Family leaders think they are invincible when it comes to their health. They are just like a Frog in a pot.


Are you a frog in a pot?

You may be familiar with the story of the “frog in the pot”- that if you put a frog into boiling water, the frog will immediately jump out of the pot. But if your put a frog in cold water and gently increase the temperature, the frog is not aware of the gradual change and will eventually die by boiling to death.

            If you are like most business owners there is one area of your business that just about all of you have neglected, your own health and well being.  When did you last go and have a full health check-up?  By check up I don’t mean a visit to your GP , I mean a full stress test. I bet you wouldn’t forget to have your car serviced or carry out routine maintenance on your plant and equipment. Yet the only engine you have and keeps your body healthy is expected to run for years without proper fuel or maintenance.

Are like the frog in the pot?

I have come across countless business owners in their middle age who have woken up one day to find that they have a health crisis. It has been something that has been evolving over time and has just come to the surface. If you suddenly find that you are out of breath when you climb some simple stairs, cannot pee properly, funny lumps start appearing on your face, your back is in constant pain, you wake up at 3am wishing you could go back to sleep, the newspaper is hard to read first thing in the morning, you are starting to forget where you left the car keys, your clothes are tighter around the waist to and your belt is out two holes etc.etc. welcome to the real world where both men and women have reached a stage where your body is starting to send you warning signals. It’s just like the frog, this has been creeping up on you unnoticed.

            Working IN your business without some sort of balance in your life will only accelerate the health dangers. The real hidden danger for those caught in the work routine of all work and no play is that of stress.

            In my search for more information on preventing sudden and unexpected health crisis, I read two books that caused me to get my own act together. The first was Deepak Chopra’s book Grow younger, live longer and ageless body, timeless mind and the second was written by Gabor Mate titled When the Body says No. Read these and I can assure you that you will be booking yourself in for the million kilometre service with your doctor.

            Why don’t family business owners go to the doctor more often to have check-ups?  If you are in your own business you are probably working on the fact that your retirement or superannuation is tied to the net worth of the business. Therefore, your capacity to work is very important. Even more so if you do not have a succession plan in place.

            In recent times I have experienced a few of my business friends and clients being caught unaware by sudden health problems. There has been diabetes, glandular fever, bowl cancer, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, severe back problems, numerous skin cancers and heart problems. All of these people where over forty years of age. They had no idea that they had anything wrong with themselves before hand and many of the problems could have been avoided with regular health checks.

Get help to plan your succession, learn to let go and start handing over to the next generation.

            Everything said above applies to your employee as well. You should ensure that they also look after their health. Without them you don’t have a business.

Bill Winter


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