Why Your Body Is A Business And It’s Time To Raise Capital

By Christopher Walker
In Be Happy
Dec 20th, 2012
12 Comments

You may recall that recently we briefly touched upon a certain idea here on NoGym that shaped the way a professional model views his approach to fitness.

This idea is incredibly powerful.

Christopher Walker NoGym

© Denise Worden

View your body as a business.

Now, when we speak of businesses most people tend to think of money. Let’s challenge that way of thinking today.

Don’t get me wrong, using your looks to make money through career pursuits such as modeling and acting are great… but they’re only one side to this coin – and these pursuits do not apply to 99% of the rest of us.

A business is not all about money: but it is all about capital.

And there are many different types of capital.

So let’s dig in and open ourselves up to the possibility of leveraging our own innate capital resources so we can view our bodies, and health & fitness, as a business, building our way to success from the ground up.

Everyone Is A Start-Up At One Point

Coming from a background in tech startups, I can personally attest to the amount of all-consuming work that you must put into your company to even just get it off the ground. It’s draining, it’s tiring, sometimes it makes you feel like Grumpy Cat – but you know what, at the same time, it’s full of these indescribable euphoric highs as well.

For every deep low point there’s an uplifting high point.

Grumpy Cat

The same is true when you finally make that conscious decision to take responsibility for your health and fitness. You instantly turn into a startup of one. Me myself and I.

And you’re not going to be an early-stage acquisition; You’re not going to work 100 hour weeks for 1 or 2 years then get bought out by some bigger, better-looking company for 50 million dollars.

Nope.

You’re stuck with yourself forever. So get used to it. Get your payroll in order, set realistic work hours, and hire a killer team of employees for support. You’re in it for the long haul.

And you’re in it to win it.

Remember: even Apple, Google, Walmart, Amazon, and… hmm, let me pick a less conventional company other than Facebook… Wikipedia!… were all startups at one point.

And now they’re giants.

They’re enormous, perfectly sustainable businesses (despite what some TechCrunch readers might think – these boys are gonna be around for a long time) and through years of trial and error they’ve figured out how to win – over and over and over.

And that’s what you want to do too.

Win.

So expect a long arduous road ahead. You’re not going to get your ideal body in a couple months. Heck, you probably still won’t be satisfied this year or next year, or the year after.

For a lot of people, getting in shape – then staying in shape – is a lifelong process.

I know I personally still have some parts of my physique I need to work on, and I get paid to look good. Everyone has their own insecurities about their bodies: it’s just the way things are. But learning to take a healthy, sustainable approach to building a lifestyle for yourself that you enjoy and can happily live day-in-day-out while continually making progress toward your goals is what we need to strive for.

Not trying to get that early-stage acquisition.

Build a company that will last – and that matters. Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the different types of capital we can all tap into:

Types Of Capital

There are four types of capital involved with treating your body like a business:

  1. Money
  2. Social Capital
  3. Physical Capital
  4. Psychological Capital

Money

The first is obvious and only applies to very few blessed individuals – so I figured we’d get it out of the way. You can make money with your looks. In many different ways – kosher and not-so-kosher.

Is this, or should this be, a big incentivization for most people to get fit? No, most definitely not. Here’s why:

The amount of pressure that goes along with relying on your body and looks to pay the rent every month is something most can’t, and don’t want to, handle. It’s draining and you constantly have to be on top of your game: no cheat days. Not to mention the fact that you’re competing with other people who are just as competitive as you are and usually are more ripped or skinnier or have more experience, etc…

So yeah, the pressure sucks.

Second, money doesn’t motivate everyone the same way. Most people are comfortable: they may not being gettin guap (as Big Sean so elegantly puts it) but they can pay the bills and have a little leftover to go to the movies and a dinner every now and again.

Comfort almost always breeds desire for continued comfort.

“Oh, I just love my hot tub and big screen tv but… I think I’m gonna give it all away and live in my car from now on so I can stay ambitious” – Said Nobody Ever

So winning that transformation contest at work, and the $100 prize money that comes with it, might seem cool at first, but when you’re deep into your diet and that can of sour cream and onion pringles is calling your name from the pantry is that $100 really going to seem all that appealing anymore?

The point I’m making here is this: for most people, focusing on money as an incentive to get fit is not even on the radar screen, nor should it be.

So let’s move on to some more applicable forms of capital.

Social Capital

Alright, now we’re talking. This is where things get pretty interesting.

We all possess a certain level of social capital. How many people do you know? What kind of people do you hang out with? What kind of people would you like to hang out with? Who are you dating? Are you happy with your social situation? Do people take you seriously? Do you even have a social life at all? Do you want one?

Do people turn and look at you when you walk into a room, or do they ignore you?

These are all questions of social capital. Elements that contribute to how much, or how little, social capital you currently possess could be:

  1. Personality
  2. Your Smile
  3. Your Physique
  4. Humor
  5. Odor
  6. Posture
  7. Your Aura
  8. Confidence

And many other things. The good news is that every element of social capital can be raised with a little directed effort, enhancing your entire level of social capital in the process.

What kind of social ramifications do you want to achieve as a by-product of improving your body?

Do you want people to stare at you as you walk to the bar? Or open doors for you? Or take you seriously all the time? Or hang on the words that come out of your mouth?

We all have different reasons for getting in shape but there’s no denying the power of getting attention from others and the confidence that comes with being pleased with who you see looking back in the mirror.

Action item: before moving on to the next capital resource, I want you to identify one element of your social life that you think would improve if you in better shape than you are now. Got it? Ok.

Now keep that one thing in your mind next time you go workout, or stand staring into the fluorescent glow from your fridge late at night.

Remember: real, tangible improvements to a lot more than your waistline come along with treating your body as a business as you get in shape.

Next…

Startup Office

Physical Capital

We’re all born with certain strengths and weaknesses. And when it comes to our bodies, the same is true. Some of us are born athletes, while others struggle in sports. Some of us are tall, some short.

Many physical things are really not in our control.

However, many other physical elements are. And those are what we need to focus on. Let everything else go and focus on what you have the capacity to actually improve.

The first step to increasing your physical capital is to identify where you are lacking while identifying your long-term goals. Are you looking to be that broad-shouldered v-taper guy? Or that tight-body great-legs chick?

Or are you just looking to jump higher? Maybe to dunk a basketball? Or run faster… lift heavier… do more pull-ups.

Whatever it is you’re looking for… identify where you want to go, then identify what you need to improve in order to get there, figure out how to improve it, then just do it™.

Psychological Capital

This one can be a little tricky sometimes, just because of the nature of the mind, but when you’ve raised your psychological capital to the point where you are completely in control of your body, then you’ve reached a great place (unless you’ve got an eating disorder – then you’ve gotten too good).

Let me rephrase that: You’re in a good place when you have reached peace of mind and can strategically control the type and amount of food you put into your body and how much & the type of exercise you do in order to get the body of your dreams… but at the same time be very relaxed about it and not neurotic at all. Because nobody enjoys being around neurotic people…
Crazy ex meme

The nature of psychological capital is slightly counterintuitive though. Instead of striving to exert extreme amounts of control – or on the other end, extreme amounts of not giving a shit – you need to find that ‘sweet spot’ somewhere right in the middle.

Hitting the sweet spot is nice. You won’t worry about everything. You won’t compulsively search out all the newest fitness wisdom. You won’t be stressed if the chef used too much butter in your dish.

You’ll basically be content with the level of progress you’ve learned to consistently achieve.

So hopefully this article has given you a helpful new way of looking at your body and your pursuit of an aesthetic or health ideal in general. Remember, building a worthwhile business takes time and patience, and it will likely require you to raise capital.

However, you’ve already got plenty of innate capital and loads of potential to bootstrap this startup through your own willpower to turn it into a dominant business. So stop going to venture capitalists for a blind shot in the dark at support.

Take responsibility into your own hands and get out there and do your thang. Raise your own capital.

Okay, I promise I’m done with the metaphor ;)

Any comments or questions? Leave ‘em below. What do you think about this approach to viewing your body as a business?

About "" Has 134 Posts

Co-host of the Road To Ripped podcast, blogger at NoGym.net, and author of the Testosterone IO Program.
  • http://www.michellesaintonge.com Michelle

    Love this concept! I always say that when you are in business for yourself it’s like having a baby. If you don’t feed it, it won’t survive. Your health/ physique is the same thing. You’re the only one that can look after it.

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Yes! Exactly :)

  • Tom

    Great post!

    I really liked the analogies, very informative :)

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Thanks Tom! Glad you liked it.

  • Marco

    Hey Chris! great post!

    Very interesting points of view. Never occurred to me to view fitness as an investment, long, long term investment. I think that’s why a lot of people fail in their attempts to be fit or to have a successful business: They want intermediate results, and not sweat along the way. They want to get ripped in few weeks and have their company headquarters in central Manhattan in a question of months. Unless you have Wolverine’s mutant gens or your father is the king of England, that simply won’t happen.

    Keep up the excellent work Chris!

    Marco

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Hey Marco – glad you liked it. Yes, you’re completely right!
      Chris

  • http://Www.deanphillips.net Dean

    Loved this. Being a capital man is so important, not seeing a business as just a money based thing is huge. Absolutely loved this article and its opened up my eyes to all aspects of a business. Thanks man.

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Thanks for the comment Dean :)

  • http://www.leadershipprocess.com Dennis McIntee

    Great thought on looking at your health as capital. This concept will really help the results focused type leaders I work with! When YOU get better… EVERYTHING gets better! Thanks for the insight!

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Glad you could use the insights for your business!

  • http://projectwhitespace.com Bethany

    Great metaphor! I have been thinking of a post along this line but actually about how our bodies are investments. And how striving for health now is like keeping a personal health savings account. So this was good food for thought and probably something I can link to. Perfect.

    • http://www.nogym.net @ctheflow

      Thanks Bethany! Definitely send me a link when you put up that post – looking forward to reading it.

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