Your Wealth Is Nothing Without Your Health
My dad used to say, “Wealth is nothing without your health. You need to make sure that you're looking after your health.” Creating wealth means different things to different people, but for me, besides making money, wealth means that you’re fit, strong and healthy and that you're “wealthy” in terms of your relationships with your family and in every other aspect of your life.
Early on, the focus of an entrepreneur is to be successful, get great results and create wealth. But at some point, it’s important to recognize that while money and wealth enhance the quality of your life, you also want to be around to enjoy what you’ve earned. The healthier you are, the longer you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Every business owner and every entrepreneur needs to recognize that their body is their vehicle and they need to look after that vehicle in order to get their best results. Your health is also your wealth—this should be your mindset.
Even when it doesn't feel like I'm winning, even when it feels like things are going against me, I always have that belief inside me that overall, I'm going to win. I'm going to accomplish the goals I want to accomplish. And if you can come to cultivate that mindset, then you're going to have a lot more success in your life. It’s important to prioritize how you look after yourself, how you look after your body, what you eat and your bad habits.
As a business owner, it’s easy to get consumed with building your business, going after clients and all of the big and small challenges that come along without ever thinking about your health. But at the end of the day, if you’re not healthy, it doesn't matter how much wealth you’ve accumulated.
I’ve identified some key things you can do to ensure that you’re watching out for your health, which, in turn, can help you live a longer and more productive life.
1. See your doctor.
It’s important to have regular checkups with your doctor. A lot of people don't do this, but as a business owner, the lesson that I would share with you is that for many years my dad would ask me, “Adam, are you looking after your health? You look stressed.” I never understood why he asked me that because I felt perfectly fine. In reality, I was very stressed out, but I couldn't see it. When you're inside the picture frame, you can't see the picture. You might not think that you’re stressed, but more often than not, you will find that you are suffering and you need to help yourself alleviate it. Your doctor can help you identify how stress might be presenting itself physically.
2. Consider life insurance.
Imagine what would happen to your business or your family if you and your income were to disappear tomorrow. Life insurance can protect your hard work and help to look after your family if anything were to happen to you. It’s relatively inexpensive, yet can provide a lot of value. In the end, you must remember your why and your purpose—why you're building your business and who you’re doing it for.
Make sure you schedule time in your day for some amount of exercise. We're all busy, but work exercise into your day wherever you can, whether it’s walking your dogs, going to the gym, playing tennis, hiking, swimming or something else. Whatever it is that you like to do, find the time to do it because it can be good for your health. It can help relieve stress and make you feel better mentally and physically. Add an entry for exercise to your calendar so the time is blocked off and you’re reminded that it’s time to get your heart rate up. Even some of the busiest CEOs find time to exercise because they know it’s another form of insurance; if you put in the effort, you’ll likely be rewarded.
4. Talk about what’s causing you stress.
When you internalize stress, it doesn’t go away; it just gets bottled up inside you. I've had many different coaches, one of whom is a therapist, and while I don't see her for therapy, if I feel stressed, we will talk about the reasons why and try to work out solutions. When you talk through your issues, you let go of some of the stress you’re holding. Find someone or multiple people you can trust and who you feel comfortable talking with who aren’t your employees or your family. If you don’t have someone in your life like this, then consider talking with a therapist—someone who will listen to your issues and help you resolve them.
5. Take control of your vices.
If you turn to alcohol, drugs or tobacco when times are tough, see if you can find something else to replace those vices with because you must look after yourself mentally, both for yourself and for your family. It's easy to find information on the internet that will help you, whether it’s a chat group, counseling or ideas of things that have worked for other people. Not dealing with these addictions can severely affect your relationships with your family and loved ones. Make sure that the time you spend with your family isn’t marred by your bad habits and make sure you're always present when you’re with them.
Look for something that isn't good for your health, then show your brain that you have the discipline to make decisions for yourself rather than letting outside forces control you. Write down five small changes that you can make in your life. These can be very small changes, like instead of having pancakes for breakfast, you’ll have a banana. Try to think of five small changes you can make that could add another five or 10 years to your life.
Don’t get so distracted building wealth that you forget to prioritize your health. Take action immediately and get started today.