Weight loss and business lessons

Today I’m celebrating my two year anniversary of having lost 30 pounds.  I learned a lot during my weight loss journey.  Mostly I learned it’s about common sense prevailing over wishful thinking, reducing the power I have to delude myself and accepting some givens without excuses.

I also learned about applying the journey to the world of business.

But first, loosing weight and getting healthy is about some givens.  Facts. Things we can’t change, though we’d like to.

We can fool ourselves for a mighty long time with cockeyed ways of looking at it; ‘it’s not my fault, it’s in my genes, I have a slow metabolism……’ but no matter how you look at it, it’s about eating less and moving more.

Similarly succeeding in business is also about some givens, that we again, try mighty hard to get around.  I liken it to Stephen Covey’s law of the farm’. The law of the firm states that there are certain immutable truths, that no matter how  hard we try to delude ourselves, we can’t get around them. For example you can’t plant corn and expect, even though we do, tomatoes to grow.

So here, in celebration of two years of carrying around 30 less pounds (hallelujah!), are some other lessons I’ve learned and how they related to business:

1.  Drink water and plenty of it. Similarly hydrate yourself in business through focused attention on strategic things that really matter.  Don’t allow your attention to be watered down by the many unnecessary, trivial things that vie for your consideration.

2. Move your body.  Move it in various ways, frequently and with fun. In business the simple act of getting up from your office chair can increase creativity and innovation.  How often do you sit so long that when you finally get up your legs are stiff?  Change your view, change your focus, get moving, get out, get over it, get into it.

3. Control portion size. It’s not sexy but it’s critical.  Weight loss doesn’t happen without it.  Similarly in business ‘start small and think big’ says J. Reiter, quoted in Tim Ferris’s 4-Hour Workweek. Control your workload, your focus and your vision = a successful business.

4. Pay attention when you’re full (and here’s the law of the farm ….) stop eating.  Simple yet hard to do.  In business have a life that’s not work related.  Workaholics are overrated.  I have a mentor (who is retired but nonetheless) says that he works 24/7 – 24 hours a month, 7 months of the year.  Don’t forget to look up and look out.  A life outside your work will end up informing and influencing your work for the better.

5. Accept the law of the farm AND substitute. I accept that I have not one sweet tooth but many.  That’s not ever going to change.  It’s a law of the farm.  AND I’ve found some pretty nifty substitutions.  Russel Stover sugar free chocolates are a given in my house (carefully stashed so the kids don’t inhale them).  One or 2 of those and I’m good to go. Similarly figure out what you hate to do in business and find a substitute.  I hate writing reports and it was a true epiphany for me when I discovered that there are actually people who truly love writing the suckers.  Enter a wonderful alliance where I now thankfully, gratefully and with huge relief delegate that portion of my business.

Overall it’s about faith.  Faith that you can take the leap and learn how to fly on the way down.  Investing in yourself and your business makes the flight all that more intriguing and adventurous.


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