Achieving and sustaining a healthy and high quality of life has parallels to the requirements of building a growing and profitable business. Both involve facing daily obstacles and deterrents, and both require the support of great people to encourage you to stay on track.
Anytime Fitness founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen are a classic example of a successful entrepreneurial story. They had the foresight to hire John Kersh, who has proven to be a real impact player in helping expand the Anytime Fitness brand to almost 20 countries. John's experience and journey within the organization is a direct result of the entrepreneur's personal growing pains and perseverance.
I recently had the opportunity to interview John on my weekly radio broadcast and was blown away by his story. With a history of being both an entrepreneur and a hired gun, his last adventure prior to joining Chuck and Dave may have taught him some of the most valuable lessons, from which we can all draw strength when the inevitable tough times are upon us.
John started a retail fitness business in South America with every penny he owned, and then some. Despite not speaking the native language, he opened up more than 15 sites and actually made a positive impact on the people in the market; however, the work took a substantial toll on John, his health and his finances. It could have had an unhappy ending…
Most of us find it hard to see the value and powerful lessons that can come from challenges. Yet, it seems that John has transformed his experience into a force for good with Anytime Fitness and is making a real difference in many parts of the world.
Here is what I gleaned from my time with John:• How we think is everything, and managing interpretations is vital.• Neglecting one's own health is too high a price to pay. You must find the time to care for yourself - even while many are dependent on you - because no one else will do it for you.• Look to advisers and mentors to help you work through challenges. No one needs to be Superman; others have blazed similar trails for us to learn from.• You have to be clear on your goals and expectations of yourself and others. • Most things of value in life take longer to achieve and require more money or energy than you may have originally envisioned.• Life is an obstacle course, and problems never go away; the bigger challenge often triggers the bigger issue to be resolved.• Neglect of family, even unintentional, is time and experience that is gone forever.
In whatever road we travel, we are defined by the choices we make. Being responsible for the outcomes is one of the great life lessons we can learn. Stories like John's invite us to review our priorities and allocation of time, and seek support in considering alternative ways to fulfill our health and professional goals.