Why Is Doing Business Online Like Weight Loss?

Why is Doing Business Online Like Weight Loss?

Image: Aneta Blaszczyk sxc.hu

Online Business and Weight Loss are two phrases that return hundreds of millions of search results in Google and other Search Engines.

They’re also topics close to my heart since I’ve invested many hours of my life in both!

I got to thinking about the similarities between running a business online and weight loss and was surprised to find so many.

Here’s a few.

It’s A Head Game

There are a lot of overweight people who know they need to lose weight but just can’t find the motivation to do it.

They know it’s not good for their health.  They feel uncomfortable, even miserable.  They miss out doing things with their friends because their weight holds them back.  Sometimes their personal relationships suffer.

Despite this, they continue to overeat, not exercise and make excuses for being overweight.

I see the same pattern with people who are stuck in a job they don’t like and dream of starting their own business yet despite being miserable, missing out and letting relationships suffer, they stay in the job and make excuses for not leaving.

When the overweight person stops with the excuses, gets over whatever is stopping them from making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes and takes responsibility, they are ready to take action.

But this is just the beginning of the mindset change.

To be successful, they need determination to stick with their diet and exercise plan.  They need to ride the highs and lows of the numbers reflected on the scales.  They need to overcome fear, fatigue, disappointment and they need to feel pleased with themselves over the small wins.

Just like the mindset required for doing business online.

Health Warning: Do not rely on motivation. There will be days that you just aren’t motivated and need to JFDI anyway!

You Can’t Do It All In 1 Week

Weight loss usually happens at a rate of 0.5-1kg (1-2lbs) a week so if you’ve got a big weight loss goal, then you need to chip away at it, one week at a time.

You need to determine your goal weight based on what’s realistic given your age, height and genetics.  You need to work out an achievable goal and timeframe based on how much effort you’re prepared to put in.

Setting mini-milestones along the way also helps to keep you on track.  A great approach is to set these mini-milestones around things other than weight.  For example, to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  Mini-milestones help you to keep focused particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose.  It gives you something within reach rather than something that seems unreachable because it’s so big.

Rewarding yourself for small successes is also important.  When you can fit into those Size 12 jeans, buy them!  When you run for 30 minutes without stopping – book a massage.

Same for running a business.  Set realistic, achievable goals with mini-milestones and remember to reward yourself for small successes along the way.

Health Warning: Rapid results are not always sustainable.

Diets Make You Thin, Exercise Makes You Hot

What’s the secret to sustainable, long-term weight loss?  Eat a little less. Do a little more.  Yes, that’s it.

Many people (myself included) have tried to lose weight through exercise alone without making any dietary changes.  Unfortunately, this isn’t ideal and the goal ends up taking longer to achieve.  Its the combination of diet and exercise that produces the results.

Of course, it’s not that easy to do.  You need to work out the number of calories required, the macronutrient breakdown, your metabolic rate, your resting & maximum heart rate, your shopping list, menu and recipes, your exercise plan, your training schedule and more.

There are a lot of actions required to achieve your overall goal.

The good news is, once your body is getting the right fuel, in the right quantity and is physically in shape, it starts to deliver results much quicker.

Thinking about how that applies to running an online business, we need to do a bit of everything.  Write good content, develop good products, website SEO, networking, administration, collaboration, client engagement etc.   We need to complete a lot of small actions to achieve our goals and get our business working efficiently. It’s hard work in the startup phase but the momentum builds over time.

Health Warning: Beware of fads.  They seem to offer a quick, pain-free solution but they rarely deliver what they promise.

The Tale Of The Tape

The dreaded scales!  Some people are obsessed with them and weigh themselves as soon as they get up, then again after a pee, then again before the shower and after, before and after lunch, before bed.  You get the picture.

A bit like checking  Twitter 😉

Most of us know that the weight on the scales doesn’t tell the whole story.

There are a lot of other measures and indicators available to us – how our clothes fit, body measurements, Body Mass Index, Hip:Waist Ratio, Blood Pressure, Resting Heart Rate, to name a few.

The key is to find a couple of key measures based on our goals, track these regularly and consistently and most importantly make adjustments to our activity based on what the metrics are telling us.

Analysing metrics daily, weekly, monthly, annually will tell us different things.  Looking for trends over time tells us a lot.

One of the big benefits of using more than one metric is that sometimes, we do everything 100% to plan, yet the results don’t come 🙁  It is extremely disheartening getting on the scales after a perfect week of exercise and clean eating to discover no loss or even a slight gain.

It is equally disheartening doing everything to plan in our business only to find the results just aren’t there.  Don’t make rash decisions based on one metric. Sometimes there’s a lag between activity and results.

Health Warning: Some unscrupulous people manipulate before and after shots.  Success Stories are not always what they seem. As they say, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Doing It With Others Is More Fun

Weight loss groups like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) are very popular and have good success rates.  Part of the reason for this is to do with the accountability and support provided to the members.

Losing weight is hard work and it’s good to know that others are going through a similar battle.  It’s also good to be able to talk to other like-minded people who are equally ensconced in meal plans, training plans, kilograms lost and girth measurements!  It can be very tedious listening to someone go on and on about these things if you’re not going through it yourself.

In the same way that support groups and personal trainers help people to lose weight, networking groups, coaches and mentors do the same for business. Having people you can share your woes and successes with, go to for help when you get stuck, learn new techniques from and who keep you accountable will greatly increase your chance of business success.

Health Warning: Beware the saboteurs who, often unintentionally, throw you off track. They may seem like supporters but they derail your plans and slow down your goal achievement.

There are a lot of people promising fast results with minimal effort but the truth is, it takes time, can be hard work and requires a long-term commitment.


What lessons from areas of your life can you apply to running your business?

Where have you had great success?  What was necessary for you to achieve that success?







4 Responses to Why Is Doing Business Online Like Weight Loss?

  1. Catherine White May 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    So many great life lessons here Suellen.

    A pet hate of mine is when my quiet reverie on a bench at the beach, is interrupted by a flock of uninvited seagulls.

    The sound of unscrupulous saboteurs is like the lowly squall of seagull, on the hunt for someone else’s food.

    When my heart is feeling the pressure from a dream stealer, my head remembers it’s nothing other than wailing from a malnourished seagull.

    Seagulls only hang around if there’s any food.


    • Suellen Hughes May 31, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Catherine I love your seagull analogy! So funny and very true. It’s so tempting to feed them when they stand there watching you, but as you say, they go away if there’s no food.

      Thanks for sharing

  2. Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging May 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Suellen, it is more fun with other people, so glad to be working with you on the business front and hope we don’t need to start dieting because of all the weight gain from sitting down blogging;)

    The real take away for me is this: Don’t make rash decisions based on one metric. Sometimes there’s a lag between activity and results.

    Yes, we have to stick with it (be it diet or business) and be patient.

    • Suellen Hughes May 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Thank you for dropping by. What an honour!
      I really enjoyed your live event on Blogging.
      More great tips for me to implement. I thought it was funny that one of the attendees on the event joked that she was putting on weight from blogging :). Perhaps my post was timely.

      You’re right about the metrics. The important thing is to watch the trends and take action. Although there may be a lag between activity and results, at some point, if the results are still not there, then a different course must be taken. How long to wait is a personal decision based on circumstance.
      Thanks for your support
      P.S. Congratulations on your prize winning writing!

Leave a Reply

Let's get you started
Tell us how we can help

Get in Touch

Connect With Us