Business is a sport. Therefore, being an entrepreneur is much like being a professional athlete. Part of the athlete mentality is being acutely aware of your physical limitations. If you’re not practising self-care and prioritising your own needs, burn-out is a real possibility.
On a recent volume of Psychology of Entrepreneurship, I had an insightful conversation with the one and only Kerwin Rae. As Australia’s leading business strategist and high-performance specialist, Kerwin has helped hundreds of thousands of businesses and companies. His work spans 154 industries throughout 11 countries worldwide. He’s a straight-shooter, and he certainly doesn’t mince words when it comes to telling business leaders what they need to do to grow their companies and expand their mindsets.
The Athlete Mentality
One of Kerwin’s key philosophies is adapting an athlete mentality as an entrepreneur. Business is indeed a sport, on this, we both agree. “I’m a passionate enthusiast of the sport of business,” Kerwin says. “That, to me, is the game that I really love and enjoy a lot.”
So how do you adapt an athlete mentality? Part of it is understanding that conditioning should be a crucial part of your life. “One of the reasons I can do what I do and I can outwork most of the people in my industry is because I’ve conditioned myself, my mind and my body,” Kerwin says.
Conditioning is how an athlete trains. As an entrepreneur, you should be training yourself daily. “I think that’s what is missing. Most business owners don’t train,” Kerwin says. So how do you train for business? Well, it could include reading books, watching YouTube videos or going to seminars. You could reach out to business leaders you admire. Hell, you could even watch one of Kerwin’s webinars. As long as you’re adding to your entrepreneurial tool belt, you’re flexing your business muscles.
There’s more to business training than just learning more about your craft. As any professional athlete will tell you, self-care is an integral part of the training process. Without taking care of yourself, you’re going to burn out. There’s no way around that fact. And as Kerwin says, “There are no fucking bragging rights for the person who has the greatest level of exhaustion.”
To avoid exhaustion in business, you need to make time for self-care activities. This could include yoga, meditation, nature walks or downtime with your family. Whatever it is that decompresses your mind and relaxes your soul, that’s what you should be doing.
When Kerwin’s schedule gets crazy, he moves other things, not his self-care routines. It doesn’t matter what kind of conflict that creates, he knows he has to consistently make himself a priority lest everything else comes crashing down. “My self-care is the priority, and that can’t get moved,” he says.
The other side of proper self-care is knowing when you need it, or when you’re not getting enough. To gauge your level of self-care correctly, you need to really know yourself, inside and out. “The key to all my problems is getting to know myself,” Kerwin explains. “The more I know myself, the easier it is to live with me, and the easier it is to get the best performance out of myself because I’m aware of what my motives are. I’m aware of what my triggers are. I effectively know where my buttons are.”
Do you know where your buttons are? Do you know when you’ve had enough when the weight of the world is just a bit too heavy? It’s critical to be aware of your limitations because when you can see your breaking point, you can stop before the shit hits the fan. Being self-aware has nothing to do with ego. It’s not about being conceited or selfish. It’s about knowing when to say yes, and more importantly, when to say no. So if you plan to succeed in the sport of business, think like an athlete and take care of your damn self.
To hear more of my conversation with Kerwin Rae, check out Volume 67 of The Psychology of Entrepreneurship.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.