Fit is a term that describes a variety of things.
It's an acronym that stands for "federal income tax" or "free independent traveler."
It's a verb of the right shape and size. "My jeans still fit."
Most commonly, fit describes a condition of good health, particularly due to regular physical exercise. "I walk daily to stay fit."
Perhaps the most applicable definition of fit as it applies to entrepreneurs is of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose. The most important of these as it relates to entrepreneurship is "to meet the required purpose."
Fit For The Job
The work of an entrepreneur is exciting and exhilarating. It's like a scene from the 1969 cult classic, Easy Rider, where two Harley-riding hippies, complete a drug deal in California and decide to travel cross-country in search of spiritual truth...on the good days with the wind in their hair and the sun in their face.
The days of an entrepreneur, like the leather-clad motorcycle riders in Easy Rider, are filled with risk and rebellion against the establishment. Mention fit and entrepreneur in the same sentence and what image immediately comes to mind? Chiseled biceps and the speed of a gazelle achieved through sweating at the gym, throwing around a bunch of metal weights -
In this case, nothing is further from the truth.
5 Strategies to Raise Your Entrepreneurial Fitness Level
Just like any effective fitness program, there are several strategies that, when combined, enhance the results you'll achieve. The road to becoming a fit entrepreneur is no different.
1) Get some zzzzz. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know the importance of an adequate amount of restful sleep. Despite what we continue to learn through the science of sleep, most entreprenuers "burn the midnight oil" in an attempt to get ahead.
In the words of the great Dr. Phil, "How's that working for you?"
Not well, apparently...and there's a price to pay.
An inadequate amount and quality of sleep affects judgment, focus, decision-making, and the ability to practice self-discipline, just to mention a few things. Over the long-haul, a lack of adequate sleep affects one's health. Just ask Arianna Huffington.
Strategy: Get 7 - 8 hours of quality sleep each night. And, no....you're not special. You cannot survive on 4-6 hours a night. Just ask your spouse!
2) Unplug. Growing up, the "boogie man" under the bed haunted our sleep. Electronics, which are integrated into every aspect of our lives, are the modern day "monster" interrupting our need for sleep.
The blue light emitted by the screens of our electronic gadgets slows the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our wake/sleep cycles. It tricks the brain into thinking we need to be alert. Plus, if you happen to read a piece of news or an email that triggers your brain, it becomes more challenging - if not impossible - to calm down and go to sleep.
Strategy: Turn off all screens - cell phone, ipad, and TV - at least 60 minutes before bedtime. Your brain will thank you.
3) Move it. If you're like me, you're really tired of people making this point. Ack! Who doesn't want to be a slug? I do!
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, exercise is a well-known stress reliever that sharpens our critical thinking ability. Not only that, studies show that entrepreneurs who run or bike have higher sales.
Improve my waistline and my bottom line? Count me in!
Strategy: Take the time to exercise 60 minutes every day. After all, you are the boss and have the power to make these important decisions.
Enter "The Results Curve."
Pierre Khawand, author of The Results Curve(TM): How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time, determined that our best results are achieved after 40 minutes of focused work following by 20 minutes of collaboration.
Tony Schwartz, President of The Energy Project, uncovered scientific research revealing the human body’s natural 90/20 cycle. His 90-Minute Solution of focused work for 90 minutes followed by 20 minutes of rest dramatically influences performance.
Strategy: Call time out early and often throughout your day no matter what work cycle you choose to follow.
5) Nosh for success. Although the brain makes up only 2% of our body weight, it consumes 20% of the calories. This explains why mental fatigue feels so physical. Using our brains all day is exhausting.
Blood glucose is a complicated subject. Just ask any diabetic. Too much and we have to peel you from the ceiling; too little and you're being scraped off the floor.
Achieving a balanced blood sugar is a bit like "little Red Riding Hood" - not too much or too little but just the right amount of brain glucose keeps you breezing smoothly through the day.
Strategy: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper" plus keep some healthy snacks close by for that midday brain glucose slump. Potato chips and licorice not allowed.
The yin/yang of entrepreneurship requires fitness on all levels - mental, emotional, and physical. Fit entrepreneurship affords the ability to remain clear thinking and focused - absent of distractions - so that you might move more easily and effortlessly through the demands of the day.
Are you ready to get your fit on?