PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
Pete interviews Cory Annis, founder of Unorthodoc, a specialist medical practice for entrepreneurs. They talk about the basics of staying healthy and Cory shares some tips on how busy people can eat well and stay effective throughout the day.
Pete interviews Cory about staying healthy and how to stay effective all day
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Unorthodoc – An Interview With Cory Annis
Dom Goucher: Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s PreneurCast. This is Episode 53, the first of our new year. Last week was the 52nd episode, our first year complete, and we’re moving into a new year.
Pete Williams: Did you get the gift I sent for our anniversary, Dom?
Dom: What might that have been, Pete?
Pete: A big diamond and a big bunch of roses.
Dom: I think that might have gotten lost in the post.
Pete: Damn it.
Dom: Welcome everyone to PreneurCast. I’m Dom Goucher and he, very strangely, is Pete Williams. To start the new year and a great topic to start our new year with, this week, Pete, you interviewed Cory Annis, the Unorthodoc. It’s a great title, I love it. “Mobile medicine for the modern entrepreneur,” as it says on her website. This is a fantastic topic, really.
It’s a shame I missed the call; but I’m glad you had a chat with her because health and well-being is one of those things, as Cory says on her website, very often it becomes a secondary consideration. But it’s vital to the success of an entrepreneur. So how did you come across Cory, Pete?
Pete: Through a couple of mutual friends and sort of stumbled across her via Twitter, funnily enough, following some mutual friends’ Twitter feeds who mentioned some stuff that Cory was talking about. So Cory and I had some conversations, and thought it would be good to actually record one of those conversations and put it here on the podcast. As you said, so many entrepreneurs are working so hard to get their business, their idea either off the ground or to the next level.
But there’s so much internal stuff that people don’t think about when it comes to the health and well-being to make sure they’re as efficient and effective as possible. So I thought I’d grab Cory on the line for a little bit and have a chat about a whole range of things. That when it comes to health and well-being, for entrepreneurs particularly because we all face so much demand, that it can take a bit of a toll. It was a really cool conversation I really enjoyed. We’ll obviously hear a lot of it on the call with us, a range of stuff we spoke about.
Dom: Great. Well, let’s get straight into it and we’ll come back after the call.
Pete: Sounds good.
[Pete’s interview with Cory Annis starts]
Cory Annis: I’m Dr. Cory Annis. I’ve been practicing medicine for 20 years. Unorthodoc is my attempt to take medicine, the kind of medicine, the quality of medicine that I’ve been doing for years and put it in a delivery form that’s accessible to everybody, but most particularly, I got the most interested in taking care of entrepreneurs. Because in my own bricks-and-mortar practice, I found that the people who really needed attention and time were often my entrepreneurs.
But they were the kind of people who needed to be able to make an appointment on a dime or talk to me from Singapore or talk to me at 6:00 in the morning. They couldn’t keep an appointment they made three days from now, let alone three weeks from now. So I realize that the American healthcare system was really getting in the way, helping the very people they expect to power the engine of economic recovery and that’s sort of my global reason for doing it.
My individual reason for doing it is I’m an entrepreneur and I think that entrepreneurs are incredibly exciting people to work with. Some have great health, some have terrible health; but mostly none of them have access to a physician that they can just talk to and say, “Do I need to be tweaking this? Am I doing this well? Am I going to make sure that I’m around to spend all this wealth I’m killing myself to acquire?” And I love the mood of entrepreneurs. I love the way they tick – the crazy ones and the tame ones. And I’m happy and lucky to count myself among them.
Pete: That’s very, very cool. That’s what interests me when I first stumbled across you; obviously, being an entrepreneur myself. A lot of the listeners and readers are entrepreneurs as well. When it comes to health entrepreneurship, you mentioned this, people are killing themselves to make an outcome whether it be financial or whatever it is; that a lot of people, they get into a business.
They start a project and they just work and they don’t stop – miss lunches, work through nights. You hear all the crazy stories about entrepreneurs who have three-day benders where they keep working and things like that. And that’s not obviously sustainable or healthy.
Cory: Of course doctors are nothing like that, right?
Pete: Exactly. That’s why I wanted to have a conversation with you about a couple of different things. What are some of the basics around good health that entrepreneurs can actually work into their schedules and their rituals just to make sure they can sustain a high level of output? Not necessarily working 72 hours straight, but just being at work consistently without getting sick and be able to sustain that and get the most out of their day?
Like most things on the PreneurCast podcast, on the blog and things like that, I’d really like to fully delve into the meat of something, set the context and set some foundation. It’s really interesting that a lot of people I talk to – I’ll put my hand up in this, as much as I look after myself and know a bit about what needs to go into a body, particularly when I was doing my Ironman training recently. But I think what is a good place to start is just define a lot of different terms that have flung around when it comes to health and nutrition and food.
Obviously, protein and carbs are pretty stock standard conversation points. A lot of people understand where that comes from, but you hear a lot of things like amino acids, and different vitamin types, and low blood sugar, and all these different terms. I’d like to define some of these before we get into the conversation too deep. What’s the difference between things like amino acids? What does that do to the body compared to different vitamins? When they say you’ve got low blood sugar and that gives you different energy, how does that affect people? Can you describe some of those terms and what they all mean?
Cory: Sure. Well, talking about nutrition itself, the simple building blocks that most people have heard of are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The thing is that each one of those components is made up of smaller building blocks that some of them good and some of them bad. Our Western diet seems to be working steadily to decrease the quality of the building blocks in all three of those components, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
So amino acids would be the particles or the chemicals, the substrates, the enzymes that make up proteins. Proteins are a pretty complicated food group in that you have 20 amino acids that the human body cannot manufacture and they’re called essential amino acids. They must be eaten. We can create a lot of the protein that we need inside our body; but there’s a lot that we can’t, and that’s what makes up the essential amino acids.
Now the important part of these essential amino acids is they can be eaten incompletely. You can take 15 or 12, or five, of the amino acids and use them and your body can use that partially but not completely. Some examples of complete proteins would be meat for example. Animal flesh is a complete protein, a lot of forms of dairy and eggs. But the incomplete proteins that can be combined, vegetarians fear-not, the incomplete proteins can be combined with one another if you put the right sets of foods together to make complete proteins.
This is what builds muscle, which I’m sure people who train for Ironman competitions are really interested in. But proteins, whether they’re in their components or they’re all put together as a complete protein, the component of our diet that helps us actually build muscle, build protein-based tissue, build many of the important proteins that carry energy around our body. But in our stomachs, they are also the things that allow us to hold on and slowly burn the nutrients that we’re eating.
So protein especially for a really physically active person probably needs to be included in everything somebody eats, and I’m talking here about complete proteins. You can put them together however you want. But at the end, the protein has to be something that puts all of the particles together.
Pete: So for an entrepreneur who is generally classed as a knowledge worker – they’re not actually out there running, lifting, doing manly sort of activities; sex, I’ll put that in there, but who are doing knowledge work-kind of stuff. That means that proteins and amino acids are not as important as other types of nutrition and food?
Cory: Au contraire. Protein is really important. If you want to think just because the carbohydrates are the thing your brain actually uses to think and be creative and to do all of that great knowledge work; but if you eat only carbohydrates, particularly the simple carbohydrates which will give you a sudden energy boost, in about two or three hours you are going to be crashing.
You’re going to be reaching for more carbohydrates. If you don’t want that to happen, you’d better be sticking some protein or some high-quality fat along with that carbohydrate, and eating carbohydrates that are of really good quality if you don’t want your brain puttering out on you in about two hours.
Pete: Okay. What about the low blood sugar? A lot of people talk about low blood sugar and that’s a thing when you’re having your afternoon dip or your afternoon slide mentally. Is there a relationship there? Probably describe what that is for people.
Cory: Absolutely. Your muscles use everything in your body ultimately, and use sugar – the simplest of the carbohydrates, to fuel them. Your brain in particular, your body will shut down almost every other system to provide oxygen and sugar to your brain to keep it functioning. You’d think that it would be great for us to have a steady diet of Snickers bars and Twinkies if that was really good for our brain. The unfortunate thing is what our brain doesn’t tolerate well is sudden spikes and dramatic drops in our sugar.
So when people have low blood sugar events in the middle of the afternoon, it usually means that they’ve eaten something a few hours before that is fairly carbohydrate and simple carbohydrate to boot and nothing to slow down that burn. So the sugar which starts being digested in the mouth and absorbed in the mouth rushes into the system, and then the body releases insulin.
Insulin is sort of the traffic cop of the blood sugar system. Insulin rapidly tries to move sugar out of the blood stream and either into the muscles or the brain; or if we don’t need it, stores as fat. It can do this pretty effectively and it will rush out. It’ll send out a SWAT team if you eat something that’s really high in rapidly metabolized sugar. It will do its job so rapidly that the next thing you know, you’ve got no sugar at all in your blood stream.
When that happens, the brain sends out an incredible alert that says, “Get up now and go find me some M&Ms, or I’m going to shoot the next person I see.” Everything in our body is designed to make sure that the brain survives. It’s very primitive and very reptilian. But if you drive yourself into the state where you have no more fuel left for your brain, you’re going to grab the cheapest, fastest sugar source you can lay your hands on, the next thing you see – the donut, whatever, to make that screaming in your head stop.
People will manifest this in different ways. Some will be grumpy, some will be sweaty, and their hearts will pound. They won’t be functioning at peak efficiency and they will lose their steam probably when they need it the most.
Pete: Okay. So in terms of amino acids and low blood sugar and proteins, and all that sort of stuff, is there any other definitions that you think are worth setting up front before we delve into some actionable points that we can take and use this when they are working out their day instruction and meals? Are there any other high-level foundation points worth touching on?
Cory: Well, there’s a lot of information on a lot of products, a tremendous volume of products that all speak to preventing low blood sugar, increasing performance, building muscles, making you manly, making you a super performer. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of them, that very few of them especially at this point, rely on actually eating real food.
And so, supplements and vitamins will come into this category as though we can condense all the stuff that we need down into a pill and take it and be better people. Now, I am not going to stir up a can of worms with the folks who sell nutritional supplements. But it is possible to get everything you need from the diet you have in front of you.
It just means you’ve got to know what you’re eating and know what you’re after to move your diet in that direction. You might have to do a lot of eating and you might have to do a lot of eating of real food. But I think that vitamins give the Western world really, really expensive urine, and then they do some really good things. But I don’t know about whether or not they do it to a degree that we all wish that it would.
Pete: Yeah, I’m definitely one of those people that eat to live; whereas, my beautiful wife is a person who lives to eat. The day that the Jetson lifestyle is actually adequate and I can live off of four pills a day, I would. I’m not a big foodie. For someone like me who eats well or as well as I can, do you think vitamins are a good thing to take if it’s a general well-being, all-around multivitamin? Or is that, again, just expensive urine?
Cory: No, it really depends. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re asking. There’s nothing wrong with using supplements are all-around multivitamins. There’s nothing wrong with using targeted multivitamins. The thing you have to ask yourself and hopefully ask a wise counsel is, “Why am I doing this? What do I expect out of it? Am I taking this because I’m either too lazy or too busy to do what I actually need to do, or am I taking this because it really serves a need?
I’ve put in such an incredible demand on my body that I really need to ramp up what I’m putting in there and there’s no other way to do it than to take a supplement.” So I’m not dissing supplements, particularly for people who perform at extremes in their physical activities. South Florida football players are going to need a heck of a lot more salt than I am, that’s what Gatorade was invented for.
Pete: For want of a better analogy, it’s the icing on the cake. So long as you’ve got a good healthy base of nutrition in your cake, then having a little bit extra vitamins is going to give you that additional burst. But it’s not going to actually take over and replace core, good clean living.
Cory: Right, exactly. All the most incredible vitamins in the world can’t replace real food. When I say ‘real food,’ I don’t mean gourmet food. I just mean the kind of food you’ve been able to eat for the last 80,000 years. You know, whatever it was we were evolved to eat and we’ve gone very far afoot from that. But at any rate, people who function at extremes sometimes need some extreme interventions. But they’d better make sure they’ve got their house in order first.
Pete: I love that. Let me ask you a couple of key hurdles that every entrepreneurs faces through their day. Let’s break down some of this stuff into actionable things that people who are listening to this and reading the transcripts, can actually take and use to sculpt their day and their routine a little bit. Let’s talk about starting the day right. They say how you start it is how you finish with everything in life. I think Bill Phillips, the author of Body for Life, when asked, “What is the one key thing that a person can do when it comes to their health and nutrition? What’s the biggest difference?”
He said, “Start your day with a proper breakfast. If you start right, you’re going to be less likely to cheat because you know you started right. You would not cheat against yourself. If you have a scrappy breakfast, you’re not going to have a great lunch, you’re not going to get better, you’re only going to get worse,” was his message. What do you think is the best way to start a day? What should you eat? What should you drink? Should you take some vitamins then? How should you start your day right to get the maximum value for concentration and energy for the rest of the day as an entrepreneur?
Cory: Sure. To start your day with whatever is important, and that’s the baseline I think for all entrepreneurs; whether it’s what you’re about to write or what you’re going to choose to do, or how you’re going to exercise, but particularly, how you’re going to eat. And I agree with you 100%, breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. My experience with my clients and my patients, and my own personal experience, has demonstrated to me that you’ve got to have protein.
You’ve got have some kind of slow burning carbohydrate and if you’re really smart you’re going to throw some vegetables in there. Now, in America basically that’s the exact opposite of our Cheerios, milk and toast and coffee breakfast, which is straight pure carbohydrate. I think that probably the perfect breakfast is something like, not to upset the vegans out there, but something like eggs and vegetable greens and probably beans or lentils as a slow form of carbohydrates.
Almost all vegetables, particularly the green and deeply colorful ones will fill you up with incredible nutrition, incredibly powerful vitamins but also fill you up. The protein will keep every carbohydrate that you absorb from that burning nice and slow and long. I am challenging everybody that’s listening to try this. If this is not the way you eat for breakfast, try this for a couple of mornings. I don’t care what you do the rest of the day; but try something like eggs, greens and beans, lentils or black beans, just something like that every morning for two or three mornings and then go back to the way that you were eating and tell me if you don’t notice a difference.
Pete: What did you say scrambled eggs? Hard-boiled eggs? Does it matter how you cook the eggs?
Cory: Any kind of eggs as long as it’s not fried in something else that’s going to kill you, as long as it’s not trans fats.
Pete: But it’s definitely a contradiction to what everyone sees on the TV and what entrepreneurs in the marketing and advertising game would make you believe is good for you. A bit of broccoli, some eggs and some lentils as breakfast. It might take a bit to get used to.
Cory: It does. The funny thing is in parts of the world where obesity is not an issue notice that with the exception of rice, carbohydrates are not the focus of the breakfast. It’s usually vegetables and meat or some other protein – tofu, whatever. But you need a complete protein, you need a complex carbohydrate. And if you’re smart, you’re also going to jam-pack all of that with really colorful vegetables.
Pete: You’re saying the slow carbohydrate. Is that The Low GI term that a lot of people use?
Cory: Yes. The slow carbohydrates are the ones that really take a long time for your body to break down. And although I’m not a paleo diet fanatic, one of the things I really do like about the tendency towards the – for lack of a better term – caveman-based diets is that they’re designed to have us eating the way we evolved to eat. Now, the beautiful thing about human beings is we’ve adapted to eat anything. We can live on Twinkies. Our brains probably will fry, but we can survive for a very long time on all of the food that we’ve created on this planet or we wouldn’t have been able to overrun it the way we have.
But there’s a difference between surviving and thriving, and doing what’s optimal for the organism. And, yes, slow carbs, you can also call them The Low GI carbs. They don’t rush into your system, therefore they don’t drive your blood sugar up, therefore they don’t drive your insulin up, and therefore you don’t have a crash and a craving within three hours of eating them.
Pete: That’s the whole idea, trying to get something that’s going to be sustainable throughout the day so you don’t have those peaks and troughs.
Cory: Absolutely. You want a nice steady burn.
Pete: So this leads onto the next hurdle that a lot of people have, particularly morning people or even people who are night owls. You get that 3:00 PM slump or 3:00 PM blues everyone has in the mid-afternoon. Just after lunch, they come back. And if you’re a speaker or someone who presents on stage, you know the worst time to speak is straight after lunch or straight after dinner because everyone is in a sort of zombie state. How do you avoid that when you’re busy and you’re on the run, and you have to have something for lunch? What’s the best meal to have for lunch to sustain and avoid that 3:00 PM hurdle?
Cory: Well, basically you could eat exactly the same thing you eat for breakfast. The combination is pretty much the same no matter what you eat. Now, that sounds pretty boring, but there are ways. Say you have a salad and salmon and some more complex carbohydrates, quinoa or brown rice. Small amounts of that, but things that again you think about sustaining is the protein, nourishing is the vegetables and fueling is your carbohydrate.
All of those need to be the highest quality you can lay your hands on. Notice I didn’t say fruit. Now, I’ve got nothing against fruit and it makes a wonderful addition to your diet. But if you’re not careful about your fruits, you can do worse to your body in some ways than say Snickers candy bar. Because if your candy bar has got peanuts in it, it’s going to last a lot longer than say a slice of, I’m probably committing heresy here, an orange or a banana.
Pete: That’s it, because I do snack on bananas quite a lot. So obviously, that sort of stuff is not a great snack. But what makes a good snack in terms of 11:00 snack or a 3:00 PM snack? What are some of the better things to nibble on?
Cory: Nuts, carrots, nuts and carrots together. If you do have fruit, and I’m not dissing bananas – the potassium in bananas is great. But if you’re going to have a banana, throw some peanuts in there with it. Slow it down. Whenever you take in sweetness, slow it down. You will get a lot more out of it, a lot bigger bang for your buck.
Pete: Just make sure you do balance it all out so you have that antithesis almost of the sweetness, to balance it. Is that a fair point?
Cory: Yes, it is. You do need something. If you were going to have a banana snack, I’d say have half a banana and spread some almond butter on it. The big problem for entrepreneurs, I think, is finding the portable emergency good health because lunch meetings run long or you end up at 10 o’clock with a plate of bagels and some coffee in front of you. It’s like, “Oh God, how do I keep up my performance when I’m being offered junk?” Well I’m going to tell you. Carry almonds.
Carry almonds in your pocket, carry peanuts. By the way peanuts are not really nuts. Peanuts are more like beans, so they make a really good substitute for the black beans. If the best thing that you can do is find a hard-boiled egg at the deli or at the grocery store, a handful of carrots, the prepackaged carrots, and a handful of peanuts, you’re good to go. You’ve got the right combination there. It’s not the ideal combination, but it’ll sustain you.
So I really encourage people to look for what it is they can eat that keeps that combination together that they can keep packed in their briefcase, or in their backpack, or in their coat pocket. Because you’re going to get stuck – that’s the life of an entrepreneur. It changes on a dime. Know that that’s what happens and don’t let the fact that it changes on a dime throw you off plan or at least keep that to a minimum.
Pete: It’s been discussed quite a bit in various groups and conversations I’ve had with people in your sort of space, is that entrepreneurs obviously want an ROI. It’s all about the return on the investment they make. And a good argument I’ve heard made, and it’s probably going to be said by the people much more articulately than me. But if you think about your day in the morning whether you get up at 4:35, 4:37 or 4:38, whatever it might be, invest an extra 10 or 15 minutes before you walk out the door to make those snacks, to get those little baggies ready.
It’s going to give you not only a better outcome per hour for the rest of the day because you’re going to be snacking on better foods that will actually help you concentrate better and lots other stuff, but actually it hopefully will give you an extra hour out of your day. That 15-minute investment to better nutrition will actually allow you to have an extra hour in your day that you would have otherwise needed. Do you think that’s a fair question or fair statement?
Cory: I think it’s a great statement and I’ll go one further. I usually recommend people to plan that at night because it requires some brain energy. And unless you’re a really bright and shiny morning person, I’m speaking from experience here – this is my own bias – I don’t make my best choices before I’m fully awake. So my best strategy for myself is to make sure that I know what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to eat, especially what I’m going to do for the first two or three hours in the day already set up the night before.
I just suggest that people make that sort of plan before they know they’re going to stumble. If you’re the kind of person that keeps punching the snooze button, don’t make decisions about your food in the morning. Make it the night before.
Pete: I think that’s a lot of people in the productivity space talk about; that is, getting ready for the following day whether it’s just for your health or whether it’s actually for your to-do list, so to speak. Let the subconscious think about it. There’s a whole commitment and consistency element. If you’ve heard the Influence podcast we’ve had on PreneurCast before.
You talked about the night before, so let’s talk about sleep. It’s a perfect bridge into that because I think sleep is a big thing. So just talk about how much sleep should somebody get and how do you maximize that sleep and all that sort of stuff. I know Tim Ferriss covered it quite a bit in his The 4-Hour Body book. What’s your take on the whole sleep discussion when it comes to entrepreneurs?
Cory: Yes, well, I actually think that sleep is the second most important nutrient next to oxygen. We can go a lot longer without water and without food than we can go without sleep, particularly when it comes to high-level performance. People in general don’t get enough sleep. Adults don’t get enough sleep. But entrepreneurs really, especially when we’re excited about something, we can run ourselves absolutely ragged, which is a diminishing routine on investment.
Because if we’re running ourselves late into the night, particularly if we’re running ourselves past 10 or 11 o’clock, we’re actually cheating ourselves out of some of the best energy-building time there is. You mentioned earlier about the slump that we have at 3 in the afternoon. Well, actually, our adrenal glands are starting to try and gear up at 3 in the afternoon. So there is an energetic shift going on in our bodies.
Our temperature gets higher at 3 in the afternoon, and I do think that some of the slump is if we don’t ride with it and give our body the energy it needs at say, lunchtime, then we’re really running on empty when our adrenal glands and brain need us the most. The reverse of that is at 3 in the morning, our adrenal glands, our energy meter is really at its lowest ebb. We’re supposed to be asleep. We’re supposed to be in a dead coma at 3:00 AM.
If you’ve ever been awake at 3:00 AM trying to work on something, notice how cold you are. You’re almost nonfunctional in terms of brain capacity. Now, there are some night owls out there. There are some people whose circadian rhythm or whose body clock runs on a different time table. But by and large, again, we were pretty designed to rest when it’s dark and move when it’s light; and the electric light has changed all of that.
So when people are telling me that they have to run on a short amount of sleep, I tell them, “Look, then go to bed early and get up early, rather than go to bed late.” Because the best sleep that you’re going to get, you can almost count the hours that you get before midnight as two hours, so you are much better off in terms of your performance and brain function to be going to bed early.
Cut it off, go to bed early, stop spinning your wheels when you’re stuck in the mud, and revitalize yourself and come back at it, even if that means that you have to get up at 3 or 4. The best restoring time is ahead of that slump in your adrenal glands at 3:00 AM. If you’re only going to get five hours of sleep, try and get at least two or three of those hours before midnight.
Pete: Is there an ideal amount of sleep or is that affected by what you do during the day? So the better your nutrition is, the fitter you are throughout the day? Does that allow you to sleep less? Is there a correlation there?
Cory: Yes, but that is so variable from person to person. I think everybody can do an experiment with finding out. If you take a vacation or something, don’t turn on the alarm and just see when you naturally feel tired and when do you naturally wake up. Try and work within that. But there are some people who need 12 hours of sleep and some people who need 3 hours of sleep, or they need spurts of 3 hours of sleep.
Thomas Edison was one of those folks, and nobody is going to argue that he was an incredibly creative entrepreneur. But it’s important that you sort of experiment with what you need for you. But by and large, you’re better off going to bed early and getting up early, most people are. And what you need in terms of sleep changes a lot as you age. No matter what it is you set up today, no matter what your perfect optimal performance or sleep is today or diet is today, what you’re going to need two years from now or what you needed five years ago was completely different.
So always be prepared and light on your feet when it comes to that. I don’t have a real good answer for how many hours everybody needs; but yes, I think the less crap you feed yourself and the better you exercise yourself, the more productive your sleep is going to be, the more restful, the more restorative and in some cases, shorter.
Pete: One final question before I let you go, and this is actually a question that I experienced myself very recently and it’s something you touched on just then; about the vacation side of stuff when you go on vacation. I know a lot of entrepreneurs, this happens to so many people I speak about and I experienced it on my honeymoon not that long ago, with everything working so hard leading up to the wedding and obviously, the honeymoon.
Three days into the honeymoon, I got the worst flu I’ve had in a number of years. So I’m sitting on the beautiful Maldives on this fantastic over-water hut, looking out at the most crystal clear water. I was sitting there snotty and coughing with a sore throat for most of the honeymoon which kind of was a bit of a letdown.
Pete: So how do entrepreneurs lead up to that? Maybe we get you on another call so you can really delve into managing travel. Because obviously, a lot of entrepreneurs do that traveling quite a bit. How you can manage jet lag and all that sort of stuff, but particularly, whether it’s just Christmas vacation or summer holidays, how do people actually manage to lead up so they don’t get that sickness that so many people have? Everyone says, “If you’re going so hard when your body stops, then you get sick.” Is that actually true? How do you manage that?
Cory: Well, interestingly enough, it is sort of true. It’s not 100% true. Up to a certain point, you can will yourself well. And I think that entrepreneurs and school teachers and doctors are the kinds of people who just don’t have time to be sick. The hard part about that is if you’re running your tank on empty, sooner or later, something is going to break, something is going to give. And it’s almost when you break your stride suddenly that comes crashing down on you.
It’s such a good question, I would actually really like to be doing some research on how you avoid that. How you avoid that phenomenon, because it’s well-known in all people that work really hard and really long. The short answer is, you take care of business beforehand particularly when it comes to sleep, particularly when it comes to sleep. If you’re really going nonstop all day long, saving the world and changing lives, you’ve got to take a little vacation every single day. No matter how hard the grind is, no matter what you’re working on, that’s what sleep is.
Sleep is a miniature vacation all the time. And if you’re going to screw around with anything, if you’re going to cheat yourself with anything, don’t make it be sleep. Don’t make it be sleep because that’s when your body has an opportunity to pump up the immune system, and put everything back right, and hit your reset button, and reboot you, and send you out. And if you’re cheating yourself on sleep, that’s a negative investment.
Pete: Fantastic. You’ve answered a whole bunch of stuff. I really appreciate the conversation and letting me record it because we want to share with everybody. Is there any other final tips or rules or things that you suggest entrepreneurs do, and consider, and make part of their ritual for their health and well-being? I’m guessing sleep is a big thing.
Cory: Sleep is huge. It really is. And it sounds really big when I say it like that; but truthfully, human beings, we are such creatures of habit. Anything I’ve ever tried to get somebody to change a habit, I come face-to-face with what creatures of habit we are. Entrepreneurs, in particular, want everything all to happen right now and think in very big ways and very long-term or very short-term. But the things that are going to stick with you are the habits that you make as daily rituals, and they don’t have to be big, they just have to be consistent.
I have a real respect for Leo Babauta who does Zen Habits, talking about just the science of keeping it small but consistent. And if you change just one thing, if you go to bed 15 minutes earlier on a regular basis, just 15 minutes earlier for a month and then another 15 minutes earlier or whatever, whatever it is you want to change in your life, take one thing and change it consistently.
Even if it’s only five minutes at a time, for a month, and then move on to adding on to that if that’s something that really matters to you. But the really big changes just like conservative investing, your bank account grows when you put small amounts consistently in there rather than big amounts whenever you think of it. And you’re going to come out better in the end if you’re just slow and steady applying common sense and using it every single day.
Pete: I love it. Cory, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. I know that the listeners have probably got a lot of actionable things out of this and some habits to change and some habits to form, so I thank you so much for your time.
Cory: Thank you, Pete. It was fun talking to you.
[Pete’s interview with Cory ends]
Dom: Wow. That’s what I said at the beginning. I was really looking forward to listening to that and I definitely picked up some great stuff from that. To me, it was just a great coverage, as you said in the introduction, of the big topics that entrepreneurs face. And each one, the big three, each one of those is something that I’ve had problems with in the past or that I have to keep an eye on myself. You know, starting the day right is really, really important and Cory had some good stuff to talk about that and those 3:00 PM blues which people…
Pete: We all get that.
Dom: You know some people suffer from, some people don’t. But the big one for me was the sleep thing. Sleep is, I think, one of my biggest issues. So there were some great things covered off there. And I really enjoyed that. So I’m really glad that you got to talk to her, Pete.
Pete: Yeah. It was great conversation. Some of the stuff at the start might have been a bit low-level for a lot of people. We’re just setting that foundation. As we do with most episodes here on PreneurCast, we want to set the context and the frame right before we dig deep into something. That’s what we did with Cory there. I’m very keen to have a few more conversations with Cory about a lot of the stuff we just touched on in the conversation today, and actually speak to her again, and get really deep on a whole range of stuff.
We’ve been having some dialogue seems a better way to make that happen more regularly. So we’ll keep you all informed about that. Make sure to check out PreneurMedia.tv, which is the home of PreneurCast and obviously, some other podcasts that may be coming down the line shortly.
Dom: You know, that’s a really exciting new project for our PreneurMedia.tv channel, and I’m certainly looking forward to listening to those episodes. In the meantime, if you want to get a hold of Cory or you want to find out some more about her, you can reach her website at Unorthodoc.com. Now, that link will be in the show notes, but it’s Unorthodoc.com.
Speaking of new things for the new year, we have a new sponsor. This sponsor is Shoeboxed. This is a service that Pete uses a lot, me not so much at the moment but I’m certainly looking into it. Shoeboxed is an online service for managing receipts, bills, business cards, basically any kind of information that you can scan in – those things that you tend to lose or drop or end up not filing in the right place.
The great thing about Shoeboxed is that it scans the data in, but then it reads it and interprets it and helps you file it. And once it’s worked on your data, you can export this data into just about anything really. The basics like Excel, it’ll integrate with your Outlook and different accounting packages. In fact, they have a new integration recently with QuickBooks and also a nifty, nifty integration with HP’s web-enabled scanner/printer multifunction devices.
Pete, I know you use Shoeboxed with your super, mega, ninja gadgetry portable scanner with its plug-in Wi-Fi SD card that I’m sure we’ll come back to at some point. But I think we might just leave that in the geek corner for now. But if you’re interested in Shoeboxed, then check it out at PreneurMedia.tv/Shoeboxed, and that link of course will be in the show notes. So thanks everybody for joining us this week. Pete, thanks for a fantastic interview with Cory, lots of great information. As always, I was there busily taking notes.
Folks, if you enjoyed this interview, if you’re enjoying this show, do leave us a comment over at PreneurMedia.tv or on the iTunes Store, whichever is your preference. Do drop us an email at [email protected] if you want to have a chat with us. We do try and answer everybody, and we certainly take all of your comments on board. We’re really interested in your feedback as we move into our second year of this podcast. We really appreciate your listening through the first year and looking forward to bringing you more useful stuff as we go on. So, bye for now.
Pete: Catch you all next week.
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