Achieve Success While Maintaining a Healthy Work Life Balance

Entrepreneurship is a lot like athletic competition: if you don’t prepare yourself mentally AND physically, you’ll find you don’t have what it takes to play the entire game.  The competition in the business world is grueling and relentless and you have to be able to play until the final buzzer!

This is one of those “Do as I say – not as I do” kind of blog posts for me.  Like Monika Mundell, I too have been suffering the health consequences of living a life that has fallen out of balance.

Success is all about balance.

I love word pictures and here’s one to illustrate my point:  to achieve success in your business, you must stand upon a three legged stool.  The three legs of the stool are:

  • Exercise
  • Eat Right
  • Sleep

Trying to build a business which requires you to work 12 – 16 hours a day without doing those three essential things is a recipe for disaster.

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

Here is my story of life balance disaster.  Let is serve as a warning to others.

It started 6 months ago when I fell out of the habit of daily exercise.  I believe exercise is an essential ingredient in your quest for success.  Your body was created to move, not to sit in a chair all day.  Daily exercise sharpens not only your body, but your mind as well.

In my case, exercise is the foundation of EVERYTHING healthy and good in my life.

Exercise serves to keep my diet “healthy”.

For example, if I try to eat my favorite food of all time – Pop-Tarts [cue angelic singing] – and exercise, I’ll find that I struggle to finish my workout.  If however, breakfast is a bowl of steel cut oats or an omelet, I’ll have enough energy to exercise and then jump into working.  If I don’t eat healthy, I see the effects when I exercise.

Exercise also helps you get a good night’s sleep.

When I’m exercising, the quality and quantity of my sleep is GREATLY improved.  When I don’t exercise, well – I begin to become acquainted with the various mattress companies infomercials which run during the wee hours of the morning.

So for more than 3 years, my day would begin by putting on my walking shoes, putting a leash on my dog and walking a mile or more every morning.   If 7:00 AM rolled around and I didn’t have on my walking shoes, my dog would begin barking relentlessly until I started our pre-walk ritual.  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that silly dog could tell time!

Then, I came down with the flu.  I guess the dog knew something was up because instead of launching his full scale high decibel barking assault, he just whimpered and whined outside my bedroom door.

Well, the habit was broken with the dog after a week – and when the daily exercise stopped, everything else went to hell in a hand basket.

So at this point in time, I’m not walking, I’m busy working and  my family is subsisting on Pop-Tarts, frozen pizzas and fast food.  It should come as no surprise that I began having trouble sleeping about this time.

Fast forward just a few months.  I feel like crap and my twisted, nutrition deprived mind decides the problem lies in a partially impacted wisdom tooth that has recently emerged.

It’s not my junk food diet that is making me feel like crap.  It’s not my lack of exercise that is making me feel like crap.  It’s not the fact that I’m only sleeping 4 hours a night that I feel like crap-  it’s my tooth that is the root of all evil.

In a nutshell, my idiot dentist prescribes an antibiotic to which I have a reaction which the leaflet says could be fatal.  When I call the office, the woman says, “Don’t worry about it.  We’ll see you next Tuesday.”  The idiot dentist pulls the infected tooth and  the infection rages out of control.  A month later,a doctor is telling me, ” This is really serious.  You could die.”  I walk out with a referral to an ENT and enough prescriptions to start my own pharmacy.

After CAT scans, blood tests, specialists and way too many hours sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms, I’m really regretting NOT paying attention to maintaining a healthy life balance.

Oh, I’m so back on the “wagon” when it comes to diet and exercise – the sleep thing just follows naturally when I’m doing the first two.

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

Don’t wait until you’re making the rounds of various doctor’s offices to pay attention to the “basics” you need to achieve success.  Trust me, productivity takes a NOSE DIVE when you’re spending your days in a doctor’s waiting room!

If the three legged stool is in balance – exercise, eat right and adequate sleep – then you have a firm foundation upon which to operate your business.   If you think you can “cheat” the system – think again.   It’s true – an ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure!

I thought I was invincible – and I discovered I’m human.    I guess that discovery is just another part of the aging process!

This blog post is part of Stacey Hoffer Weckstein’s “Life Balance Group Writing Project“.


  1. Hi Kathy – that tooth gave you major hassle. Your dentist – hopefully your ex dentist sounds like a complete idiot.

    I hear you on the life balance thing though – mine is bad now also and I feel terrible – junk food, no exercise. It never occurred to me that is why I’m not sleeping well. Time to get healthy I guess.

    Mind you – I don’t eat pop tarts – I really burned my mouth the first time i tried one and it totally put me off.

    By the way – I owe you an email. I am so behind this week – I’ll get back to you at the weekend.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Does Anyone Really Make Money On The Internet?

  2. Thanks for sharing your personal story. Incidentally, I’ve been seeing a “wholistic” dentist lately — one who would think twice before prescribing antibiotics. Something you may be interested in, after your fiasco. 🙁


    Ari Koinumas last blog post..What I Force My Children to Learn, or Not (Digest)

  3. Yeah! Thank you for participating in the Life Balance Group Writing Project. Exercise, eating right, and sleep are so critical and something I work on every day. Similar to life balance, exercise, eating right, and healthy sleep are all practices – not destinations. As soon as I am exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep I have to actively be aware and hold myself accountable to continue these healthy habits. Thanks for pointing out these critical pieces of the puzzle.

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..Traffic Accident – In a Flash

  4. Hi Kathy. Good health is priceless! Illness has a price tag. Glad you got back on track. I’m in process of getting back on track too. For most of this year I stopped exercising and eating properly, and working more than I should. If you are a relatively healthy person you can stand a month or so of “abuse”, but after a while it catches up with you.

    Davinas last blog post..Awakening To A Balanced Life

  5. PS. Great use of key words in that title Kathy! When I was doing searches I remember seeing Life Work Balance come up very high… Oh, the power of key words.

    Davinas last blog post..Awakening To A Balanced Life

  6. @Cath,
    Yes, he’s my EX dentist!

    I’ve never heard of a wholistic dentist – maybe I’ll have to find one of those. (It can’t be worse than the one I found!)

    Thanks for issuing the challenge! You really made me think!

    You’re a crafty one! Checking up on my keywords. Too bad it’s a “first appearance” for those on this blog! (Maybe it won’t be the last!)

  7. This is a timely post. I was *so* busy that exercise got away from me this whole last week and yesterday too. Hmmm, my back is starting to hurt and bad sleep has started in. Best get to the exercise! Thanks!

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirationss last blog post..Teeter-Totter Tribulations


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