Entrepreneurs guide for better decisions and increased energy
It was 4 o’clock again, and I was feeling hungry. At least, that’s what I thought it was. I was craving food, with ideas of what to eat running through my mind.
Should I have steak? Should I have salmon?
…Should I have ice cream?
WTF? Where did that come from? Quickly the idea grew and soon, it seemed like the best option.
This wasn’t the first time this happened, so I tried to rationalize it and fight the urge to pick up a cone of homemade ice cream only 1 mile from my house, but I couldn’t do it.
I gave in and got the ice cream.
Has this ever happened to you before?
Maybe it wasn’t ice cream. Maybe it was coffee or one of those “healthy” protein bars. Hell, even a smoothie.
If you are an entrepreneur, I bet it has and I’d like to tell you why it’s happening and how you can gain control of this type of situation in your life.
It’s all because of decision fatigue.
I’m sure you’ve heard the urban legends: Mark Zuckerburg wearing the same T-shirt everyday. On the surface, it seems silly, but it’s a very real thing.
Decision fatigue is a well-documented psychological phenomenon that refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made after a long session of decision making.
For example, one study showed judges to be less favorable to defendants on trial later in the day than other earlier in the day.
As entrepreneurs, we too can fall victim to the same unreasonable behavior as these judges, making poor decisions that affect us negatively later in the day.
Entrepreneurs need to reserve their willpower for important decisions.
After working with some of the highest level entrepreneurs in the country to help them optimize their businesses and lives (and being one myself!), I can assure you that I understand the level of responsibility we all take on.
I’m certain I can prove this point with only one question:
How does your inbox look right now?
For the entrepreneurs I work with… It’s packed. Sometimes, 5,000+ emails!
So with all of this responsibility, do you really want to be WASTING your energy on saying “no” to bad food choices?
I’ll answer that for you: of course not. In fact, in the long run, you can’t afford to.
But the truth is, you already know this. I bet right now in your head you are reassuring yourself that you’ve heard this before and that it’s old news.
It is old news, but let me ask you this:
Are you still struggling to make good choices about what you put in your mouth?
Do you have enough energy later in the day to make solid decisions?
Problems with your energy impact the part of your brain responsible for making decisions.
I want you to think of your brain as 3 different parts:
- The reptile brain: responsible for basic and low-level processes such as your body’s temperature regulation.
- The limbic brain: responsible for searching for food and keeping you alive. It drives your survival instinct.
- The neocortex: responsible for high-level decision making and willpower.
I’m sure you have heard the statistic by now about how much energy your brain uses on a daily basis (about 20%). The flow in which your brain receives energy starts with the reptile brain and ends with the neocortex.
That means that the part of your brain that is responsible for making all of the important decisions in your life is fueled last — it gets the scraps.
Eating harmful foods affects your saps your energy and makes you underperform.
If you aren’t eating nutrient rich foods that fuel your body instead of damaging it, YOU will suck at making quality decisions later in the day (just like those judges), because you are barely fueling the part of your brain responsible for it (the neocortex).
Think of a day when you crushed it. When you worked hard, made shit happen, and came home still motivated and full of life.
I bet you had a ton of energy that day.
There is no coincidence here. There is a direct correlation between your energy levels and your performance. AND there is a direct correlation between the food you eat and your energy levels.
Your new goal is to start thinking about fueling your neocortex so that you have enough energy to crush it everyday and make decisions the entire day without deterioration in quality.
And you’re going to do this because it’s going to allow you to make a greater impact in the world. When you show up FULLY energized, people notice, you notice, and you get home feeling motivated. That motivation gives you momentum and with that momentum, you are unstoppable.
How to fuel your brain and reserve your energy
By now, you might be saying “Ross, I want to crush it everyday. Shut your mouth and tell me how!”
It all starts with what you put in your mouth and it starts at the beginning of your day. No more Starbucks double mocha frappuccinos. Okay?
That shit destroys you. It makes you weak.
I want to make this part the easiest part for you to implement because I need you to take action. I need you to take action because it’s your job to make an impact on this world and it’s my job to help you make a bigger one. So, here are the steps:
- Eat more healthy fats: Fats are satisfying. They work with the hormones in your body to make you less hungry for longer periods of time. And they contain way more energy than carbs or protein.
- Avoid shitty food: I know you know this, but the problem is people do not implement it. I bet you know what shitty foods are. I bet you know that eating toast in the morning with your eggs is a bad idea. I bet you know that eating fruit causes major hunger cravings a couple hours after consumption. I bet you’ve experienced this enough to know the difference.
- Listen to your body: Eat some food and pay attention to how you feel 30 minutes after. Do you feel tired? Is it harder for you to focus on your work? Or do you feel great and full of energy? Get a notepad and start writing down the foods that limit your performance, then avoid them.
- Make your own food: Stop eating out all the time, doing that take and go thing you always do. Start making the decision to make your own food OR hire a chef to cook your meals in bulk every week.
Your objections answered
“But Ross, I don’t have the time to cook.”
Yes, you do. Stop watching TV at night. If you don’t watch TV at night, start waking up at 5:00 AM. If you had an emergency, you’d find the time and that’s what this is, an emergency. You are limiting your performance and I know you are the type of person who wants the best in life. So give yourself the best.
Schedule it in your calendar right now. Things that aren’t scheduled do not get done.
Here is a tip for you: Use the batching method. Find a healthy recipe or two that you can not screw up (chili, steak and veggies, salmon and veggies, etc) and make a ton of it in one session. Make enough for 3–4 days. Put it in Tupperware, toss it in the fridge, and then you don’t have to make decisions on what to eat.
“But Ross, I have to travel for work all the time. It’s hard to eat healthy when I’m traveling.”
Start loving salads, avocados, and those hipster restaurants that you are probably avoiding right now. They have healthy food there. It’s an illusion that you cannot find ANY healthy food around. Almost every town you will be visiting has a grocery store and if you don’t have time to go, hit up a service like Taskrabbit.com and get one of these inexpensive assistants to go shopping for you and delivery your food to your hotel room. You can do this.
“But Ross, I don’t know what healthy food is. How do I know I’m eating the right things?”
In the future, I’m going to create grocery lists, shopping guides, weekly videos, books, communities, and more so that you don’t have to think about this question every again. But until I do, use Google. I know, it’s a crazy concept! You can actually type in “paleo diet meals” or “high fat, healthy meals” or “healthy low carb snacks” and thousands of results will pop up, instantly. It’s pretty nuts, but it works for now. The truth is, this is a marathon, not a sprint. So relax and be patient. Over time, you will find your groove, the foods you like, and this will be a piece of cake.
I just want you to get in the game, get started, and then never ever give up. It’s too important for you to give up. You, your work, and your impact is important and when you are performing at your best, you make the greatest impact and the biggest difference.
I hope this article served you and delivered some serious value. Thank you for reading it and an even bigger thanks if you take action.
Do you know someone else this article can benefit? If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it with them because entrepreneurs are some of the most important people on this planet and helping them make a greater impact, makes a huge difference in the world.