How Exercise Can Help Grow Your Business

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Apr 15, 2015

 How Exercise Can Help Grow Your Business

A few years ago, I heard Kevin Nolan (Nolan Paint­ing) give a brief talk about how a reg­u­lar exer­cise plan helped him in his busi­ness. He would go on an ear­ly morn­ing run before his morn­ing busi­ness meet­ings. Kevin explained that he was more alert, cre­ative and focused dur­ing the first few hours of those impor­tant meet­ings. By lunch time, his endor­phins were back to nor­mal” lev­els. In order to get a sec­ond dose, he would have to go on a mid­day walk or run, which was not always pos­si­ble. So he deter­mined to use the morn­ings for his most pro­duc­tive times to work on grow­ing his business.

The web­MD web­site has this to say about Endorphins:

Endor­phins also trig­ger a pos­i­tive feel­ing in the body, sim­i­lar to that of mor­phine. For exam­ple, the feel­ing that fol­lows a run or work­out is often described as euphor­ic.” That feel­ing, known as a run­ner’s high,” can be accom­pa­nied by a pos­i­tive and ener­giz­ing out­look on life. 

Pre-Career Days

I was a pret­ty active kid that dab­bled in a num­ber of sports such as base­ball, vol­ley­ball and bas­ket­ball, to name a few. After I grad­u­at­ed high school, I remained fair­ly active dur­ing those first 4 – 5 years until I start­ed work­ing full time in my father’s paint­ing busi­ness. That’s right: until I start­ed work­ing full time! 

I nev­er thought I was a worka­holic. I felt I did a good job of bal­anc­ing work and exer­cise. I mean, I had a gym mem­ber­ship at the YMCA! Yet, the more I got caught up in my career, the eas­i­er it was for me to slip away from a con­sis­tent work­out plan.

Then I Got Married!

So now I had more things in my life to jug­gle: mar­ried life, kids, church activ­i­ties and my respon­si­bil­i­ties at work just seemed to increase! I began to jus­ti­fy that I real­ly did not have the time to exer­cise. I was too busy doing impor­tant things in life, like pro­vid­ing for my house­hold and serv­ing my customers!

It was a real bat­tle for me. On one hand, I still loved sports and the thought of being active. On the oth­er hand, I still kept gain­ing more weight every year, feel­ing slug­gish and even a bit stressed about work. I was more irri­ta­ble, not very deci­sive and even tired on a reg­u­lar basis as well. Some­thing had to change!

My Dad’s Inspiration

What changed for me? I think it was a com­bi­na­tion of things. I am blessed with a lot of great men­tors in my life. My dad is one of those guys. He inspires me in more ways than I can express in this blog post. He has been my spir­i­tu­al men­tor in his Chris­t­ian faith and my busi­ness men­tor too.

My dad was the first to inspire change in my life when it came to exer­cise. He was a worka­holic (in a good way). He ran a suc­cess­ful and qual­i­ty paint­ing busi­ness. He put in count­less hours to make Chism Broth­ers Paint­ing a great busi­ness. Yet close to a decade ago, my dad began work­ing out faith­ful­ly. He began to take time out of his day and week to focus on a con­sis­tent exer­cise pro­gram. He mix­es his activ­i­ties up with bike rid­ing, hik­ing, walks and even has a per­son­al train­er 1 to 2 times a week.

See­ing my dad’s con­sis­ten­cy and faith­ful­ness at work­ing out sparked an inter­est in me. He seemed to real­ly be more dri­ven and focused on run­ning a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. He let a lot of things roll off of him that used to both­er him! It was still a num­ber of years away before I would be as con­sis­tent as him, but again, the seed was plant­ed: I knew what I need­ed to do!

How Exer­cise Has Begun To Change My Life and Business

Fast for­ward to about 4 years ago. I was on a road trip with Bri­an Nolan, from Sum­mit Ser­vices (Kevin Nolan’s broth­er). He was anoth­er busi­ness men­tor in my life. He was a busi­ness­man who seemed to have a good bal­ance between run­ning a busi­ness and a con­sis­tent exer­cis­ing plan. He encour­aged me to look at work­ing out as a sched­uled event that does not get moved. Bri­an said, Put exer­cise on your cal­en­dar, mark it as a set meet­ing time and don’t move it!” He also was the first per­son to tell me I was a worka­holic (in a nice way). He encour­aged me to make exer­cise a part of my busi­ness routine.

I did begin to make Baby Steps. I played bas­ket­ball 1 to 2 times a week before work. That was help­ful, but it still was not quite enough or what I need­ed to make a difference.

After hear­ing Kevin Nolan’s talk on how he was more focused and dri­ven after his ear­ly morn­ing runs, I deter­mined it was time to make a habit change! In the fall of 2013, I joined the Clinch Acad­e­my in my town. Clinch was not a typ­i­cal gym mem­ber­ship. It was pri­mar­i­ly a Brazil­ian Jiu Jit­su (BJJ) and Mixed Mar­tial Arts (MMA) stu­dio. It also offered intense fit­ness pro­grams that used MMA tech­niques. I joined their morn­ing work­out pro­gram and com­mit­ted to three months. I told myself that I would go to every class for those 12 weeks: 3 days a week.

As active as I was as a kid with sports, join­ing Clinch and doing the high inten­si­ty work­outs was a lot hard­er for me. In fact, it was per­haps the hard­est thing (for me any­ways) that I had done in my life. I think it was because I wait­ed so long and was not all that active. Yet, every week I came to class, the work­outs got a lit­tle bit more doable and enjoy­able. I found myself get­ting stronger, more focused, alert, dri­ven and confident.

As I write this blog this week, I am still very active at the Clinch Acad­e­my. I got through those 12 weeks and con­tin­ue to do the same work­out each week. It has become a part of my sched­ule that I can­not or will not adjust. I even added learn­ing a lit­tle bit of Brazil­ian Jiu Jit­su to my rou­tine as well!

Join­ing the Clinch Acad­e­my has real­ly made me a bet­ter busi­ness­man. The days that I work­out I feel far less tired and more con­fi­dent when I work. I find myself on busi­ness calls being a bit more assertive as well. I have also felt more deter­mined than ever before to grow my busi­ness and take more risk. I am still a cau­tious and care­ful plan­ning type of guy, but the last 18 months of my busi­ness have been the most chal­leng­ing, risk-tak­ing and reward­ing times of my career.

Your Turn

After read­ing this blog, you do not have to join an MMA stu­dio, a Cross­Fit gym or run a marathon. Per­haps you can do what I did: take baby steps. If you do not have a con­sis­tent exer­cise plan, try mak­ing a morn­ing walk part of your rou­tine. Start with just 20 – 25 min­utes a day and see how you feel. Then add some­thing else to your sched­ule to help release more endor­phins! I am curi­ous to hear if exer­cise has helped you in your busi­ness devel­op­ment as it has been invalu­able for me. Let me know on one of the social sites, email or in the com­ments below.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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