Run Your Body Like a Business, Not a Side Hustle

Run Your Body Like a Business, Not a Side Hustle

A side hustle might earn you some extra income, but you can’t amass a fortune with something you only invest in your spare time... A full-time business, on the other hand, takes total commitment and focus. Time is money, and as a busy entrepreneur, it is your most valuable resource. It's simple: the more time you invest in something, the greater the results. The greater the results, the wealthier you become. No one gets rich off their side hustle.

We can look at our health through the same lens. Your investment is time, and your health status is the ROI. What does your health say about you? Are you treating it like a side hustle or a full-time business?

The cliche phrase “your health is your wealth” has been uttered for years, and where there are cliches, there typically is some truth. In theory, most people generally understand why health is essential, but what does this phrase actually mean?

In terms of your literal wealth, your health status is going to do one of two things:

  1. Enhance your lifestyle, effectiveness, and impact on the world
  2. Hinder your ability to have or enjoy the monetary gain and success you desire

To drive this point home, I want to share a personal story.

My uncle worked in the family business for 43 years. He started his career as a young teenager, eventually working his way up the ladder, and later became the president of the company. He played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and continued success. Today, it is the world's largest single source of books and multi-media for libraries, schools, and retailers.

My uncle was extremely wealthy. He had several vacation homes, diamonds, a couple of yachts, a garage full of luxury cars… all the things. However, because he neglected his health for decades in pursuit of success, a few years after retirement, he died from a heart attack, and he is no longer here to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Even during the tail end of his career, he had all this “stuff,” yet he was so deconditioned and in too much pain to get out of the house and appreciate any of it.

It is no coincidence that the people with the most success in all other aspects of life are typically not the ones in the best physical condition.

The point is, sacrificing your own health while on the journey to financial success is counterproductive.

There’s a quote that says “how you do one thing is how you do everything.” The commitment and hard work it takes to run your business undoubtedly carry over to your health and fitness.

With this in mind, I encourage you to change your perspective and approach to a healthy lifestyle. Stop treating your body like a side hustle, and start running it like a successful business.

Step 1: Fine-tune Your Skillset

Consistency, critical thinking, discipline, and personal accountability are just a handful of the many skills you’ve developed throughout your career. Fortunately, these are the same skills it takes to be successful with your physical health and well-being.

Step 2: Define Your Personal Standards

Standards help to communicate performance expectations, add a layer of accountability, and create a sense of responsibility within the workplace. You’ve likely set standards within your company to define how it operates.

You must do the same for yourself in regard to your health. You are the CEO of you.

  • What are your expectations of yourself?
  • What are your values?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What is/is not acceptable?

You cannot hold your team to a standard if you’re not willing to do the same.

Step 3: Create a System & Strategy

Each department within a company has its own systems in place for how things are done. Your sales team has a system for how they move a prospect through the sales funnel. Your marketing team has a system for how they structure campaigns to generate leads. Your finance department has a system for bookkeeping and managing funds.

Systems eliminate guesswork and increase efficiency within the workplace. Now imagine running your business without any processes in place for a second. “Just winging it” puts you on the fast track to a crumbling business.

The same concept applies to health. There are two reasons why people fail:

1.) They don’t have a system

2.) They’re using the wrong system.

Your body is your business, and your health is the operations department. This department is made up of 3 components: Nutrition, Fitness, and Lifestyle once you understand the system, your ability to execute increases tenfold.

The key to a successful system is to prioritize what matters most. Don't step over dollars to pick up dimes.

Eat Flexibly

Adopt a style of eating that flows with your busy lifestyle. A restrictive diet and expecting always to eat perfectly make lunch meetings with clients, family dinners, and overall eating enjoyment very challenging.

A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 or 90/10 rule, meaning 80-90% of the time you’re eating whole, nutrient-dense foods, and the other 10-20% of the time you can have “the fun stuff.” You can have an ice cream cone or pizza on Fridays with your kids and still get results.

Prioritize Protein

98% of the clients I’ve worked with were significantly undereating protein when we started. They started seeing positive body composition changes by simply making protein the center point of their meals and snacks.

Stay Hydrated

As an entrepreneur, you have to stay mentally sharp and have an unwavering focus. However, cognitive function and physical performance decline by being dehydrated by just 2%. Rather than fighting through the brain fog and mid-day slumps, aim to drink at least 125 oz of water for men and 93 oz for women.

Follow a Consistent Meal Schedule

Don’t skip meals! Eating more consistently will help to keep your brain and body fueled. A helpful tip is to schedule your meals in your calendar as you would any other meeting.

Follow a Fitness Regimen

Exercise has a whole myriad of benefits. If you’ve had it on the back burner before, exercise might be the missing piece that helps you level up. Make it a goal to strength train 3-4x per week and simply start walking more. Do this consistently and watch both your body and business reap the rewards.

Don’t Skimp Out on Sleep

While growing your business, it's easy to sacrifice sleep for more work hours. “Team No Sleep '' should not be worn as a badge of honor unless you want to be less effective, less productive, and less successful. Sleep is the foundation of health and performance. Aim for 7-9 hours of good-quality sleep.

Focus on getting these big rocks in check before stressing over small pebbles.

Step 4: Determine your KPIs

Next, collect and analyze data to determine how well your system is working. There are several different metrics that can be used to measure progress.

Here are some examples:

  • Body weight
  • Body composition
  • Biofeedback
  • Sleep quality, quantity, and patterns
  • Hunger
  • Recovery
  • Energy levels, focus, productivity
  • Digestions
  • Stress levels

What gets measured gets improved.

Step 5: Adjust Your Time Horizon

Those who wish for  “overnight success” rarely succeed because they are impatient, short-cut minded, and capricious. Building a great company requires working through the weeds, planting the seeds, and growing its roots. The most successful founders know how much time-staking effort this requires, yet they keep pressing forward because they are fully committed to their vision. They refuse to give up when obstacles arise, or success takes longer than anticipated.

You must have the same attitude to get where you want to be with your health and fitness. Your long-term vision must outweigh the short-term temptation to give up or slip back into old habits.

Anything less will put you back on the hamster wheel, similar to the young entrepreneur suffering from “shiny object syndrome.” You know the type… The guy who starts an entirely new business venture every couple of months and jumps ship when it doesn’t take off fast enough.

There are no shortcuts in the game of entrepreneurship or health/fitness. You have to be willing to do the work.


Kerianne Los | Registered Dietitian at Pursuit | LinkedIn