Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Entrepreneurship has been an interesting journey. The nature of our work is such that we experience very busy periods and very slow periods. Over time, you find ways to fill up the space of the less busy times. For me, without really realizing it, I filled in the time by eating better, thinking more about the food I bought, how I prepared it and exercising. I even became a runner (out of my way, fat man running!). This was a pretty important new trick that I learned, and in learning it I lost a lot of weight over the first two years we were in business.

2014 was a very busy year for us at Copperworks, and as a result I backslid some. I put some of the weight I’d lost back on. As work ate up time, the things I’d filled it with began to fall by the wayside. With less free time, making smarter choices became much more challenging. Forget exercising.

The good news is that for the first time in my life I recognized how my behaviour was changing while I was under stress and I managed to stop it. Exercising remained a challenge for about six months of 2014, but I managed to stop the weight gain I was experiencing and to keep it in line. Old dog learns, kind of forgets, then remembers trick.

I have maybe even learned from my experiences in 2014 and picked up another trick. Late in the year I started back on the exercise regime, and in January of 2015, I began waking up early enough to get my runs in before work. I have that down cold now. So when things get busy again it should be easier to integrate that into my busier schedule. I also started to run on Saturdays and Sundays, so if I get those two runs in, I only need one more in the week to reach my minimum goals of three runs a week. Ideally I hit four runs a week.

It’s funny how an old dog can learn new tricks. The secret for me is that time creates habits, but the only way to give yourself the time you need to create the habits is to allow yourself to fail and not punish yourself when you do. That’s the trick that took me the longest to learn. Failure isn’t the end. For me, it’s a new beginning.