BY MARK KINI
As busy entrepreneurs, we have plenty of excuses for putting off things that aren’t related to our business. We think that the organization we built will collapse without us, and we postpone spending time with family or even making our own health a priority in the pursuit of building our company. It’s always ‘just one more thing before I call it a day’ or ‘I’ll eat better/get in a workout tomorrow’ or ‘I’ll book that checkup next month.’ Do you even remember the last time you took a few days off?
Hiking can be done by almost anyone. Sites like alltrails.com and traillink.com (both have apps) can help you find a trail with the length and difficulty level you want.I get it because I feel that stress too. I recently went on a short vacation to Palm Springs, California, to visit family, but taking that break weighed heavily on me before I left. We are approaching our busy season and need more chauffeurs, sales, training, etc., and my mind raced with all the things that have to be done. Like you, that hamster wheel is always spinning, and my inbox is consistently full. This is the conundrum of a 24/7/365 business, and it had me wondering, is work-life balance really possible?
But something happened in those few days where I was able to spend amazing quality time with my family. As I flew into Palm Springs, I saw all these stunning mountains and trails. I made a mental note to investigate further.
That Saturday morning, the crew—which included my daughter, my sister and her husband, my nephews (5, 3, and 11 months), and myself—climbed the Bump and Grind, a popular, moderately challenging hiking trail with views of the desert foothills. On the last day, my daughter and I hiked through Indian Canyons. It was a great experience for everyone, and these are now family memories that will always be remembered.
You know what else happened? I wasn’t thinking constantly about business or chauffeurs or sales. When I did, it was to mentally prepare for the months ahead, focusing on growth and strategy—rather than solving daily headaches. I wasn’t looking at hiking as a chore I’ll get to tomorrow, but as a way to connect with my loved ones while doing something that boosted my mood, cleared my mind, and challenged my body. It felt great. I am not an expert hiker, but the peace and serenity of being out in nature was special and I very much look forward to my next adventure.
All of this is to say that there is more to being an entrepreneur than just grinding away in your business. Of course there will be moments where you’ll have to adjust and put in those extra hours, but it shouldn’t always come at the expense of your health and your overall well-being—or your team’s for that matter. We were born to move, not sit in chairs staring at screens and being tethered to cellphones while ingesting endless cups of coffee for a hit of energy. You started your business for a better life, not one with chronic migraines, a stiff body (which you probably blame on aging), and not enough sleep.
Need a book recommendation? I suggest Spark by John J. Ratey & Eric Hagerman, which explores the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain.
And the best part is you don’t necessarily need to go on vacation to get started (but vacations are important too). You can feel this good every day, even if it’s doing small things like getting up a stretching every hour or taking a walk around the office or your lot/garage a few times a day as you progress toward your goal. As Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
If you’re stuck in the ‘I’ll get to it tomorrow’ cycle, especially when it comes to fitness, here are some immediate and long-term benefits to inspire you:
- Improved physical health: Regular exercise can help lower the risk of chronic diseases and with weight management.
- Better mental health: Exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mood.
- Increased energy levels: Physical activity can boost energy levels and improve sleep quality.
- Stronger muscles and bones: Regular exercise can help build and maintain muscle and bone mass as well as keep your joints and ligaments limber.
- Improved flexibility and balance: Stretching and balance exercises can help increase flexibility and prevent falls, which is a particular problem as we age.
- Being able to play with your kids/grandkids and do what you love is a big bonus.
Mark Kini is the President & CEO of Boston Chauffeur. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.