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5 Fitpreneurs on How a Healthy Lifestyle Fuels Productivity
CEO Magazine called them “the new breed of leader”. Author Nikki Fogden-Moore called their lifestyle “ultimate vitality”. You’ve probably met them and have definitely heard about them. They are fitpreneurs, and they’re challenging us to work differently with their example.
Fitpreneurs are the fit and energetic entrepreneurs who manage to keep up a six-pack while managing a seven to eight-figure business. These are the leaders who shrug shoulders at the mention of their already packed schedule and say, “If Mark Zuckerberg can fit in a workout, so can I”.
Indeed, it’s no secret that the owner of Facebook is super punctual about his workout sessions and even openly shares them with the world. But outside the framework of Silicon Valley, is fitpreneurship more than a fashionable high-end trend?
What does it take to be a ‘fitpreneur” when you’re running a small business? How does a healthy lifestyle inspire productivity? What does it take to get started and exactly how much time should you be prepared to give your most important business asset — your health?
We asked five small business CEOs who also happen to be fitpreneurs, why exactly fitness makes all the difference in their lives — and how it can change yours.
“We spend about 120 hours a week awake. Dedicating 3 of them to fitness isn’t asking a lot.”
— Dmitry Lepikhov, CEO, MightyCall
In the world of IT, innovation sparks a perpetual race to exceed not only your competitors but your own achievements. Nowhere do things change on such momentary notice as in software development where a sharp mind is more vital than ever.
Dmitry Lepikhov, our very own CEO at MightyCall, knows how to stay ahead of the competition and inspire the whole team by bringing his most productive self to work.
“Sports is what makes my working hours incredibly more productive,” says Dmitry. “When I go for a run after work, it’s a great way to shift gears so I can easily fit another 2-3 hours of work in the evening. Even if I’m not working later on, my body is incredibly refreshed and grateful for that exercise.”
Dmitry likes to keep his fitness training diverse, that’s why he’s particularly enthusiastic about triathlon. “I do triathlon training for one hour, three times a week,” Dmitry shares. “Triathlon is a multisport race made up of running, cycling, and swimming, so you’re doing something different during each workout. I’m not in it for the Ironman race, but for the satisfaction that comes from endurance sport and the fantastic competition drive.”
Dmitry’s fitpreneur tip: “Schedule your workout hours in advance. Don’t plan anything else for that time and avoid any temptations or inner compromises when the time approaches. Just get up and do it! Sticking to such a workout schedule may seem hard, but just consider that we spend about 120 hours a week awake, and you’ll see that the 3 hours you dedicate to fitness isn’t asking a lot. The ROI of it, though, is just immense.”
“Don’t think about what you have to give up, think about what you’ll gain”
— Lauren McManus, co-founder, Create and Go
For many, the ability to manage a business while traveling the world seems like a dream job. However, when you’re the co-founder of a million-dollar-per year business blog, traveling is also part of the job. In fact, it’s as simple to get glued to a plane seat and laptop as it is for the regular CEO to get glued to their office.
For co-founder of Create and Go Lauren McManus, a healthy lifestyle coincided with becoming an entrepreneur. Or perhaps, that was no accident?
“When I was still in a 9 to 5 work environment, I used to watch people coming back from lunch completely exhausted and unable to do anything for the rest of the day because they ate garbage on their break,” says Lauren. “That’s why when I finally took the leap to start my own business, health and wellness was always at the forefront of my mind…The days I was eating the most healthy foods were the days I got the most work done.”
In addition to healthy nutrition, Lauren prefers exercise that can be flawlessly integrated into her workday. “A few times a week I’ll take a walk through the town or a hike in the wilderness,” Lauren shares. “When that’s not an option though, I’m doing yoga and other similar strength-building exercises.”
Lauren’s fitpreneur tip: “Even if you have to break it up, take 20 minutes [per day] to do something active. Wall push-ups are easy to do. Squats in your office while on that boring conference call are also easy. Park your car further away and walk to your office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pack a healthy lunch and some healthy snacks instead of eating takeout and junk from the vending machine. You’ll feel better, your body will thank you, and you’re going to enjoy a boost in creativity and productivity in your workday.”
“The hour it takes for me to go to the gym saves 2 hours in work time.”
— Kean Graham, CEO, Monetize More
Running an ad tech company with 100+ team members plus traveling for 12 months of the year may seem enough of a workout for a healthy, young leader.
Kean Graham, CEO of Monetize More, thinks differently. Without waiting for tomorrow, he’s making an investment into his future health and feeling the benefits of a fit lifestyle.
“I’ve played sports all my life, so staying active has always been a habit,” Kean shares. “[However], it’s not till later in my life [that I] really started to value the health benefits. I am so much more physically and mentally capable than people my age…because I eat well and stay active.”
Kean’s fitness method combines regular sports activities including squash, tennis, soccer, basketball, beach volleyball and golf. However, he says it’s the simple but intense activity between work that affects his productivity most. “I fit in intense activity 1 – 2 times per day intertwined with my work schedule,” Kean shares. “I only work in 3-hour stints max and take breaks with physical or social activities.”
Kean’s fitpreneur tip: “Stop making excuses, and get healthy! Being healthy increases your productivity and the quality of work which decreases the amount of time you need to work. The hour it takes for me to go to the gym, for example, is an investment in my workday because I save about 2 hours in saved work time thanks to higher productivity. “
“Work-out time is non-negotiable”
— Kristin Marquet, owner, FemFounder
As the owner of a business consultancy for femalepreneurs, a boutique PR company, and a fashion/lifestyle magazine to boot, NYC-based CEO Kristin Marquet has a lot on her hands at any given moment.
If founding and running three different businesses isn’t enough of a multi-tasking feat, wait till you hear how Kristin gracefully balances her business schedule with en pointe classes.
“I always led an active life from childhood and wanted to maintain those habits as I’ve gotten older,” Kristin explains. “I love working out…[it helps me] think more clearly and be more productive at work.”
Kristin’s favorite activities include running five days per week and en pointe practice twice per week. These ballet classes go back to her childhood immersion in dance. “If I miss workouts for a week or more, then my mind gets foggy and I feel sluggish,” Kristin says, adding that she spends “anywhere from four to ten hours per week” staying active and fit.
Kristin’s fitpreneur tip: “Carve out time in your schedule to work out. Make that time non-negotiable. If you have very limited time, ditch the gym and work out at home! You’ll be able to add 10 to 20 minutes to your workout because you don’t need to travel to the gym.”
“An open attitude towards a healthy lifestyle is contagious”
— Michael Landsberg, CEO, Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management
His name isn’t Elon Musk and he’s not the Tesla CEO and father of five who works up to 100 hours per week, but he’s a father of three and CEO of his own private wealth management company.
Michael Landsberg may well embarrass all business-parents out there who sigh, “You’re kidding, right?” at the mention of sports.
“To fit workouts in, you sometimes need to be creative,” Michael explains. “Like a lot of children, my children play sports, and there are a lot of practices. After dropping [them] off, I see most parents will either be on their phones or talking…I make sure to bring my running clothes and shoes. While my soccer-playing son is practicing on one field, I can run 6-8 miles circling all the soccer fields. It makes complete sense to use the time wisely for something productive.”
Michael also takes care to inspire a healthy lifestyle among his team. “I’m in business to help people,” Michael says, “and to help them, you must be able to work at a high level. [In] the office, we converted one of the storage rooms into a fitness center complete with a treadmill, an elliptical, and a peloton bike. … It dramatically increases morale and workplace satisfaction.”
Michael’s fitpreneur tip: “The key is to be consistent in getting some exercise done every day. If I can run for 30 minutes at [my son’s] practice because I had to make a client call, then 30 minutes is excellent. I can either add another 30-45 minutes during another day or over the weekend take an additional bootcamp class. It is important not to put up too many zero-minute days. Those get you out of your rhythm, and it is tough to regain the momentum.”
Exercise is more than a lifestyle that sparks productivity — it’s a scientific fact. A daily activity as simple as active walking fires up new connections between brain cells, halts the withering of brain tissue, and increases your memory capacity.
Moreover, the attitude and mental endurance you acquire during workouts is an invaluable business asset. Sports will help you become a resilient, courageous, inspiring leader. One whom no challenge can stop.
Transforming your life and becoming a fitpreneur can be as simple as finally getting to the gym, signing up for that yoga class, or taking a run tonight with your dog!
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