As businessmen and entrepreneurs, we are all constantly trading in futures, in a sense. We trade in our time and resources every today and bet that at every tomorrow, we shall get fair value in return. That’s the contract we have with Life. Once you’re living and breathing, you are constantly altering the set of events that are most likely to happen to you the very next minute.
The problem with an invisible futures contract with Life is this: the contract and its terms are invisible. You still have influence over the probability of things ultimately going in your favour, or not. Knowing this, if we want to get the best out of every next tomorrow, we have to reverse engineer the desired result to get the required contribution to offer every single today.
I hope the above is understandable because it leads to my main point below.
For a species so terribly apprehensive about our imminent death, our vast majority do very little to slow down the inevitable dying of every single one of us. We always hear “health is wealth”. Yet, being wealth-chasing entrepreneurs and businesspeople like you reading this very text and myself, we fail to see how fundamentally true that is.
So, if health really is wealth, and we desire wealth, it is obvious then that what we need to do is to strive for good health. You need a good, healthy body for good health. And that brings us to the heading of this writing. Being businesspeople and entrepreneurs, we would be addressing the topic in a way we are familiar with.
Like with any business, being able to properly manage means you have to communicate clearly what you want, motivate your team, and plan operations efficiently. That is how to make any company flourish. We need to apply similar concepts like these to our healthy living agenda. These aren’t new ideas but they are really helpful to me and to many others.
When you think ‘Exercise’, think ‘Money’.
Mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is very real and popular now. Bitcoin miners receive Bitcoin as a reward for completing “blocks” of verified transactions which are added to the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. So, it shouldn’t be hard to think of being rewarded with abstract cash after you have completed exercising. The reward of completing exercises is an improved state and improved movement capabilities. That has value.
Ever since you started moving as a child, you have been building up your ‘motion reserves’ to be able to move about the way you do now. People that spend many years in a coma cannot move right because their reserves are depleted; it’s like getting back to square one. Within the construct of your body being your business, Exercise is Cash/Money and Movement is Expenditure. And as we all know, cash is king.
Whenever you complete an exercise, you get rewarded with more movement capabilities and then increase your proverbial cash reserves, just like the cryptocurrency guys do. As you continuously sweat and improve your limits, you’re able to buy motions that you previously couldn’t buy. The rich ones can buy the Lamborghini of movements, like run an entire marathon.
In real life, if you buy anything without money, that gives you debt. It’s the same here. Without the exercise that gives you the proverbial cash to purchase a greater range of movements, you will then have debt that you pay afterwards by way of pain or injury or even death.
As grim as that sounds, it’s the truth. Your bank account needs to always have enough cash such that when you need to make a sudden withdrawal, you’ll be ready and set to go. That is why when you’re out of shape and you suddenly sprint, you feel pain and discomfort. That is why when you stretch yourself too much without prior exercise, you risk injury or worse.
Build a good team.
The secret to any great business is a good team. If your body is your business then your body parts are the team members. You must learn to build a good ‘team’ by making sure that you take very good care of your body parts. You do this by operating just as you would with your company’s team.
- Plan and communicate clear targets.
Communication is key within a team. When targets very well communicated and understood, the team can then understand what the end-goal of their endeavours should be. Targets shouldn’t just be about monetary milestones. It should include the type of culture you’d like to encourage in your business, the business environment you’d want to foster, and even the pace and stress limits that would be most optimum for growth.
With your body as your business, that would translate to setting clear goals from the beginning with respect to what you want from your exercises. As you exercise, there are various outcomes that can come out of it and depending on your lifestyle, these exercises should fit well into that. It also means you should consider the environment of your exercise. If you target exercising at home, or at the gym, or outdoors, or even in the office, setting targets help you manage expectations better and gets the most out of your efforts.
- Reward good work.
Your boss recognising your good work and giving you a bonus sure feels goods. It makes putting in the work a little easier. Frankly, it also pushes you to put in that extra work that wasn’t explicitly required of you. When a team member is disgruntled, you start having issues in the flow of operations. For companies that have different parts dependent on other parts, it can be a real problem.
Have you ever exercised with a targeted number of repetitions and then when you get there, you like “I could go a couple more”? That’s what’s going to happen when you reward your body after good exercises; it gets ready to put in more work. You reward your body by, for example, giving it good, healthy food that does not impede its strong development. When we exercise very well and then eat unhealthy, the ‘team’ is unmotivated and then you start having issues with subsequent exercises because not all members of the team (body parts) are giving their 100% best.
Invest in your business.
When you want your real business to do better, you need to breathe some air into it by injecting the necessary resources it needs to thrive. A boss also needs to empower his team. For instance, your IT department cannot work without equipment. Also give your team enough time and attention. That way, you can notice cracks in the early and address them accordingly.
Times are hard, with this pandemic and all. I hesitate to point to anything that involves spending. Still, keeping your body in shape will require that you sometimes invest in the right equipment. Buy the right attire; don’t stretch in unstretchable clothing. If you’re going on runs, don’t do it in slippers; buy running shoes. There are cost effective ways to lift weights. Nonetheless, purchasing dumbbells and some exercising equipment go a long way to get results.
Other ways you can invest in your body is to pay for good healthcare, have health insurance and get regular medical check-ups. I have seen some people visibly annoyed that they went to the hospital, paid for consultation, did a few tests and everything came out ok. That’s not a waste of money. When you pay for security, and nobody robs you, that’s not a waste of money. When you purchase insurance, and nothing bad happens, again, that’s not a waste of money.
Make the time. The body finds ways and means of escaping work, just like how employees might take extended breaks to cool off. You need to be on your body to put in that work so you have enough reserves to live a healthy life. So make the time, create a schedule and try to stick to it. Think of the time you exercise as management meetings where you set things straight.
Allow your workers some good rest.
Stress is a bad thing. Maybe we don’t handle it very well because we can’t fully perceive what it is and how it affects us. When your team is tired, they are less productive. It’s the same with your body. You need to have enough rest.
How do you tell readers to ease up on work when work is generally in low supply and in high demand? Maybe I won’t say that. Let’s tackle stress later. For now, sleep when it’s time. That is much simpler and can help you in a lot of ways.
Insomnia is a big problem in our society but isn’t very much addressed. One good night’s sleep can make one feel refreshed and it reduces stress. Remember, when the team in your business is stressed, they don’t work well. In that same vein, when the body is stressed, it won’t work well.
The benefits of sleep include:
- improved concentration and attention.
- keeps your heart healthy.
- let’s you maintain a healthy weight.
- reduces stress levels, as earlier discussed.
The most valuable resource of any business is the team. For your body, that’d be your body parts. The earlier you invest time and money into taking care of your team, the easier and cost-effective it will be for you later on. Prevention is better and very much cheaper than the cure when the disease is death before your time.
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Maxwell Ampong is an Agro-Commodities Trader and the CEO of Maxwell Investments Group. He is also the Official Business Advisor to Ghana’s General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of TUC Ghana, the largest agricultural trade union in Ghana. He writes about trending and relevant economic topics, and general perspective pieces.
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