Historically, business and wellbeing haven’t always gone hand-in-hand. Long hours, stressful situations and too much time sat in front of a computer or talking on the phone have left a lot of entrepreneurs unhealthy or near burn out. However entrepreneurs, more than most people, need to focus on their wellbeing in order to cut it in the workplace. The simple fact is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of business.
When I’m asked: ‘what’s the key to success in business?’ my answer can differ from delegation to people to learning from failure, depending on the subject at hand. But when it comes down to it, the key is you. One of the main reasons I have been able to avoid burn out, across a career that has spanned 50 years, is because I have always made my health and wellness a priority.
There are three things that mean more to me than anything in life: my family, happiness and wellbeing. They all play into and affect each other, but I have found if I don’t take care of my wellbeing, my family life and my happiness suffer greatly – not to mention my drive to succeed in business.
No matter where I am, or how busy my schedule is I start every day with some exercise. I wake up and go for a walk, bike ride, swim, kitesurf or game of tennis against someone who can challenge me. Physical exercise is great for the brain; it’s a wonderful way to help you focus your energy and keep a positive mind frame.
I've always lived the 'work hard, play hard' philosophy, believing that it's one of the best ways to achieve balance. Exercising and focusing on my wellbeing allows me to do both. Having a busy career, doesn't mean that you can't live your life to the fullest. We should all prioritise time to focus on our health, by putting it in our work calendars as we would a meeting.
Richard Branson cycling in Detroit
A healthy body equals a healthy mind, and a healthy mind takes care of business. It’s certainly kept my heart pumping, and it’s also kept my heart in Virgin.