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It is my experience that success in life, in your career and especially as an entrepreneur is HARD WORK!
The hours are long ... and I'm not just talking about being available on your PDA. If you happen to run a business then you need to be working at relationships, "reading, reading, reading", finding time to plan, selling, increasing your brand awareness ... ALL in addition to the day job of ensuring the smooth running of your " ship".
Travel is tough. You can't use core business hours to travel because they are too precious. You need to maximise your time when travelling, so you cram in meetings, breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, dinner meetings ... and you travel early morning and late at night. As everyone knows, travel is very hard these days with increased security requirements and airlines cutting back and stress is compounded because of the scrutiny on shareholder value and costs containment.
Even when not travelling there is always work to be done, particularly if you are on that upwards trajectory. Competition is fierce and you can bet "they" are willing to work hard!
So ... in my humble opinion your chances of success are GREATLY improved if you are healthy, if you are fit and if you develop a resilience that allows you to bounce back from those "extra tough", "extra stressful" times.
With this as a backdrop I read three separate articles in the last 24 hours about obesity in the work place, and the toll it is having on people, on health care systems and on employers.
This Human Resources Daily article, Workplace Weight Loss: Fit to Fail, is an interesting one with some employers recognising the toll on their companies and implementing strategies (for good or bad) to help (force) employees to do something about their obesity problem.
There was an article in The Ottawa Citizen about the link between poor mental health and obesity, which while not suggesting a one to one correlation was demonstrating some links between these two issues.
I was astonished when I saw this infographic which focuses on the cost of obesity in the US. I have no doubt that a comparison with Canada would suggest that with the population of the US being 10 times that of Canada, it might not follow that Canada's costs are between 5% and 10% of the US costs. That would mean obesity in Canada costs us between $7 billion and $15 billion a year!
These articles about obesity, its prevalence everywhere and the impact on individuals, governments and companies were the genesis for my original argument. In today's high paced, high stress environment you need to give yourself every advantage to be successful and that means having the energy to compete!
So it is TOUGH out there ... look after yourself, watch your intake of calories, get some exercise and stay on top of any health problems. You don't need to be a fanatic, but it is easy to let it all get away from you ... and you won't be happy if it does!
If you want some practical advice you could read my Healthy Executive series of blog entries (you don't need to be an executive)!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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