Healthy Living Is a Prerequisite for Success

By Jeff Beals

Nearly 300 years ago, a British physician, preacher and intellectual by the name of Thomas Fuller said, “Health is not valued till sickness comes.”

Such sage historical wisdom still holds true today. Those who hope to achieve the highest heights in the 21st Century economy need to take care of something as simple as personal health.

Making a commitment to healthy living is a prerequisite for success. But it’s not only physical health that matters.

Those who enjoy long-term success realize that their personal lives must be in order. That means you should care for your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health as much as the health of your career.

It is very difficult to be successful at work when your personal life is a mess. If your marriage is dysfunctional, it’s hard to focus on high-level career achievement. If you lack a set of core beliefs, you may not be able to create philosophy of life that guides you to some great achievement. If you are barely keeping your financial head above water, you don’t have the financial ability to take on entrepreneurial endeavors. Whatever the problem, you will be more successful in all facets of life if you take care of things at home.

A good attitude does wonders for your success. Think positive thoughts and constantly reinforce yourself in your own mind. As Norman Vincent Peale taught us in his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, you can cause successful outcomes by forcing yourself to be optimistic.

After you adopt a positive attitude, there are several other things you can do that will make you a healthier person.

If you have a faith, I recommend you practice it. Believing in and answering to a higher power has an amazing affect on career success. Prayer, meditation or whatever you choose to call it, purges the toxins from your mind and gives you strength and confidence.

After faith comes family. No matter how ambitious you are, your family should be one of your highest priorities. Do whatever it takes to protect your familial relationships. If things ever get really tough, you want to be able to depend on those who share your blood. Stick up for your family members and look out for their interests. In the long run you will be far richer if family comes before career.

Close friends are almost as important as family. A long-time friend who truly understands you is worth his or her weight in gold. Put the important people in your life on a pedestal and make them your priority. If you go out of your way to put people first, you will have more business opportunities than you can handle.

Because family and friends are so important, you should adopt an attitude of acceptance. Let them be who they are and enjoy them in spite of all their flaws and weaknesses. Forgive them any time they wrong you. Bite your tongue, when you feel like saying something hurtful to a friend or family member. These relationships are so important, that it’s foolish to put them at risk over some temporary passion.

While relationship-building contributes to career success, so does physical health. You don’t have to be an obsessive gym rat, but being in shape and consuming the right nutrition gives you more energy and stamina.

Keep your home life organized. Make sure your house is generally clean and tidy. Have a good system for organizing your bills and other important papers. Develop systems and routines for the simple, daily things. If you run a tight ship at home, you will have time for important things. After all, it’s awfully hard to conquer the world if you’re constantly misplacing your car keys.

Hobbies and recreation are also parts of a healthy life. Having enjoyable stimulation outside work recharges your battery and contributes to creative thinking. Just don’t go too hog wild with your hobbies. Some people get so deeply involved in hobbies that they hurt their job performance and drain their bank accounts.

Speaking of bank accounts, personal financial discipline is part of a healthy lifestyle. Just as you need to get your body in shape, you need to shape up your financial condition as well. A long time ago, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.”

There has always been a portion of the population that has chosen to live on the edge of the financial abyss, recklessly spending all they have, investing little or nothing. Unfortunately, that portion of the population has been growing rapidly, and it’s becoming quite a problem.

Living a financially reckless life will eventually catch up with you and hurt your career. If you have no savings, you have no “go-to-hell-money,” the power to walk away from a job or a client when you’re not happy. A lot of financial debt can prevent you from taking some lower paying job that might actually make you happier. For every minute you spend worrying and fretting about how you will make ends meet, you are taking away time from your grander goals.

It sounds so elementary, but it’s worth a reminder. Live a balanced and healthful life in order to reach the top.

That said, let’s end with one disclaimer: don’t be obsessive-compulsive in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, because as comedian Redd Foxx said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”  

Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.  As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide.   You can learn more and follow his “Business Motivation Blog” at  To discuss booking a presentation, call (402) 637-9300

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to anyone who might benefit from it.

Avoid the Meeting Trap

By Jeff Beals

Comedian Fred Allen once quipped, “A committee is a group of men, who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.”

Few things cause professionals to roll their eyes in disgust more than a disorganized, unnecessary meeting. In today’s business world, there are simply too many meetings. A significant portion of the meetings we attend are simply unnecessary. Even if a meeting is needed, the majority of time during that meeting is filled with unnecessary content.

The first step in escaping the meeting trap is to avoid meetings whenever possible. If you are in charge, try to find ways that your people can be empowered to make individual decisions at the lowest level possible. Good organizations should expect professional team members to keep each other informed, but for the most part, they should be encouraged to behave as confident individuals.

If your presence is not essential, try to get out of going. Don’t go to meetings just for the sake of making your calendar look more impressive. If you don’t have an active role in the meeting, and assuming your boss isn’t ordering you to attend, try to get out of it. Professional success is measured by results, power, influence, impact on the world and compensation, not by the number of meetings you attend each week.

If you must go, there are ways of making it more efficient. If you are leading the meeting, create an agenda in advance. Stick to the agenda and don’t allow participants to stray too far from it. Use good meeting facilitation techniques to keep it moving. You will have to periodically bring people back when they go off on verbal tangents.

When I must attend a meeting in which I do not have an active role, I bring paperwork with me or handle emails on my phone. I sit in the corner or back of the room and am productive while the meeting is going on. If you do this discreetly, most people won’t mind.

This is not to say all meetings are bad. In an era of business when collaboration is important, we need face-to-face time. The key is to make meetings valuable.

Otherwise you can “meeting” yourself to death and start to live like a politician. Nobody goes to more meetings than a politician as attested by these poignant quotes:

“I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.” – President Ronald Reagan

“Congress seems drugged and inert most of the time… its idea of meeting a problem is to hold hearings, or in extreme cases, to appoint a commission.” – Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to or call (402) 637-9300.

Traits of the Top 1%

By Jeff Beals

The thing that ultimately separates successful entrepreneurs and salespersons from the not-so-successful ones is the level of risk they are willing to take.

So says consultative selling expert Mark Hunter, who has been actively studying the traits of the top one percent of salespersons and entrepreneurs over the past 12 years. Widely known by his professional moniker, “The Sales Hunter,” he has compiled a list of these traits and uses them to help his clients do more business.

Of all the traits, risk-taking comes out on top.

“That doesn’t mean stupid risks,” Hunter says, “but calculated risks.  We have to be willing to step outside our boundaries.”

An entrepreneur’s or salesperson’s risk tolerance is especially important during economically challenging times. That’s when the low-hanging fruit has all been picked, forcing professionals to try new things and take chances.  Tough economic times bring more opportunities than ever before for those who are willing to take risks.

But risk-taking isn’t the only trait of the top one percent.  Some of the others include:

·         Niche-focused

·         Open-minded

·         People-centered

·         Passionate

·         Client-focused

·         Implementers

·         Innovators

·         Strong work ethic

·         Confident

·         Competent

·         Persistent

·         Resilient

·         Optimistic

·         Driven, results-oriented

If you look at the first two listed traits, “niche-focused” and “open-minded,” there appears to be a dichotomy.  In other words, how can a high-performing professional be niche-focused yet open-minded at the same time? 

Hunter admits that these two traits appear a bit paradoxical, but “niche-focused” implies that a salesperson or entrepreneur is incredibly driven toward one specific thing.  He or she has an amazing level of commitment to the mission and goals.

“Open-minded” refers to a high performer’s willingness to try new things, to see what else is out there.  As Hunter says, “I want to sniff, feel and discover.  I want to meet people and network.” Open-minded professionals study everything and translate what they learn back to their company.  Such people always have at least one close friend in a different industry.

There’s one trait you will definitely NOT find on the list: arrogance.  Over the years, Hunter has found that arrogance may put a person in the top one percent temporarily but won’t sustain them.  Those who are at the top, and stay at the top, truly understand the merits of being confident without coming across as cocky or self-serving.

Perhaps disappointing to many people, “servant-focused” is also not one of the universal traits.  Hunter sees it in some top performers but not all.  That may come as a surprise, because many leadership gurus have written extensively on the virtues of servant leadership.  Hunter suspects that some of the top one percent are so focused on and driven toward what they want to accomplish, they may not always view themselves or be seen by others as servants.

By the way, if you would like to contact Mark Hunter or learn about his services, go to

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to or call (402) 637-9300.