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My 6 Pillars of Wealth (They Have Nothing to Do with Money)

2019-02-27T17:34:42-05:00 February 27th, 2019|Business, Gym Owner, Personal Story (Testimonial), Purpose|0 Comments

What does wealth look like to you?

A million dollars?

A lifetime supply of Chick-fil-A?

A family to come home to every night? 

This answers varies from person to person. For me, wealth means living life on my own terms in the truest, most extreme ways. 

I left multiple jobs, including a six year stint in the Navy, because it didn’t contribute to my idea of wealth.

I made over four times the amount I’m making now, but it wasn’t worth it to me because I didn’t get a lot of sleep. 

Because I couldn’t work out regularly. 

Because I was eating canned food for weeks on end. 

And other reasons

In Two Brain Business 2.0, Chris Cooper asks, “What is wealth?” and he goes on to define it as the ratio between income and time.

Ever try running a WOD by hourglass?

Specifically, wealth is having more income in relation to the time spent to make that income.

I agree with this 100%. When it takes you less time to make money, you have more time on your hands to live your life according to your own schedule.

But again, money is nothing without time, and time is nothing without money. I’m fortunate to have them in the ratio that I do, because it allows me to live life the way I want. 

Living life on my terms isn’t really a crazy notion in my world, but it’s one I will sacrifice everything else for.

What does it look like? These are my basic needs (in order of complexity, maybe) to be happy and be fulfilled:

  • Food
  • Movement
  • Sleep
  • Play
  • Love
  • Purpose

It doesn’t matter if we’ve gained 30 new people this month at the gym if one of those is in misalignment.

If I cannot eat, move, sleep, play, or love the way I want (let alone wake up with a purpose), the gym will no longer be a vehicle to freedom–it will feel like a crushing weight.

And at the end of the day, that is a question you have to ask yourself: does your gym allow you to live your best life? 

Nothing else matters. Because if it doesn’t, what’s the point? There is none. 

And that’s the point of this post: it’s not all about strategies to grow your ACV.

It’s about breaking away from #hustle culture, enjoying the journey, and recharging so you can get back to it refreshed and happy, every day.

Blue Zones, an organization that has studied longevity throughout the world, came up with nine factors, across the board, that contribute most to longevity:

  1. Move naturally
  2. Purpose
  3. Downshift
  4. 80% rule
  5. Plant slant
  6. Wine @ 5
  7. Belong
  8. Loved ones first
  9. Right tribe

I’m pretty excited about number six myself, but if you take a look at this list, you can generalize these nine into the five I have listed above.

Longevity, health, and happiness inevitably revolve around nutrition, moving, recovery, enjoying life, meaning, and community. 

1. Food

We’re gym owners. We know a thing or two about nutrition, so let’s not go down that rabbit hole. What’s important when it comes to nutrition is that you are staying fueled to live life

Ever have days where you’re dragging because of the beers you had last night or the six cinnamon rolls you had for breakfast?

Corn dogs are Paleo, right?

I’m not judging. I’m pointing out the fact that when you have energy to show up to life (to move, sleep adequately, play, love, and care about your purpose), you enjoy it. Life as a whole doesn’t seem like this experience you have to slog through. 

Food is a simple thing that can make a massive difference. 

Whether it’s Paleo, macros, intuitive dieting, or otherwise, you owe it to yourself to figure out what it takes to adequately fuel your body and brain. This alone can make a huge difference in your quality of life. 

2. Movement

Again… we’re gym owners. We live, breathe, teach movement. I’m not going to cover linear periodization or best methods for hypertrophy. 

But I am going to cover the importance of physical movement because some gym owners get so overwhelmed by running their businesses that they think they don’t have to work out anymore

According to Blue Zones, moving naturally actually has nothing to do with being in the gym but is more about our environment that encourages us to constantly be moving (gardening, walking, cleaning, etc.). However, I’d argue that there is a balance between this type of movement and doing two-a-day hero WODs with no rest days.

Whatever that balance is for you, exercising on a regular basis will help you feel your best.

“Even a few minutes of exercise each day significantly enhances your health, improves your self-confidence and emotional well-being, and enables you to think better and concentrate longer. You’ll also notice how quickly your energy increases with daily exercise.”

Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs

Sure, longevity is important, but the concept of showing up for a life you’re excited about and energized for, every single day, is what makes longevity even worth it!

Have you noticed a theme here? I want you to ENJOY your life. 

3. Sleep

There’s a friend of mine who I look up to a ton. He’s accomplished, wealthy, and a wonderful person to be around.

He gets about four hours of sleep a night, though, and they don’t start until 3:00 am.

It kills me to see him sacrifice sleep for the end goal. Why? Because when you sacrifice sleep, you don’t just become “more productive.”

You gain weight. 

You lose your zest for life. 

You invite disease, depression, and injuries

Are you the one person at the gym who opens the gym before the sun comes up and closes it after the sun goes down, only to head home so you can finally pay the bills and respond to leads, before wrapping up late in the evening? 

Losing sleep isn’t worth it, for your health, your ability to enjoy life, or your ability to show up everyday as your best self. 

In our frantically busy, #hustle-obsessed culture, sleep is overlooked and ignored. We pass it off like a luxury for those who don’t work for a living.

Because cats.

Don’t make that mistake. Getting proper sleep doesn’t mean you’re not working hard enough. Make seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night a priority. 

4. Play

At the gym we’re in the process of hiring more staff. 

But outside the gym, we just purchased our flights to Kauai in October (with points!), reserved our Airbnb for Colombia in May, and hiked twice this week in preparation to climb Mt. Rainier in June. 

What does play look like for you?

I’m going to keep beating this drum: if you’re not enjoying your life, it’s not worth it. 

Intentionally schedule time on your weekends, during the week, and throughout the year that is dedicated to things you enjoy doing.

Because, isn’t that what you tell your members to do anyway?

“Take time to focus on YOU.”

Time to practice what you preach. 

5. Love

Love looks like different things to all of us. 

For some of us it’s having a big family. For others it might be having that one friend we see every day at the gym. 

It really doesn’t matter what it looks like for you, but there’s no doubt that socializing, being good to those around us, and belonging to social networks helps us to feel less stranded in life. 

It’s hard in our increasingly technological and automated society to connect with real live human beings on a regular basis, and sometimes it seems like we could go indefinitely without doing so. 

As an introvert, I can attest to that entirely, but if the entrepreneur lifestyle has taught me anything, it’s that I need to be around people to feel normal and ultimately be my best self. 

One of the reasons I love traveling is because I can connect with people from all over the world and feel grounded in the world community at large. 

Without a sense of social belonging, people can “become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging element.”

Trying to enjoy life without others is like clapping with one hand.

He’s got the right idea

Lucky for you, you have a community right at your fingertips! Don’t forget how vital it is to maintain ties with others.

6. Purpose

I have written about purpose and living life deliberately

It’s one thing I touch on often, because without it, everything else feels pretty meaningless. Okinawans call it ikigai, but if you don’t have a “reason for your being,” nothing you do in life feels like it matters because it doesn’t connect to a bigger picture. 

Often, we try to adopt someone else’s purpose or vision, whether it’s theirs or their idea for our own lives, and we continue to feel rudderless because it isn’t a path that excites us.

As much as you’d encourage your members to focus on themselves, you need to do the same if you want to figure out not only what you’re doing but why you’re doing it. 

Your vision may not even be that profound.

I heard a business owner the other day on a podcast confidently claim that she was not interested in growing her business–as it was, it provided enough for her, her family, and her employees. I found this choice and stance to be admirable. We often get so caught up in what other people tell us our industry benchmarks are that we drive ourselves miserable trying to keep up.

Either way, the goal is to truly understand yourself and what drives you, so you can craft a reason to wake up everyday–one that makes sense to you. You can’t feign that excitement first thing in the morning, but you can surely find it. 

What’s the point?

We are lucky to be in a position where we can make these demands of life: for more sleep, better food, wine at 5 pm every night. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs clearly illustrates that in order to even care about abstract things like self-actualization and belonging, we must have fundamental things in order (shelter, food, climate control). 

In different parts of the world and in different times in human history, we wouldn’t be able to leave a job because, “I’m not getting my nightly 8 hours.”

Hell, in some situations, we may not have even been allowed to have a job. 

All of us gym owners are exceptionally fortunate to have the opportunity to craft a life that we want to live–one that manages to pay the bills, too. 

What are you doing to make the most of this one incredible shot you have at life?

Ready to Love Your Life + Your Business?

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I run CrossFit Lobo with my boyfriend Lee in San Antonio, TX. Writing about my journey as a gym owner and entrepreneur helps me to: appreciate where I am today, gain objectivity on my past experience and future decisions, and hopefully provide others with some perspective.

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