Now that January 2015 is almost in the books, and will be by the time you read this, it’s time I do what most writers/bloggers do this time of year. We write the what to expect, how to make it great, what to avoid type of blog post for the new year. And I’m going to do just that. But with a twist. But bare with me, it’ll be worth the read.
Let me start at the end though so as not to alarm you about me personally. 6 months after this particular journey started I’m healthy. Finally. My bloodwork shows no signs of liver damage or problems and I’ve truly never felt better in my life. And because of that… Everything. Has. Changed.
Jamie Birch the CEO, is well, a much better and more engaged CEO. Jamie Birch the husband is a much better, helpful and more engaged husband. Jamie Birch the father is much better, and definitely more engaged (though I’m not sure my children would always agree that that is a good thing now, but they will in time I’m sure). Jamie Birch the friend and home group coach is more diligent and intentional and you guessed it engaged. It’s amazing how changing one thing, especially as a leader, has such a drastic impact on the lives around you and the work that you all do. And my company. Wow, completely different. My team has never been more amazing, ever. I’ve noticed they have changed too. It’s amazing how changing one thing, especially as a leader, has such a drastic impact on the lives around you and the work that you all do. And it all filtered down to that work. Our clients’ programs all had banner years. Our teams have come up with better and more efficient ways to do the work we do and the performance has been striking. Why? I took control of my health, when to be honest, I really didn’t know there was much of a problem.
Ok, now that you know the end, let’s go to the beginning.
Last August, I decided to visit the naturopath that my wife had been going to. See my wife had struggled with undiagnosed Celiacs and a Thyroid condition that took years to discover and only a few months to treat. After years of struggle, seeing my wife take ownership of her health and not stopping till she found the right doctor and then seeing her miraculous transformation, I thought “damn, I should go see this doc too.”
Now, I had thought the doctor would say things like:
- You could drop a few pounds
- You need some vitamin D
- Do you exercise?
Fortunately, that isn’t how it went. Before my appointment I took a blood test. She had the results and they were awful. She did say I needed Vitamin D and that I could drop a few, but she also said things like:
- Your liver isn’t working Jamie, and it’s angry at you.
- Your iron levels are dangerously high. Your blood is thick and it doesn’t want to move.
- You are very deficient in Vitamin D
- Your thyroid isn’t performing up to par
- You need to drop 35 pounds
- We need to make some changes
And the biggest thing I remember is that I didn’t think I was unhealthy. She then told me what would happen if I didn’t. In 5 years or so we would be talking about more permanent and severe liver and blood issues. I was confronted with poor eating habits and less than great living in my college years and now those stupid things could take years away from my wife and kids.
I was crushed. Seriously. Then she laid out a treatment plan. If I didn’t follow it, the next step would be quarterly blood draws to reduce the iron and then more things. Well that scared the hell out of me. Drawing blood is not something I do well and seriously a huge fear of mine.
So I changed. That day. I lost 30 pounds since then. That day was one of the worst and best days of my life. I haven’t been the same since. If you want to know what I did, just email me or comment on our blog. I’ll share it all with you. It wasn’t hard.
There were so many side effect from my poor health. And the biggest thing I remember is that I didn’t think I was unhealthy. I considered myself above average, just a little more overweight than I’d like. It was a mild joke in my family.
Looking back, the effects of my poor health were dramatic. I was disengaged. I didn’t realize I was suffering from a sort of depression as well as a complete lack of energy. Too often I’d stare at my screen instead of lead. Too often I’d watch stupid TV instead of the honey-do’s I should have been doing. I’d veg out instead of interacting with my kids and lead them. I was operating at about 80%, maybe 70%. I was tired ALL THE TIME. Frankly, I wasn’t me. I didn’t have the energy to be me.
Thank the Lord I have amazing employees. They continued to do great work while I, well, didn’t and our company continued to grow. But we’ve made a huge leap since I became healthy and this year looks to be our best ever by a huge margin. I’m so freakin’ excited. So there is one thing that can improve all other things. Your health. Why am I sharing this, even some of the embarrassing stuff (men shouldn’t admit they struggled with laziness and depression should they? If more did, maybe more would know they can get help)? Because, it’s simple. I know you’re looking for an edge this year. I know you are asking yourself how you make your career, job, affiliate program, reporting, [insert goal, thing, or channel here] better this year than any year previous. You’re probably reading a self help book now, or something by Malcom Gladwell or other business books hoping to find some new thing that will get you to your best you ever. You’re looking for that, I know I am.
So there is one thing that can improve all other things. Your health. You have to own it. No one else will. And it can change everything. It did for me, my family, my church group, my company and our clients’ campaigns. My doctor did such amazing things for us, we extended her services to our entire company. So if you see energetic, healthy affiliate managers running around at the next conference, it’s probably us.
So, grab a hold of the one thing that can change your [insert thing here] now, and own your health and change it. You’ll never look back.