Updated: Aug 12
When it comes to all-round knowledge of nutrition, and exercise, I am the first to put my hand up as the average Joe, who knows next to nothing.
In my career, I spent more time in hotels, cars, and service stations than I would like to acknowledge. I have a sweet tooth. I could never have or purchase a coffee without an accompanying cake or biscuit, and I was the chocolate marketeer’s perfect gullible target market.
I slept poorly, I ate poorly, I did not exercise on a regular basis, I completely neglected not just my body, but my body organs, including my mind.
When I transitioned from the employed world to start my first business is 2010, a lot of the travel stopped, the bad habits did not. When you have exercised said bad habits for 20 or, in my case 30 years, they are hard to shake, right?
That first business nearly killed me. No. I am not joking. I burned out, year 5. The combination of my bad habits and the overwhelming day to day storm of running business, took its toll. I almost lost everything.
Often as a small business owner I would become overwhelmed in my day, even before it started. I experienced high levels of stress, a significant “to-do” list, faced many tasks I did not have the skills to perform, meaning it took me much longer to do activities, than if I had contracted them out to an expert. For me, this was the perfect storm, an everyday nightmare, with a frightening rinse and repeat routine.
The environment I found myself in impeded my ability to eat and sleep well, or at least that is what I told myself. Truth is, now I know my struggle with low energy levels, a lack of sleep, poor digestion, low brain power, and all-round stamina to get me through every day, was a direct result of having a poor diet. Simple as. How do I know this? Because I invested in an expert, Sow + Arrow, to ensure it would never happen again.
In the past eight months I have focused on removing carbs and sugar from my diet. I have adopted a basic level of intermittent fasting, adopted fat coffees, and restricted myself from eating or drinking after 7:00pm.
In this short period, I have lost around 12kg in weight. In a recent house move I was able to revive old clothes in the cupboard which previously I had been unable to squeeze into. The opposite of most approaching 50, who feel they can only dream of fitting in their retro old school wardrobe.
More important than any of the aforementioned, I sleep better, have higher energy levels than ever, better brain processing power and feel all-together more alive.
I can deal with and manage the challenges of running a business so well, today I help other small business owners overcome their own perfect storm and achieve success. In order to change, dramatically, I have not only had to invest, and take massive action, I have needed to shut out the negative voices and doubters, internally in my head, and externally in those who implied I could not succeed.
I have adopted a “positive proximity”, ensuring I am surrounded by key influencers and positive mindsets, equally driven to succeed in their quest for owning and running amazing small businesses.
Recently I set up a Facebook group called “The Ultimate Small Business Growth Academy”. After just 8 weeks we are 100 strong and represented by business owners in 18 countries across the globe.
The world of a small business owner is exceptionally challenging. We face daily barriers, doubters, and hypocrites, meaning we must remain strong, believe in what we stand for and deliver; for us, our families, our partners, and our clients. I have changed nothing in relation to my health, other than diet and nutrition.
My summary advice, a free tip from me to you. If you are a small business owner and this article resonates with you in any way, partially or in its entirety, look no further than how you might be treating your body, organs, and mind though poor nutrition. I would highly recommend you step back, take a good honest look at your own performance and if you have any level of doubt or desired change, embrace change and reach out, start your own path of nutritional education today.
Oh, and by the way, make your first stop Pauline Cox. Pauline is the absolute best. If you did not already know this, you heard it here first.
When it comes to your mind, life and business, great nutrition is an essential ingredient of success.
You can see our Table talk with Ryan here.