Healthy, Wealthy and Wise – 3 Ideas…
Tim Ferriss (author of the 4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Body and 4-Hour Chef) released his latest book – Tools of Titans, about a year ago and he structured the format of this massive resource around the inspiration of Benjamin Franklin and his quote:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
If you’re not familiar with it, Tools of Titans is a summary (with lots of added materials) of Tim’s interviews with 200 of the most successful, influential people on the planet. Coming in at over 650 pages, the book (and the interviews which can be found on his podcast) covers tactics, routines, habits, and tools that these world-class performers use on a daily basis. It can be a little overwhelming, but there are a lot of great ideas and things to think about in the book – you should check it out.
In the meantime, with that same theme in mind, here are 3 quick ideas that might inspire you to take a step towards that same lofty goal.
My friend Jason Terry recently posted a great article on his company blog for the Blue Gurus – How Fitbit is Changing Jason’s Life, 10,000 Steps at a Time. You should check out the article, but the high-level summary is that Jason decided to start getting healthier and he took the extremely simple (but not easy) step of starting to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. I know when I read the article, I had several thoughts immediately come to mind:
- 10,000 steps – can that really make a difference? (It turns out, yes it can! after only 7 weeks Jason is feeling better and he’s lost 16 lbs).
- A big reason why this works is that’s it’s simple. Trainers and gyms are great, but they are definitely more complicated than just getting out and walking every day.
- Accountability is important – Jason teamed up with several people he knows well and they are doing informal contests to challenge each other and to stay on track.
- Enjoyment – and finally, probably the biggest component from my perspective is finding something active that you can really enjoy. If you enjoy it, you are much more likely to make it a habit, which is the real key to long-term success.
What about you? What’s a simple activity that you could do most days that would have a positive impact on your health? Are you already doing it? Great – can you make it better? Why not start that now if you’re not already doing it?
One of the challenges we see with businesses (and business owners) over and over again is a lack of profitability – see our article on Why Should you Focus on Profit. Far too many businesses are making very little money, especially once they factor in a competitive market salary for the work the business owner does. If your profit margin is running at less than 10% then you’re likely struggling to make everything work. You likely can’t afford all the help you could use, you are probably cutting back on marketing or other important investments and… you’re only one or two bad months away from really being in trouble.
The simplest way to increase your profits is to raise prices. In Tools for Titans, Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape) makes a big point of this and shares his opinion and experiences that far too many companies undervalue and therefore underprice their offerings. Maybe that’s through fear of not being good enough, or maybe it’s a strategic approach as a way to drive volume. Whatever the situation, it’s worth considering if you should raise your prices – check out our article Pricing: Proft or Pain – what do you choose? for some more ideas on this simple concept.
What about you? Are you focused on profitability in your company? Are you making enough profits? Should you raise your prices? If not, why not?
This one will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me – if you want to become wiser than you should be reading. One of the common themes that Tim Ferriss found in his interviews with these ‘Titans’ is that all of them were voracious readers. Multiple studies (formal and informal) have shown that the most successful (and the wealthiest) people share a common habit of reading on a regular basis.
There’s the extreme end of that curve: Warren Buffett reads 600+ pages every day! Mark Cuban sets aside 3 hours a day for reading. Bill Gates sets a target of 50 books a year. That’s probably not possible for many of us, but even 1 new book a month could make a big impact. The research shows the importance of reading self-improvement books, business books, biographies as the best way to continually learn and stretch. However, there are lots of benefits to just reading for fun as well – and I do love a trashy, action-packed science fiction novel…!
What about you? How much do you read every week? Have you checked out a Business Book Review as an alternative to reading a new business book? What would help you start a habit of reading?
Bottom line, there are a lot of great ideas out there – and not all of them will work for you, and you can’t possibly try to start all of them at once. But what you can do it find one new thing that resonates with you and give that a try. Develop a new, positive, habit, and you’ll be surprised by how much impact that one thing will have on you.
What new idea would you like to explore? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach