Why I Put Exercise Before My Family and My Business

It’s 11:27am. I’m on a call with a potential candidate about an opportunity to be in a leadership position on one of my real estate teams. They start to ask about compensation. I remind them I have a hard-stop at 11:30am for another appointment. I tell them my Chief of Staff will follow-up with additional details and schedule another call if needed.

My 11:30am appointment is with myself.

My calendar is blocked out every day from 11:30am-2:00pm. I use that time to go to the gym, fuel my body with a lunch of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, and spend 20 minutes meditating. This time is non-negotiable. My Chief of Staff knows that nothing goes into that time block. It is protected time for me to focus on becoming strong, gaining more energy, clearing my mind, and fueling my body. What could be more important than working on the person I need to be in order to lead multiple organizations and provide endless love and support to my family?

If I don’t have my health, then I’ve got nothing. I wouldn’t be able to take care of my family or my business, and if my health were really bad, I would be a financial and emotional burden on them. Not how I want to live my life.

I employ over 150 staff and independent contractors. If I didn’t have enough energy and clarity of mind, how would I lead? I am responsible for my team. I must be the best version of myself in order to continue to employ my staff and create even more jobs.

Daily exercise is such an integral part of my success. Not only do I have to have enough emotional fitness to create the habit of daily exercise, I have to maintain that habit when every other thing in my life is screaming for attention. I say no to the fires and yes to my health – trusting in the fact that if I put the most important thing first – my health, everything else will fall into place. This is where self-mastery comes into play. Self-mastery is nothing more than overcoming that voice in your head that says, “No, you don’t have to work out today. You worked out yesterday. You can sleep longer. You have emails to get to…” That voice pops up around exercise for most people. But training yourself to quiet that voice and say “yes” to a workout, no matter what else might be going on, is what allows you to gain control of your life.

Josh Stiemle said it well in his article, Why Exercising is a Higher Priority Than My Business:

“It’s not greed that motivates us entrepreneurs. It would be difficult to justify the sacrifices we make if the only reward were money. Dollars become mere points in a sort of game. What it’s really about is building something great, doing something that matters and changing the world. That’s what makes it so easy to brush other things off. But it’s a mistake.”

For a lot of people, EVERYTHING is more important than health and exercise. And that is a mistake. I have a lot of very driven high achievers in my organization which means they are often putting their work first. I love them for it, but it is also a challenge for me to see their health or energy suffer. I know first hand what a difference it would make to their lives if they put fitness and nutrition first (because it has fundamentally changed mine). I can’t make anyone exercise, but I certainly encourage it and provide the freedom and flexibility for my team to workout whenever they need to through the day. That is how strongly I believe in the power of fitness.


Buddha and John F. Kennedy may have said it best:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” -Buddha

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these means, man can attain perfection.” – John F. Kennedy

They understood the importance of the body to have clarity of mind and strength of spirit in order to be the best version of oneself and to lead others.

I put my fitness and health first, before my family and before my business, and have for the past few years. And you know what? It’s made me a better father, husband, brother, son, friend, employer, and leader. Funny how that works.

Never give up!


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