Your Body IS Your Business

You’re about to launch a new product or program. Adrenalin is coursing through your veins. Ideas are flowing. You’re swimming in your creative juices.

You know the feeling? I call it the Entrepreneurial Surge (minus the “protector”). It NEVER lets you down. That is, until . . . the launch is over, the article is written, the book is published, the website is complete….fill in the blank.

That’s when you begin to notice something is off.

For some, it’s simply the sniffles. Others experience a grouchy disposition or
the makings of a migraine. In extreme cases, adrenal exhaustion or thyroid issues show up. Sad but true.

I know. I’ve been there. That’s why I do this work. I have a built in accountability system called “Practice what you preach.” My formula for success in the self-care area is pretty simple: Eat, Play, Sleep.

Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 1: Eat

Fresh Vegetable Salad by Emilian Robert Vicol

The body needs to know it can count on you to feed it. Food. Real food. Nourishing food. Three times a day. This doesn’t have to be difficult. When you know you have a project coming up that is going to take a tremendous amount of energy and time, put “nourishment” in the project plan and before you begin, prepare yourself and your fridge.

It’s easy to say, “Sure, I can do this!” My clients are successful entrepreneurs. They have the best intentions. The struggle comes in the follow-through. Sound familiar? Before I shower you with “tips,” I’ll tell you a little story.

Several years ago I was preparing for knee surgery. I have a pretty picky palate and I knew my husband would take very good care of me during my recovery. I also knew he wouldn’t be preparing green smoothies and homemade vegetable soup. I spent a couple Sundays making soup, smoothies, and green juices and placed them in the freezer. I filled jars with my very own antioxidant-rich “off-the-trail” mix. I made sure I had some really fine chocolate on hand. I stocked the refrigerator with greens, farm fresh eggs, and plenty of pears. (Essential when you are facing the binding properties of painkillers.) I was prepared. I now use the same action when I’m headed into a major entrepreneurial endeavor or launch. Works like a charm.

Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 2: Play

I recently returned from a six-week visit with my aging father whose health is rapidly declining. My first thought was, “What will happen to my business if I put it on the back burner for six weeks?” My second thought was, “What will happen to my heart and psyche if I put my dad’s comfort and care on the back burner while I run my business?” Pretty soon I was managing his care in much the same way I run my business: full steam ahead. (Old habits die hard.) Knowing my all work-no play persona doesn’t serve me, I made sure to schedule in some PLAY. Yes, some of us need to “schedule” our playtime.

I like to schedule a mini MEcation every single day. First, write down all the things that make you happy and take very little time. For me, a visit to an organic market where people whisk you through the aisles proudly displaying the latest gogi berry concoction is pure bliss. Perhaps for you it’s a phone call to a friend, a walk in nature or taking a dance break. Be creative. But please, put it in your schedule.

Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 3: Sleep

Room 1641 by Aaron Gustafson

This is, in my humble opinion, the most neglected health, beauty and vitality strategy in our on-the-move culture. I have a keen ear for comments like: “I can get by on 6 hours of sleep a night,” or, “I just don’t need a lot of sleep.” More often than not we’ve altered our natural body rhythm by introducing artificial stimulants throughout the day to keep us going and we have no idea how much sleep our body truly needs. There is a causal link between disrupted or short sleep time and obesity, and it seems more prevalent in women than in men. Sleep is when the body does its restorative maintenance work—when our cells take the time to heal and detoxify, refuel and recharge for the day ahead.

Try my ten hours in ten days challenge. That’s right, for ten days I’d like you to power down and climb into bed with the intention of being at rest for ten hours. That means no iPad, no cell phone, no computer—no electromagnetic waves allowed. You can, however, read a good book until you get sleepy and nod out. Are you saying, “No way!”? Just give it a try and see how close you can get. I PROMISE you, your productivity will skyrocket.

After all, your body IS your business.


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sue-ann-gleasonSue Ann Gleason, founder of Conscious Bites Nutrition, is a Washington, DC-based culinary nutritionist, nourishment counselor, speaker, and writer. Her entertaining, cutting-edge articles on nutrition, the psychology of eating and the blissful benefits of chocolate have appeared in various publications as well as her own eco-friendly blog, Find her here on Facebook.


  1. Maj Jensen says:

    I love this advice. Especially the 10 days/10 hours challenge is a something that I would love to try. First thought is: Man, is that really possible? And maybe that’s exactly why I should do it :)

  2. Love this post of yours, Sue and could not agree more! I place such a premium on my health and nutrition, so I thank you for sharing this with everyone and on a social media blog no less. This advice is what will truly grant longevity to businesses and entrepreneurs!

  3. The “Entrepreneurial Surge Protector.” How clever! This is an important post, Sue Ann. There have been times I’ve been at my computer for hours without eating—and I write about food often! It’s so important to take care of ourselves. As a mom, I make sure to have fun on the weekends—no work, and more importantly no guilt about not working. But I’ll remind myself to take a miniME vacation during the work day , too.

  4. Brilliant post Sue Ann. I’ll about walking your talk. As women entrepreneurs it’s SO easy to think that everything our business represents is more important than our physical wellbeing. And yet when we let the body ball drop, all the other business balls follow suit. I tell my clients this all the time as well. The only way to truly creating a lasting, successful and joyful business is to first take care of the body that made the business possible in the first place. Many thanks!

  5. What a great article, Sue Ann. Yes, so important and it really spoke to me. Especially the food and sleep issues. It’s very early days for my business and im working on my health to improve my overall well being. Grateful for you sharing this. And might be in touch to talk to you about food/diet.

  6. Sue Ann, I can always count on you for succinct, do-able advice. All of your suggestions are “common sense,” but WHY I haven’t implemented them (until today!) is beyond me. Sometimes it takes a wise, knowledgeable friend to hold your hand and say, “Here, let me show you…” Many thanks!

  7. YES!! Love this. Love it love it love it. :-)

    Thanks for these reminders AND for the direct link to our businesses – so important!

  8. I have a history of not following any of your advice and I am the person who ends up sick and exhausted once the deadline or crises passes. I’ve been trying to do better in recent years. I love your suggestion to stock up on healthy foods ahead of time. I’m good about my diet when things are smooth sailing but tend to fall back on junk foods when the critical hour hits. Will keep this in mind when the next deadline rolls around.

  9. Love this!!! Everything you write is so inspiring and to the point. Self-care is so important!!! Thanks for the reminder. Life is so busy it is easy to forget!!!

  10. So great to see you here Sue Ann. I need reminders of all these things. #1 is getting lots of help from the garden this summer. So many good, healthy things to eat! Now if I can just pull myself way from my biz to do so!

  11. Love these advice – so so IMPORTANT! Thank you Sue Ann. I love sleep, and I find that I am ALWAYS so much more inspired after a good rest. Of course, being a wellness warrior, eating a wholefoods diet and playing for physical and spiritual wellbeing is equally important! Thank you for this! xo

  12. What a great reminder. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to try the ten hours in ten days challenge.