It does not look like it at first but there is some solid business advice somewhere around the end of this post.
This is my first real post since my unfortunate mishap in November. At the time when the doctor told me that my right arm would be in a cast for the next eight to ten weeks it felt like a jail sentence. What was I supposed to do? Dirt bike riding in the winter is my main form of recreation. I look forward to it all year and I am fully geared up with the latest equipment and accoutrement. Not to mention that my entire job revolves around using a keyboard and a mouse.
I was pretty depressed, no work, no play – just marinate in front of the TV for eight weeks. Not that bad really, considering my home theater set up. The slacker in me was almost eager to get started. I upped my Netflix movie rental numbers and poured over the Watch Instantly choices. I Tivo’d (actually Windows VMCE with dual CableCards) anything I would be remotely interested in and hunkered down for duration. I was going to make it through this.
About a week in, sometime around when the first of the pain killer prescriptions ran out, I went to see my local family doctor who is also a friend of mine for a routine checkup. He went through all the tests, poked and prodded, looked at me and shook his head. He said that not only was my cholesterol and blood pressure up but my blood sugar was rising as well. Great; broken wrist, heart attack risk, stroke risk and pre-diabetic, perfect. What’s next, the stock market tanking and turning 30% of my savings into dust? 🙁 My Doc. said I had to lose some weight and put me on 1,200 calories a day. Now it was no work, no play, and no food.
With a death sentence hanging over me I took his diet advice seriously. Trust me, anyone can lose weight by eating 1,200 calories a day but it is miserable. Just a little Balance Bar is over 200 calories. Once I started reading the labels and keeping track of what I ate each day I lost about six pounds over the next couple of weeks but I was hungry all of the time. It sucked.
During this new diet time I decided to get my ass off of the couch and see if there was something I could do that could somehow improve my prospects when I came out of this. I have been hearing about the micro blog service, Twitter for a while and thought that would be a good place to start. I will admit that although I did not get it at all at first I have grown to really appreciate what I now call the “water cooler conversation with the world”. Check it out.
Since improving my health was now a major concern I decided that maybe riding street and dirt motorcycles for fun and recreation was not conducive to that goal. But I still need a hobby. I started researching electric bicycles and found what looks to be a solid business opportunity in that market. Not one to let a good idea lay fallow I started a blog about electric bikes and created eRiderNews. To create a blog at this level I had to teach myself all aspects of the WordPress blog/CMS platform and web hosting. I ended up learning about and becoming somewhat proficient at WordPress, Google Adwords/Adsense, LAMP, SEO, RSS and MYSQL to name a few acronyms.
The first thing I did when I got back to work was reconfigure this blog from an underused, homely never-was to the automated, content driven publishing rock star you see in front of you now. I used my newly found SEO skillz and the results are already through the roof. Check it out, I have written a few times about Zoho CRM and NetSuite. Those are pretty generic and well used search terms. Run this search at google that says simply zoho crm and netsuite. No quotes, nothing special. As of this writing I had the top four spots.
Since diet was now going to play a large role in my life I started looking at some areas where I could improve. As I was doing my research a topic that kept on coming up was internal cleansing and fasting. I remembered I bought this internal cleanse kit in 2004 but never used it. The idea of not eating for five days just seemed too hard. But at this point I was only eating 1,200 calories a day and I was not really doing anything anyway.
As I was preparing for this fast a book called “The China Study Startling implications for diet, weight loss and long term health” landed in front of me by an act of divine intervention. Seriously, this book found me the same day I started my fast. This is not a book I would normally look for or even consider reading for that matter because the conclusion was way too radical for my little mind to grasp at the time
Anyway, I am fasting and reading this book. I will not bore you with the details but if you read this well written and well researched book you will either agree with the findings and change your diet or decide it is BS and do what you have always done. I decided to agree with the findings and stopped eating all animal products and processed foods. I have not eaten any animal products since December 15th and now consider myself a non-ethical vegan.
The last time I weighed myself at my gym before the accident I was a meaty 186. Today I am a natural 172. Before the accident a 30 minute interval workout on the elliptical would burn about 250 calories and torch my fat ass to the point where I would be still sweating an hour AFTER my shower. Today I went 45 minutes, burned 500 calories on the same machine and it felt great, oh yea, don’t forget I hadn’t exercised AT ALL for close to eight weeks previous due to the &%#!ing cast on my arm.
Because of this new diet and lifestyle I sleep better and I wake up about an hour earlier than I used to. I eat as much whole food as I want now and I am not hungry all of the time. The best part is I am able to think and conceptualize much better and clearer. Honestly, I feel like Benjamin Button.
So I imagine you are thinking, “good for you but WTF does this have to do with me?” Well let’s take a look at the general themes. I get handed something that is out of my control that affects all aspects of my life. I bravely accept the fact that I can’t do anything about my situation and defend my right to do nothing because it is all I can do and it is not my fault. I will ride this out on my couch, in front of my 106″ TV, wake me when my wrist is better. I decide that maybe I can do something about this situation and I make some very hard choices that cause me some discomfort and family scorn (wife and kids not so happy about the vegan thing) but follow these hard decision choices to the end. I came out of this situation better, stronger, faster, leaner, meaner and MUCH better off than when I started.
Does what I just described sound like the economy and business climate we are in? You can sit on the couch and watch it all happen, it is not your fault, and what can you do anyway? Eventually this economic malaise will be over but you may be too fat and sick to take advantage of it when that time does come.
I believe, more than ever that now is the time to intelligently make your business more productive, leaner and meaner. When things are booming how much time do you have to automate business processes and make your business more efficient? Probably not much. Do you have the time now?
“The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein