In the world of business, staying afloat amidst a marketplace full of energetic competitors can be quite a tough prospect at times. No matter how tenacious and hard-working you are, sooner or later you will run out of juice and your concentration power will dimmish and the quality of the decisions you’re making will go down as well. Unless you exercise.
While at first exercising may come across as a waste of energy, working out is one of those magical fix-it-all activities that can massively improve the quality of your life whether you’re a carpenter or you run an IT-type of company. Exercising makes your body physically stronger, more agile, and quicker. Mentally, it helps ward off depression, boredom, sadness, and brain fog.
In this article, we’re going to explain how working out can make you a better entrepreneur. As you will see, businesspeople, in particular, can greatly benefit from picking up a couple of dumbbells now and again or hitting that exercise bike two, three, times a week.
Here’s the deal.
There’s a saying about entrepreneurs that claims something to the effect of ‘an entrepreneur is a person willing to work sixteen hours a day so that they don’t have to work eight’.Truer words have never been spoken. To pull off such a grueling work schedule, however, you will need a lot of energy, which you can procure in different ways. One of the most common crutches of many a working man and woman would certainly be coffee. While having a cup of coffee will keep you up for the workday, coffee doesn’t guarantee a decent mood or a productive mindset, both of which you will need to do your best while at work. This is where exercising comes in.
Even as little as a couple of minutes of exercising every morning can set you off in the right direction when it comes to how your day will play out.Since everyone is in control of their actions, doing a little bit of stretching and a couple of push-ups in the morning will also put you in a go-get-it mood for the rest of the day, so you won’t likely catch yourself complaining and lamenting over your destiny if something goes awry with the printing paper delivery that was supposed to be in this morning.
Speaking of the devil, unless you have the patience of a saint, you’re probably going to visualize doing violent things to that paper delivery guy, because you need the supplies he was supposed to deliver right now. That’s the thing with passion in the workplace – it can go both ways. Stressful situations are commonplace in the workplace, especially if you’re the boss and everyone’s looking at you for solutions. This is why having a valve to let the pressure out regularly is so important for your mental health.
The thing is, if your body is not where it’s supposed to be in terms of fitness, you will probably feel more sluggish while at work when everything’s normal. Imagine, then, the stress you would feel when something extraordinary and negative happens. When you’re fit physically, you start regarding problems more as challenges than God’s way of torturing you. So, instead of crying ‘why me?’ to the heavens every time the Internet is slow, or the government is about to introduce a tough new tax law, you can brave the new challenges head-on and resolve them before they can turn into a big thing.
While creativity is typically not seen as a category connected to physical fitness, exercising will certainly boost your creativity, if you keep doing it regularly. The thing about exercising is that your body releases serotonin and dopamine, both of which are responsible for elevating your mood and making you think in a more plucky, creative way. Also, there is another, more immediate effect of exercising, that you can feel as soon as you start running, or doing some other type of cardio. Moving your limbs while exercising will boost the flow of blood to all of your organs, including your brain.
So, after a workout, your brain will work better than before, and once the dopamine and serotonin kick in, too, you will have plenty of ‘resources’ to work with when it comes to tackling your daily professional challenges as an entrepreneur. One thing that should not be forgotten when it comes to exercising and improved creativity, is that much of the positive benefits of working out every day also have to do with your diet. Now, while exercising will be beneficial to you no matter what sort of diet you were on, you will get the best results out of exercising and then replenishing the lost energy with high-quality meals that include greens as well as meats, rather than just a bunch of fast-food take-outs.
Opportunity to Meet New People
… or at least get to know your employees a bit better.
In Japan, being fat and out of shape is illegal in most companies. Once a year, some folks would arrive at your company’s doorstep with a tape measure and a digital scale and then scrutinize yourself and your employees until they find the ones that are overweight and thus unhealthy. Since this sort of approach to tackling obesity may seem a bit rough to Westerners, what you can do is encourage your employees to exercise with you at a local gym, for example. You can treat your employees to a gym membership, for example, or invite them for an outdoor excursion such as a game of football or a mountain bike riding trip.
Outdoor sporting ventures, in general, can be great ways to socialize with other like-minded business people, which is why many entrepreneurs play golf and other sports when they want to talk to each other. This can especially be a smart strategy for getting to know a potential business partner. If you’re going to enter some sort of partnership with someone, it’s useful to know what sort of person they are, and a friendly sporting bout can be a great platform for this.
Overcoming Challenges More Easily
We have already mentioned that working out helps you tackle challenges at work more easily, but let\s reiterate it here as a part of a separate section of this article. What we didn’t mention above is that serotonin and dopamine are responsible for improving our mood, which in turn makes us more confident. So, it’s the combination of a strong body, good mood, and increased confidence, all of which you can easily procure through exercise, that you will be able to tackle the challenges at work with vigor and energy. All in all, working out is an activity that used to come naturally to all humans in the days of yore. It still does, but sitting in front of a screen for half of your day can blur the lines between reality and the virtual world, which can make us feel that exercise is merely a hobby we might or might not take up.
In reality, exercising represents an integral part of being healthy, and other than warding off many diseases, it possesses the magical capacity to help us excel at work and reach new heights in our professional life.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.