Photo by Danielle Cerullo

In early 2019 at a Vistage Group meeting in Raleigh, each member had to go through his or her strategic commitments for the year.  Most talked about their business goals and some brought up the need to become healthier by losing weight. After listening to everyone, I threw out a challenge to those that vowed to become healthier. I bet each person that if they hit their weight goals, I would donate $100 per pound for every pound lost to their favorite charity.  In return, if they were unable to hit their goal, they would have to donate $10,000 to my favorite charity, Durham Nativity School. Two of my fellow group members took me up on the challenge.

The first person asked me to check in and push him weekly.  He started off strong by working out four days per week given that he wanted to lose 30 pounds. He walked, went to boot camp, and rode the bike.  Unfortunately, he lasted as long as the average New Year resolution, which was about one month. In February, I knew it was over for him, but secretly hoped he’d re-commit for the next 11 months. 

The second person started strong by implementing a healthy diet and trying to do something active every day. He is a former college athlete and a very passionate person who can be rather impulsive; however, over time he had let himself balloon an extra 30 pounds.  Out of the two, I thought he had the best chance. Over the course of the next ten months, he went nowhere. He was unable to discipline himself to drop and keep the weight off. In November, he realized he’d have to drop 30 pounds in 45 days to win. He went at it hard.  Water and a leaf diet and a lot of exercise. He rapidly dropped 20 pounds and then hit a wall. With 10 days left, he only drank water and exercised like crazy. With about three days left in the year and four pounds shy, he realized his body could no longer sweat and gave up. 

It was bittersweet as Durham Nativity received an additional 20K in donations, but my friends couldn’t lose the weight.  Unfortunately, this is an example of how some run their businesses. Bad habits begin, and leaders wait too long to make changes, making it harder when they finally do.  At Sumus we help you stay on track and become the lean, high performing business you dream about.

Jim Baker

Jim Baker

Sumus was founded by Jim Baker, an entrepreneur with 27 years’ experience bootstrapping and growing his business organically and through acquisition, to share his experience by providing advisory services around Board representation, Organization and Branding Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Value enhancement and Exit strategy.