It’s hard to believe that attending a CEDIA Management Conference a decade ago could have changed my life, but it did. There I was at a posh Huntington Beach hotel with some of the industry’s luminaries, hell-bent on growing my business and the residential systems industry, not at all concerned about my personal health. For those of you who have never attended a conference like this, the takeaways are typically in the form of relationships with other attendees and a sense of inspiration from the keynote speakers and workshops. Only, at this conference my take-away was more about myself than my business.
Jeremy Burkhardt, a friend of mine, told me before the event not to miss the keynote speech from bestselling author Harvey Mackay. “Sparky, this guy is right up your alley,” Burkhardt expounded in his typical confident way. Yet I was skeptical. After all, I had already read Mackay’s Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, and Beware The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, and wondered if there was more I could learn from him.
In my late 40s at the time, I felt that I kept myself fit, but I really never kept track. Well, Mackay’s first statement helped to change that. Looking out at the crowd of mostly men Mackay asked, “With a show of hands, how many of you know your PSA level?” A few hands went up. “Then Mackay asked, “With a show of hands, “How many of you are over the age of 45 and did not just raise your hand?” And many more hands went up. “To those of you who just raised your hands, what would each and every one of you say if I told you that statistically you hold a higher risk of dying from cancer that the gentlemen who raised their hands before you,” Mackay said.
Take the time to educate yourself about what a healthy business owner or employee needs to know to begin and maintain a healthy work-to-life balance.
A prostate cancer survivor, Mackay made it a point to explain that one of his life goals is to spread the word about living healthy, and for some reason his conviction struck a chord with me. Ever since, I’ve taken a more programmatic approach to monitoring and managing my health and encourage you to do the same. Here are four simple things you can do to help:
1. WELLNESS STARTS WITH EDUCATION. Take the time to educate yourself about what a healthy business owner or employee needs to know to begin and maintain a healthy work-to-life balance. One fantastic resource is through Dr. Larry Ohlhauser, M.D. Ohlhauser’s websiteis a fantastic place to start. I’ve spent time with Dr. Ohlhauser and can tell you that his no-nonsense approach is geared toward business professionals like you.
2. WELLNESS GOES BEYOND THE PHYSICAL. Relational wellness with your loved ones and co-workers can make a huge difference in your overall wellbeing. Seemingly healthy relations are all too easily overlooked when you are consumed in growing your business or career. Being proactive in the relational aspect of health is a huge step in the right direction.
3. WELLNESS HAS A FINANCIAL COMPONENT. In more than 35 years as a manager of people and a business consultant, I’ve seen firsthand how a fractured personal financial situation can affect one’s health. Competent business owners and employees do not always succeed when it comes to their own personal financial situations. The lack of a manageable and monitored personal financial program can be devastating, eventually overshadowing business and relational accomplishments.
4. RETREAT TO ADVANCE. Sometimes it’s helpful to step away from the “everyday” to get your health in order. Take the time to get your annual physical, dental, and visual examinations. Make sure that you take some vacation time where you can decompress and make time for your friends and family.
You see, in the end, no one really wants, “The Best Automation Programmer” or “One Heck Of A Wire Puller” etched on his tombstone. Think about what you want yours to say, and live your work and home life that way.