’ll have achieved great progress.
Next month, we dive into the ROI of YOU. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me with questions and comments about this column.
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