1) What inspired you to stay healthy and fit in the first place?
Three years ago in August, I turned 39 years old. I was walking up the stairs when I realized my knees were really hurting… and then out of the blue, it hit me – I am a hot mess and I’m going to be 40 in a year: I was 100 pounds overweight, working 70 hours per week, smoking like a chimney, and constantly worried to the point that I needed Ambien on an almost daily basis.
While I had a successful software development company, I certainly didn’t feel like a success. I felt empty and anxious. I was burnt out and exhausted. I knew it was time to make a change. I needed more than a quick fix. Surface-level changes – temporary diets, new workout fads, etc. – weren’t going to cut it this time.
It was time to reprogram myself in order to tap into my full potential and experience authentic success along with a deep sense of fulfillment.
I found mentors in the form of trainers and peers who were successful and fulfilled. I used my time in my EO Forum to focus on personal growth. I read voraciously — from “Man’s Search for Meaning” and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Total Recall” to “Tools of Titans” and everything in between.
One by one, I applied new “processes” to my life – early morning workouts, reading instead of watching TV, daily gratitude and goal setting, meditation, and intermittent fasting.
- I’m at a healthy sustainable weight
- I’ve quit smoking,
- I generally work no more than 50 hours per week,
- and I sleep like a baby.
- Best of all, I’ve managed to find happiness in the now, while still actively pursuing aggressive professional and personal goals.
2) How has an active lifestyle influenced/changed the way you work?
It’s changed everything.
- Because I work-out early I have time before the day starts to actually plan it.
- My energy levels are high and my mood is even, therefore I make much better decisions
- I’m much more focused on doing one thing at a time to completion instead of spreading myself too thinly
- I lead people with much more patience and clearer direction
- I inspire my people to get more work/life balance including wellness
- My business has doubled in revenue, headcount is up 50%, and employee satisfaction is 9/10 (it was 6/10)
3) What sports activities do you participate in?
- Compound weightlifting 3 days per week (1 hour)
- Cardio + ROMWOD 4 days per week (1 hour 10 minutes)
- Daily Meditation (20 min, 2/day)– which I consider weightlifting for the brain
4) How much time per week do you spend working out/staying healthy?
- 12 hours / week
5) Many CEOs/leaders say they lack the time to stay fit. What motivational advice can you give them to get started (based on your experience)?
A couple points here:
- The time you invest in fitness is nothing compared to
- The efficiency of the time you work
- The financial impact of you making better decisions
- There’s no point in being successful if you can’t enjoy it because
- You have no energy for your home life
- You die or are incapacitated early because you let your health slide
- Start small. One habit at a time. Do it for 30 days, and then once it doesn’t take any willpower to do, add another habit. Remember, if you add more than one at once you’re more likely to give up.
- Visualize a Heaven and Hell
- Heaven: what your life looks like in 5 years if you get fit – e.g. “I have a ton of energy, my kids have a role model, my spouse finds me attractive”
- Hell: what your life looks like if you don’t – “I’m obese, my knees hurt. I have no energy and cope with alcohol and food. Kids learn bad habits from me.”
- If you have a clear vision of the outcomes, then you’ll be able to find time to get fit! Mentally and physically
Written by: Neel Sus, CEO, Susco
Neel is a believer in conscious leadership who’s mission is to help people lead more fulfilling lives. As the CEO of Susco, his company achieves that mission by creating business software and mobile workforce apps for mid-market organizations that their employees actually enjoy using while being more productive