Everyone who knows me with any sort of depth is well aware that I have no formal medical training. This can be gleamed from my history of personal medial problems, my frequent questions regarding the subject and various stories surrounding my miniature human. However, my wife is a medical professional, a naturopathic doctor, and over the past 8 years, I’ve learned a lot. And lately I’ve started to realize that a business is a lot like the human body and that maybe a holistic approach is not a bad idea. So let’s talk about ignorance.

Ignorance is bliss. You’ve heard people say it, right? But have you ever experienced it? I have. Let me tell you a little story about food. My wife does a test that tells you what foods your body can’t process. It’s called a food intolerance test. Your body can only process foods that it has the right enzymes for, and so the other foods sort of get “stuck”. When your body fails to process them, the result is some sort of release, somewhere. Maybe it’s headaches, maybe it’s indigestion, maybe it’s acne. Whatever it is, SOMETHING has to give.

In my case, my body is unable to process dairy or sugar. When I have sugar, I have serious energy fluctuations. Sure, most people do, but mine are bad. Basically, when I crash, I CRASH. Dairy has a slightly different effect on my body. It makes my tummy sad. Now before I knew that I was dairy and sugar intolerant, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I ate ice cream, cheese and drank soda pop by the gallon. I was not in the best of shape. But I felt ok. Really, I felt ok. If you asked me back then how I felt, on a scale of 1-10 I probably would have said 7 or 8. Turns out I was wrong.

It turns out that once I cleaned up my act and ate according to what my body needed and didn’t need, THEN I felt like an 8. It turns out I didn’t remotely understand the scale of my personal wellbeing. So now that I feel like an 8 when I am following the rules, what happens when I don’t follow the rules? Welcome to a 3. When I cheat, I feel awful. Truly and completely awful, because now I know what good actually feels like. As I said, ignorance is bliss.

So what does that have to do with my business? Well, let’s go back to before I had a business. Before I had a business, my job experiences were the only thing that informed me as to what a business was really like. You see, I showed up at 9 in the morning and I worked really hard until 5 in the afternoon. And then I went home. Sure, some of my jobs required me to do some after-hours work. But in general, there was a clear separation between work and home. Does that exist in my life now? Sure. A little. Sometimes. Kind of. Also, I got paid a certain amount. Whether the business was succeeding or failing. I just got a paycheque. And if the business stopped existing then I stopped getting a cheque. Sure, I’ve worked positions that were more commission based, but I’ve never worked a job where my work and my paycheque were formally aligned.

Before I was a business owner, I didn’t understand the scale of stress. Much like my body, I thought that when something stressful happened, it was a 7 or an 8 or, god forbid, a 9. Now I understand that my scale was skewed. Those stressors were a 3 or a 4 or maybe a 5. I wasn’t even close. And to a certain extent, ignorance was bliss. Just working was a lot of fun. But now I understand that the good is MUCH better than it was before and the bad is MUCH worse.

Ignorance is bliss. If you’re not prepared for highs you’ve never experienced and lows you’ve never imagined, keep your job at Home Depot. If you want to blow the roof off your mind, let’s talk.