Rich Roll is an ultra endurance athlete. In his book, “Finding Ultra”, he writes a refreshingly honest story of his struggle with his own demons to rising up and finding himself. Overweight and in his forties, one day he decided he was done with mediocrity and so he set a goal to race in a triathlon. Not only did he finish the triathlon, he went on to compete in more endurance events, including EPIC5, finishing five Ironmans on five Hawaiian islands in less than a week. In 2009, Men’s Fitness magazine named Roll one of the “25 Fittest Men in the World.”
I was inspired by Rich Roll’s story because it is a metaphor for the emotional and psychological highs and lows that we entrepreneurs endure. When we set our sights on something that we’ve never done before it can be frightening and daunting, yet we are overcome with the intoxication of creating, designing, and innovating.
We are motivated to do work that is meaningful. We challenge ourselves and test our capabilities. We make huge sacrifices and delay gratification. We take risks that most non-entrepreneurs and well-intentioned friends and family don’t understand. And, if we have any altruism within our entrepreneurial DNA, we are not only driven to achieve, but we are also motivated to improve and empower humanity as we build our business.
Over the last year I’ve been deeply involved in the co-creation of Actionplanr, a goal-planning software productivity tool for solopreneurs. It is currently in beta. You can check it out right here. After many months of design and development, combined with fatigue, I said to my business partner, “Look, we need to take a long-term view on this. The software is 99% done, but this is just the beginning of a long journey. We need to think of ourselves as endurance entrepreneurs. That means we need to improve the way we eat. We need to stay healthy. We need to get plenty of rest. We need to exercise consistently. We need to fill our minds with positivity.” In other words we needed to be more intentional about how we live and work.
While I’ve always been health conscientious, I felt that we needed to up our game. That meant eating a plant and starch-based diet. Did I mention that Rich Roll eats a plant-based diet? Yes, that’s a veggie burger below made from scratch. Black beans, flax and sunflower seeds, and oats topped with raw cashew cheese on top of gluten-free bread.
How I lost 10 pounds in two weeks.
So we went Vegan. No animal products including eggs, cheese, dairy, and seafood. And I have never felt so alive! I have the energy of an endurance athlete, only I am an endurance entrepreneur. As of this writing, I am on 120 days of eating like a Vegan and I just keep feeling better and better every day. I guess you could say that feeling good is addictive. And yes, I’ve lost 10 pounds and Chuck (my spouse and business partner) has lost 20 pounds.
People ask me all the time, how I was able to give up meat. It was a serendipitous confluence of events that steered me in that direction.
Earlier this year, I had spent some time in Texas eating more meat in those few months than I did in the previous twelve months. Then I went to visit my mother in-law in California. While swapping food stories she recommended I read “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall. A week later, my husband was flipping through Netflix, streaming movie previews and a documentary caught my eye. It was called Vegucated, all about the horrors of factory farming. For over a decade, I’ve eaten meats from sustainably-raised animals and I’ve seen dozens of documentaries on the downside of our meat-eating culture, but I was never persuaded to stop eating meat.
And then I stumbled upon Rich Roll’s book, “Finding Ultra.” I encourage you to read his book. It is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read in my entire life!