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December 31, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As 2021 is about to begin, many will choose to make healthy living part of their lifestyle. Help your team and lead by example. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss to make money.” This is why entrepreneurs should lead by example and show their teams they are invested in them by considering their health. As an entrepreneur, show them how to take a risk to add wealth to their lives by being healthier, which is even greater than having money. Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying, “It is health which is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.” If you have health, no one can stop you from achieving all the gold or silver or whatever you are after. “An unhealthy body weakens the mind.” Lead your team by living an example of being healthy and allowing your team to handle what adjustments are needed for them to live a healthier life.
As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to make room for your team to benefit from not just earning money but allowing their overall lifestyle to be enhanced for the better. COVID caused many to work from home without utilizing any exercise facilities that would have aided in their plans for a healthier life. What are your plans going forward, as remote work shows signs that it will be around for a while? To connect deeper with your team and help them stay the course once they start on the path to healthier living? Try scheduling a short Monday meeting to emphasize a plan goal to walk a certain number of steps and eat two healthy meals per day, then follow up on Friday to assess overall success without dampening the efforts of those just starting. If you have ever been to a Crossfit gym, they are big on a team mentality and applauding all efforts no matter how small. Encourage your team by showing them what you are doing and open up a discussion about how to get others involved.
Some of your employees’ schedules may be more difficult to accommodate and may require your intervention with HR to determine how to allow for time and financial assistance to help them. Many people start the year on a resolution to live healthier, then fall off before spring starts because their environment doesn’t allow for them to continue the plan. Being home working can allow your employees to get out and walk more than they would had they been in an office setting. Are you setting up your system to allow them to do this? If your employees have to come in to do their jobs, are you providing healthy eating options at no cost to them from any extra profits being made from the firm? What are you sacrificing as your team’s leadership so that your employees can live a healthier life? Exercise boosts creativity, and many research reports show how it can benefit the brain in this area. You may never reap any monetary rewards for assisting those on your team to move towards a healthier lifestyle. But as a leader, you would be doing something far greater and providing a path to wealth by allowing your team to live healthily. You could end up with a team ripe with creativity from living healthy and exercising in some cases. As an entrepreneur with a team like this, the path to greater overall success will be better suited for the long haul.
Economic conditions are limiting access to healthy eating by the costs for those on depleted income or no income, and your leadership can be valuable in these times. Some of your employees may be adapting already based on the options being forced by COVID, and now would be a good time to consider enacting a plan to help them sustain healthy living. You know your business and what best suits your team. It would not hurt to ask them what their challenges are for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working at your firm and how you, as the leader, can help. If you are not living this lifestyle, try committing with them, and hold each other accountable. Many home workouts can benefit your employees that don’t require equipment, such as Tabata style workouts. Be a healthy entrepreneur, lead by example, show your team what your goal is and how you are getting there. You may want to lose 20 pounds in the first 7 months of 2021 and know sweets are trouble for you. Share this with your team. Let them see your struggles and achievements while getting feedback from them. As a leader, you can set a company-wide goal for a set number of pounds to be lost and a goal for every employee by the end of the year to at least be eating one healthy meal per day. You may gain a strong, cohesive unit in the process when your team knows you care about their health as well as providing a way to earn an income.