OK, since my last column dealt with corporate America, I think it’s only fair that I dedicate a column to small businesses as well.  Many small business owners find themselves having the same problems as people who work for large corporations.  However, the small business owner has an added challenge in that he is the sole person responsible for his business.  This can cause him to become over worked, over stressed, and distracted from other important things in his life, namely taking care of his body.  One of the points that I want to make in this article is that by making exercise and good health a priority, the small business owner can make his business fly!  In order to make this point clear, I will be discussing the following ideas:

1.Seeing the body and mind as one.

2.Intentional exercise.

3.Benefits of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

4.Time efficiency.

5.A healthy body equals a healthy business!

Seeing the body and mind as one:  Starting your own business takes a great deal of mental focus and determination.  Trust me; I know first hand.  However, it can also be a lot to handle, especially for those who allow themselves to become stressed out by their work.  There is an added pressure in owning your own business in that you have to do all of your own marketing in order to make your business successful.  I have trained several small business owners in the past years and nearly all of them started out with a constant fear of losing that business.  However, after embarking on a consistent workout program, their attitudes seemed to change.  I saw them becoming more confident, more focused, more successful.  Why?  Because by training their bodies they were also training their minds.  Their entire attitude and focus seemed to shift and became more positive and creative.

When someone starts a consistent exercise program, there are always physical results to be seen.  What’s not often talked about are the mental and emotional benefits that come along with it as well.  By exercising regularly, the body releases “feel good” hormones which allow us to feel more energetic, more alert, and more confident.  Plus, as we start to see physical results as a part of exercise, our confidence increases even more.  Who doesn’t like to look good?  When we look good, we feel good; and that will show through to anyone who is potentially interested in investing in a small business.  People respond to confidence because they want to know that what they are buying is coming from a confident and reliable source.

Intentional exercise.  OK, I’m quoting Dr. Phil here.  But I think he has an excellent point when he talks about intentional exercise.  The reason I like the word “intentional” is because not everyone is ready to embark on an exercise program.  In order for the program to be successful, the person needs to be mentally and emotionally ready for the hard work that lies ahead, or chances are they will not stick to the program.  What I have found is that many small business owners are already in a good mental place when they first open their business.  However, due to pressures of the business, they sometimes tend to “forget” why they started that business in the first place and become consumed by the pressures of it.  I have found that exercise has “reminded” them of why they started in the first place because it puts the focus back on themselves:  on their bodies and minds.  Therefore, exercise has to be intentional.  It shouldn’t be done out of the feeling of necessity, but rather out of the feeling of desire- the desire to be more healthy, more fit, and more successful.  People who start exercising for other reasons sometimes fail to see results or even stop exercising because they were not willing to give it their all.  If you’re not ready, don’t start.  But if you are, make exercise an intentional part of your day.  I have seen this way of thinking boost many small businesses- no lies!

Benefits of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.  This is something that I have talked about constantly in many of my articles.  I’m not going to blow it out of proportion again now, but just as a reminder here are a few benefits to be aware of:

a.Decreased body fat.

b.Increased strength.

c.Muscle toning and hypertrophy.

d.Increased aerobic endurance.

e.Increased energy.

f.Improved confidence.

Those last two are really what all the others lead up to.  Energy and confidence are two key components to building a successful small business.  The small business owners that I have trained have been some of the most ambitious and creative clients that I have had.  I saw first hand how incorporating exercise into their lives made them even more focused and driven.

Time efficiency. Oh yes, it’s something we all struggle with, myself included- lack of time!  In my last column I wrote about the importance of time management and I’m going to talk about it again now because it is so important and necessary to understand.  There is not enough time in the day; that’s the simple truth.  We all have busy lives and for many, the idea of incorporating exercise into their daily lives seems impossible because there is simply not enough time.  Rubbish!  I think that it is possible for all of us to incorporate exercise into our busy lives.  Some of us may be able to exercise more than others, but even 20 minutes of exercise three times a week has shown to derive great health benefits.  Now, who doesn’t have time for 20 minutes a week?  And if you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.

Time management is possible, and I find it helps to put everything in writing.  By scheduling intentional exercise into our daily lives and staying committed to that schedule it becomes a natural part of our day.  For some it will mean getting up earlier in the morning to exercise and working a little later; for others it might mean exercising after work.  It is possible if you want it to be!  Small business owners have an advantage here because many times they have more freedom in their schedule.  However, I have seen some small business owners not want to leave their establishment because they feel such a strong responsibility to be there as often as they possibly can on the chance that business might be coming in.   My response to that is this:  if someone is truly interested in your business, they will come back!  Also, many small business owners have people who work for them.  It’s perfectly OK to let your employees handle the business for a couple of hours while you take your own time to exercise.  Trust them.  After all, you hired them, right?

A healthy body equals a healthy business!  This is the point that I have been trying to make in this entire article.  It is no coincidence that many successful business owners are people who take care of themselves both physically and mentally.  By incorporating exercise into our daily lives, we are training both our bodies and our minds.  This in turn allows us to thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially!  What’s not to like?

Attention to all you small business owners!  Are you up for a challenge? For the month of October, I will be offering 20% off my 10 session personal training package.  If you are a small business owner and are available between the hours of 7am and 5pm Monday through Friday, and want to get the ball rolling on a consistent exercise program, feel free to contact me through my website, www.FitProPT.com.  And for everybody else, I have resumed training at Quads Gym, located at 3727 N. Broadway.  I hope to see some of you there!