There are lots of great industry leadership, management, and business books that are recommended if you want to improve your business — large or small — but I'd like to add a personal recommendation for a book, the message of which pretty much renders all the other self-help topics as simply meaningless babble — unless you choose to follow it.
That message is, if you ain't healthy there's no amount of help you can beg, borrow, steal, or buy that will improve your business. The book is, “Younger Next Year,” and it’s subtitled, “Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy (I like that part) Until You're 80 and Beyond,” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D. They wrote a follow-up book, “Younger Next Year for Women,” same authors, same subtitle, but with help from Gail Sheehy (a terrific author, lecturer and journalist).
The book even motivated me to study for over a year to become a Health & Wellness Coach. http://www.healthcoachtraining.com/. I came across this book during a more than two-year 80-pound weight loss journey. It not only helped me become pill-free and recover my health, but motivated me to be as active as a youngster, or, well, as active as a 71-year-old youngster. The book reads like a novel and undoubtedly saved my ol’ hide; or, even better, saved me from bein' one of them elders walkin' around like a zombie, or havin' a leg amputated because of diabetes. I only averaged a loss of approximately a 1.3-pounds per week, and, in doing so, learned about change without suffering. Hey! That sounds just like my business advice .
This is the kind of self-help book I like — full of good info, fun to read, and easy to follow, as in: I could never lose 80 pounds, but I could lose 1 pound; I could never ride a bike for six hours, but I could for 10 minutes; I could never walk a mile, but I could walk around the block ... almost. This book teaches us this, and it doesn't matter if you be a callow, fledgling yout’ or an ancient personage like yours truly to benefit from its advice.
Simply take stock. Look around … or look within. Our nation is unhealthy, overweight, and stressed to the breaking point. We eat lousy fast food; don't use our bodies the way nature meant; our kids are so fat they can barely manipulate their X-box consoles; we lack motivation and ambition because our “food” makes us tired, confused, and unfocused; and we're paying a huge national price medically and economically. We've heard this message for so long now the topic probably goes in one ear and out the other, but if you ain't in denial, then this book may help you take that first little step to a better life and a better business.
How does this all apply to our particular business or the subcontracting industry in general? Well, we're all aware of the screaming lack of a trained workforce for our companies at present; howsoever, there are a few startling statistics about not even having a workforce by the year 2040 if we don't change. Check out what the National Institutes of Health said about the economic impact of obesity in the United States. NIH also published some really disturbing statistics about overweight or obese Americans. I know, I know, it's a government study, but still worth investigating.
I've heard many people complain about our nanny government and its interference in our lives and businesses, but have we ever stopped to consider whom the real culprits might be that cause this nannyism? Follow the money. We'll prolly find a trail to the large processed food corporations whose only concern is their bottom line. They speak with forked tongue when they claim they care about their clients then do everything in their power to put the lowest cost garbage in our mouths, and, even worse, the mouths of our children, all in the holy name of stockholder profits.
Want to manage and grow your business? Take care of yourself first. My suggestion is to do both at once. They do fit like a hand in a work-glove.
Just sayin' …
Ed O’Connell is the pro-active consultant to the subcontracting industry, a business coach for the smaller folks. He can be reached in Auburn, California at 530/878-5273 or by email at [email protected].