For most of my career I was in the fashion industry on the wholesale side. But it was always a dream of mine to open my own boutique. So in 2010 I decided to make my dream come true. But where would I start? I’d never owned a store and I didn’t know much about retail. So I had to figure out all the details of opening my own business. First I had to find the space, then I needed to create a space that was unique to my vision of what that space should look like. I hired a contractor, bought furniture, selected merchandise and hired employees. Then I had to figure out how I was going to bring customers into my store. Putting all those pieces together was essential groundwork to achieving a successful retail boutique. But the real work started once the store was open. For seven years it was a constant work in progress. I had to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I had really good days and some pretty crappy days. I was always tweaking, updating and learning.
Building a business is much like building a strong, healthy body. If you’ve never learned about nutrition or have never done any kind of strength training, you need to learn the basics. That’s why it’s important to create a plan you can stick to. We have become a society that wants everything yesterday. But weight loss and getting toned doesn’t work that way. And like any successful business, there are steps to take before embarking on any fitness or health goal.
Many people think they can abuse their bodies for years and then spend 2 weeks on a “diet” or fitness routine trying to reverse all the damage that they've done, and when it doesn't happen they throw in the towel. They'll then go on another diet hoping this time they’ve discovered the secret formula. But instead of getting healthy, they get worse. Some people will even give up all altogether and head to the plastic surgeon to suck out all the fat they spent years accumulating.
Everything Worth Achieving Takes Time
Just like starting a business, getting in shape requires you put in the time before reaping the benefits. It is important to understand that planning and execution are the fundamentals to any successful endeavor. Health and fitness is no exception. I am able to do a bicep curl with 25 pound weights but I had to start with 5 pounds, then work my way up to 10 pounds, then 15 pounds, until eventually I was at 25 pounds. My level of fitness improved with the amount of time I spent training. It didn’t happen in a week or even a month. And because I didn’t always have the time to work out every day, my progress would sometimes slow down. And if I skipped my workouts even for a week, I would need to scale back on weights and gradually work my way up to my personal best. Nutrition works much the same way. I spent an entire year figuring out what combination of foods on a plant based diet worked for me. I learned what foods I liked and what foods I didn’t like. I was always tweaking, updating and learning. And as I progressed in fitness, my diet also required adjustments.
In addition, fitness requires you work on stability, a strong core and cardiovascular endurance. All these pieces come together to build a strong foundation to improve strength and stamina. You also need to stretch and know when to rest. If you start lifting weights that are too heavy for you, you’ll get hurt. Building a strong foundation is crucial.
Start with a plan
Start with an 8 week plan. When the 8 weeks is done and you haven’t reached your goal, try it again. Plan a 6 month fitness goal. Get stronger, change your diet and if after the 6 months you are not pleased, set another goal. Then start another plan and goal. Don’t give up because true success comes with patience, time and commitment. There are no short cuts!
Keep going and before you know it you will have achieved your goal. But the key is to stay focused and don’t give up. Hold yourself accountable, prioritize yourself. Make time to stay active and plan your meals.
In 2017 I decided to close my store and take a different path. But unlike a business venture, you should never stop working on your health and fitness. Remember, we all have one body and an opportunity every day to make decisions that affect our health. It’s important to put in the work required to keep it strong and healthy and you will no doubt reap the rewards.