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Health is Wealth

It’s a cliché, I know. But it’s true. When people discuss the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, they talk about having a good vision, producing a solid plan, hiring the right team, learning from mistakes, knowing your customers, etc. Seldom do people emphasize the need to maintain good health.


Becoming an entrepreneur is fulfilling but it is also exhausting—mentally, physically, and of course, financially. Some might have the idea of businessmen simply enjoying their riches in their yacht somewhere on an exotic island, driving their sports car, and enjoying the best of life.


First of all, most of the successful entrepreneurs I know do not live extravagant life. They are well-off, they know how to enjoy the best life can offer but most of them shun ostentatious lifestyles. Second, seeing only the fruits of an entrepreneur’s success overlooks the hardships one had to overcome in order to achieve the good life.


The stress one encounters in taking the entrepreneurial path cannot be underestimated. Physically you are working 24/7. A successful entrepreneur does not simply sit back and wait for profits to trickle in. You need to get your hands dirty. I remember when I set up my first business as a supplier of seafood for restaurants in Manila, I had to shuttle from one client to another. I did get my hands dirty, and smelly!


Aside from the physical stress, an entrepreneur also experiences tremendous emotional and psychological distress. The uncertainty of whether you will become successful or a complete flop is something that hangs over your head. Add to this the problem of coming up with capital when you are just starting or when the funds dry up.


When some of my restaurant clients failed to pay for their orders, I became anxious about the future of my business. What will happen now? What do I do? I imagine all entrepreneurs going through the same tough stretches in their businesses. It’s nerve-racking.


In addition, entrepreneurs are constantly thinking of ways to improve client service. How do I make them happy? They also need to think about keeping employees happy. How do I make sure that my good people are content and that I can keep them in my organization? In the middle of all this, you need to look at the financial reports, you need to oversee marketing, and look at the competition.


I do not mean to scare prospective young entrepreneurs. I am simply stressing the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to tackle the pressures of running your own enterprise. This is why, as best as I can, I try to manage the stress that comes with entrepreneurship.


I always try to get a good night’s sleep so I can wake up early. I get some exercise in the gym in order to start my day right. I realize that exercise in the morning can charge you up and prepare you for a hectic day ahead. In some instances when I was unable to exercise, I feel sluggish and sleepy during the day.


I also try to eat healthy. This should not mean starving yourself. You need all the nutrients you can muster in order to keep up with a busy day. It should not mean overeating which is a common response to stress. Sometimes when you have a series of meetings in restaurants and cafes, it is difficult to resist eating a lot. I always find protein and vegetables as essential components of a diet designed for the busy entrepreneur.


It is important to remember that without good health you cannot keep up with the demands of running a business. Worse, even if you succeed and make some money, how can you enjoy the fruits of your labor if you are sickly and spend your time and money in hospitals?


Simply put, stay fit to get rich!