A Look Back @ A Career First: Violating 50% of A Success Mantra

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I have been accused at times for being a bit “extreme” in my personal habits.  The one that has always raised eyebrows the most is my “Start EARLY!” mantra.  This is still one of the most visited posts on Hustle Or Bust.

Not early in the conventional sense, but the 4am work-out, 5:30am desk start.  By most standards, this is viewed as a bit extreme, which I understand.

Interestingly, from March of 2014 through mid June, I violated half the equation, which was the 4am workout.  I can rationalize it by saying I was living in temporary quarters, away from home and my 24 hour gym.

The fact is, I let excuses creep in and allow me to do only half the equation, the 5:30 am desk start.  What did I give up on the front half?

  • About 50-60 workout @45 minutes- 1 hour.  Granted, I still got SOME activity in (stretching, walking, etc), but sweating in the gym > piecing it together.
  • About 20 minutes of podcast listening from thought leaders, about 1,000 minutes of “lost education.”
  • Lost “incremental calories burned” = 50 lost workouts * 250 calories burned  = 12,500 calories lost.  Yes I’m a geek!
  • Guess how many calories are in 1 pound?  3,500.  12,500/3,500 = 3.5 lbs excess.  How much did I gain in this time period?  4.5.  Sounds like my routine break caused 80% of the problem!

Being a bit of a data geek and recording every workout for the past 6 years (time/date, minutes & weight) I can easily rattle off cause and effect of my routine to an outcome.  But you don’t need a spreadsheet to tell you a change in routine can create different results.

So where did these 90 hours go?”

  • I certainly didn’t sleep it away.  Basically, I stayed up later than usual and spend the time with my sister, brother in law and god-daughter.  That’s priceless, after being away from them for 8+ years and worth every minute.  Giving away 90 hours to sleep would have been a pure waste.

Did my business results fall off?

  • Not at all, but hard to tell.  I finished the due diligence of LM Foods, finalized the acquisition and put in about 70 days at the helm with decent results (met objectives).
  • The hard to tell part is what it WOULD HAVE BEEN if I kept my old routine?  I actually would say “not as good!”

Was the break in routine worth it?  

  • ABSOLUTELY!   The time at night with my sister was invaluable.  She’s the most organized, disciplined people I know and the source of many laughs.  She held me to task and called me on it when I was veering off, which was often.  My brother in law is more my speed, and that provided an entertaining and stress reducing balance.  And my god-daughter started to imitate her crazy uncle’s sayings, and those memories will last a lifetime.

So what’s the bottom line?

  • Lost the calories and physical benefits, GAINED time re-connecting with loved ones.  Met business goals.  Clear winner was breaking the routine.  

Lesson going forward?

Sometimes having an extended break from a proven, successful routine can be insightful.  It either proves out the success principle, or it causes you to ask different questions.  

Thankfully, I have a wife that is also my life’s greatest secret weapon.  She just signed me up to the same gym (Lifetime Athletic) I went too in Memphis.

In the immortal words of life’s greatest folk heroes, she has the ability to Take Me Back!


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