On Horses, Health and Habits

If you owned a prize-winning horse that you hoped to sell at the top of its game, you would take very good care of it. You would feed it properly, exercise it daily, give it the necessary shots to prevent illness, talk to it in a calm, reassuring way and groom it so its coat would shine.

You and your business need the same kind of attention to remain healthy and strong. Only a fool would abuse the horse, leave its exercise to chance, feed it junk, and expect to sell it for top dollar.

Last minute staging won’t correct past negligence and give you the best returns when you sell your business. Nor will it work for your personal health. Professional baseball player, Mickey Mantle said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

Good organizational and personal health doesn’t happen by accident. It is the result of small habits and behaviors practiced daily, the conscious act of creating good health.

  1. A Good Diet. Feed your business with profitable, predictable sales from a diverse customer list so your business isn’t vulnerable to market downturns or a few big customers who could kill your business by going elsewhere.
  2. Preventative Medicine. Protect your business from internal disease by hiring and grooming the best people, training them to do their job well, developing solid teams and teaching them to think more like owners than employees.
  3. Regular Exercise. Muscles are built by stretching, pushing them to perform tasks that may initially be uncomfortable. Employees also need to stretch and perform at a higher level. Otherwise, skills atrophy, performance suffers and employee lethargy will slow the business rather than strengthen it.
  4. Confidence Building. Confidence, optimism and enthusiasm are contagious. So are their negative counterparts pessimism, negativity, disrespect, and discouragement. Negative traits, like cancer, destroy the organization from within. Confidence and courage start at the top and filter down. Always protect and support your own confidence so you can share it with others.
  5. A Positive Network And Altruism. Studies are now proving how important a strong network is for personal health and longevity. To thrive and grow, our networks need to be nourished. Involvement, engagement and giving make our bodies and our businesses healthier.

If you knew your business would last this long, would you have taken better care of it? The best time to consciously act on developing healthy, profitable habits was many years ago. The second best time is right now.

June 1, 2013

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