jamie-wolf-2Walking the Walk

Getting Healthy – Part 1 of 6

I wrote a book called “Start Over! Start NOW! Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life.” (You can find it on Amazon!) This column, “So You Want to Start a Business” has been paralleling my book.

My book has 10 chapters and to date this column has covered 6 of those chapters: Make Decisions, Take Action, Fail Frequently, Listen Intently, Develop Yourself, and Practice Balance. There are 4 more chapters; out of context they may not seem to have much to do with business. Clearly I believe otherwise and hopefully, soon, you will, too!

As we continue in this column, then, what’s in store for you are discussions about getting healthy, networking authentically, attracting money, and giving back. If you haven’t figured me out by now, I will share my mindset with you: success in business and life is all about mindset!

It doesn’t matter how many resources are available externally for you to draw upon. It doesn’t matter how many consultants you hire, spreadsheets you create, or widgets you invent. If you don’t know how to make decisions and take action, if you can’t fail, learn from your mistakes, and be open to guidance, if you aren’t on a constant quest to stretch yourself, you won’t reach your highest potential. I am an ardent believer that we are each obligated to reach our best self, as Oprah would say, because only then can we contribute in a significant and meaningful way to our families, our communities, our society, and our planet. We are not here just to take up space, although sometimes when I look around me it feels as if too many people haven’t come to the same conclusion as I have.

In order to have enough energy for this significant journey it is absolutely necessary to be healthy. Healthy in mind and body and spirit. And no man is an island; to succeed we need help, we need people who can open doors, introduce us to others, influence us in positive ways – in other words, we need to network authentically. You’ve heard the old adage “it takes money to make money.” But you may not have thought about all the ways abundance surrounds us or that affluence comes from influence. That’s why attracting money is worthy of a deeper discussion. And finally, what’s the point if we don’t give back? What’s it all about, Alfie? As we struggle and strive and push and pull, surely there must be meaning behind it all, otherwise why bother? Giving back, even if that’s in the form of ‘paying it forward,’ whether through real dollars or mentoring or volunteering or leading, is the true measure of success in business and life.

In regards to format, I have written parts 1-6 on each topic heading. I had too much to say to write only one article per subject (I guess that’s why I wrote a book!) so I will continue with that format. Now that you are reoriented to where we are, why, and where we’re going, let’s jump in!

I recently had dinner with friends. They were self-conscious about their food selections and portions around me. I had coffee with another friend and she was self-conscious about wanting a brownie. Apparently I’m getting a reputation as a very health-conscious individual – which I am. But I was surprised that others would even consider altering their behaviors because they were in my presence since my perception of me is that I have a notorious weakness for . . . well, let’s just say anything with gluten in it! What I have been struck by, however, is the power of leadership in action. I walk the walk (mostly) and therefore without my even asking, people around me alter their behavior. That’s a powerful lesson, one that we can all utilize for the greater good. It carries far more punch than “do as I say, not as I do,” a precept that young people see through in a heartbeat. Every preacher and motivational speaker pounds the pulpit with it but I’m experiencing it first hand and it’s profound – and simple – and you can do it, too! Walk the walk with me!

What does being healthy mean? We can take the politically correct stance and hedge immediately by saying it’s different for each individual. To some modest degree that’s true but then again, not really. And here’s where I’m going to get on my first soapbox.

The most obvious physical attribute relating to health in the US today is weight. But wait, wait! Don’t tell me! The solution to overweight is to diet! Grrrroooooaaaannnn. No! The solution is to have a healthy body, a lean body with a strong immune system. Fat isn’t just hard on the organs, fat doesn’t just predispose you to cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Fat stores toxins and our world today bombards us with toxins.

I wrote a paragraph itemizing the many sources of contaminants and realized that would simply label me as a left-wing freak making it too easy to dismiss the message with the messenger. I know well-educated people who routinely reject hard data, which floors me, so I’ll skip the data. The point is that counting points so that you can eat potato chips and still lose weight misses the objective of health. Forgoing exercise in a desire to hit a target number on a scale because muscle weighs more misses the objective of health. We have an obsession for dieting and it doesn’t work because it’s not driven by an objective for a lean, strong body supported by a stress-and-toxin-fighting healthy immune system. As a business person I am results-oriented. My objective is first and always the strongest ROI: true health.

I’m acutely aware of the complex factors that drive our societal weight issue, inclusive of “food” science, marketing to children, “food deserts” and poverty, barriers to care, unsafe environments, television, video games, factory farms and corn subsidies, a dearth of school athletic programs for non-athletes, insistence on immediate gratification, car-centric lifestyles, low political will and extremely high profit motives for very large corporations. I am the last person to pronounce it all comes down to individual responsibility and accountability and acknowledge the work of think tanks addressing each area above. I also know this: The ONLY thing I have control over is my mindset that then allows me to have control over my body. I choose what and how much and how often I eat. I have control over the decisions I make, the actions I take, and whether or not I learn from my mistakes. I have control over understanding the relevance of achieving and maintaining my health so that I have the physical stamina and mental clarity required for achieving success in business and life. Because I am responsible for my mindset and because I believe it’s my responsibility to be a leader, I continually strive to do better.

Recently I was asked the question, “What do you stand for?” That made me think long and hard to determine if every thing I think, say, and do is in alignment. How authentically do I walk the walk, with my wallet, my actions, and my mindset? I know I won’t hit perfect until the day my significant journey ends, but I can answer authentically that I stand for starting over because there is a better way to achieve health and wealth and success in business and life and I’m here to take what I know and pay it forward.

Meanwhile, on Saturday October 26, plan to attend the inaugural “A Novel Wine Tasting and Literary Festival” featuring low country authors. Held at September Oaks Vineyard in Ridgeland from 11-6, wine tasting, books signings and sales will abound; yours truly and her book will be there, too.


Beaufort resident Jamie Wolf is the author of “Start Over! Start Now! Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life” available on Amazon with 10 accompanying guidebooks. She has started over a number of times and now focuses on helping people who are ready to Start Over with their health
and wealth through getting fit, feeling fabulous, and becoming financially free. She can be reached at   jamie.wolf@thestartover.com


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