Stay informed. Sign up for our weekly newsletter
and receive Chapter 1 of Markup & Profit Revisited.

Construction Programs & Results Inc

We Like to See The Good Guys Win!

Your Good Health

by Michael Stone

When I got up this morning, I was reminded how frail the human body is. All day yesterday I stood on a concrete floor teaching a class on sales. Today I am paying for it, sore from my feet to my backside. But I was doing what I love to do and am healthy enough to do it.

So my question this morning is . . how is your health? Are you taking care of yourself so that you can meet the demands of your business? No one told you that owning and running a business was going to be easy. If you don't take care of yourself, poor health will be one more hurdle, one you don't need.

We are coming up on Christmas and New Years Eve. While we celebrate, we also put ourselves in harm's way with parties, family gatherings, concerts, and other functions where lots of food, drink, and (my personal favorite) candies, nuts and pastries of all kinds will be served. Plan ahead how much you will eat and drink, and then stop. It is easy to say oink and eat until you are stuffed, but think about the impact it will have on your body in long run.

In February, our newsletter will discuss "What if a disaster should strike?" I plan to discuss both heart attacks and strokes, and how to tell when they occur. Between now and then, keep yourself healthy so you can read it.

I tell Devon, "I plan to live forever. So far, so good." The reality is that we can determine our lifespan (in part) by watching what we eat and drink. Take care of yourself, your body might be younger than mine but it will age, and it is also frail.


Very timely and relevant topic Michael...

Since the construction business is very labor intensive, and most of us start on the tools and stay on the tools for way too long, physical health and mobility is bound to suffer. I started feeling it in a negative way when I was about 38. I was able to change things for a bit, but had to go back to the tools for a while.

The overall lack of planning in my business and my reactionary methods did nothing to help the situation I placed myself in for too many years. In the last 2 years, I am now 48, I really took a nose dive physically. I can no longer work the tools and do enough to provide a living for my family and meet the goals I have set. I had a complete right knee replacement in Dec of 2004, and will need a hip replacment in 2006. I also had a TIA in 2001, from undiagnosed high blood pressure. Granted bad family orthopedic genetics had something to do with some of this, but too many years of impingement shock and other abuse have wore out the bursa linings in most of my major joints.

This last year, I pushed it too much and I am still recovering from it. When your body hurts that bad, it affects your mental health as well. Then your mental health affects your judgments and decision making, and you make bad decisions that lead to more physical work...yadayadayada.

So when you are forced with making the decisons and structuring a business that does not require you to swing a hammer everyday to pay your bills, you have to do something.

After I found Michael's web site, and I don't recall how I did that, I bought his Markup book and read it. I found the advice very good, I have implemented many of his reccomendations, and also took his advice on reading Dave Ramsey's books on personal financial managment. Both of these were very epiphanial readings for me, and as a result, I feel my business will do very well in 2006 and beyond, and my personal financial life actually has a plan and action map for the first time in, probably 30 years.

I hope these improvements will lead to better personal health this next year. I fell prey to the idea if I worked a LOT of hours, I could get it going right, but all that did was get me worse off physically and made NO difference in the financial statement. I am committed to working 8 hours a day, no more, because my efficency level drops a lot, I make numercial mistakes, and I become a not very pleasing life partner for my wife.

I have learned how to run my DVD player and now don't feel bad about watching a movie in the afternoon, since I start my office hours at 6 am each day. I take my dingy Lab pup for a one mile walk everyday, I try to keep my marksmanship up on my own shooting range at least 3 times per week, and my classic Mustang is making minor progress to running again after sitting under a car cover for the last 4 years.

The financial guidelines I have now, the operations changes,and the people I hired will make this all possible. The path I was headed down was not good, and although I do not smoke or drink to excess, or am gluttonus, I was not going to see OR ENJOY 60 years of age. I have lost 20 # in the last 3 months by careful diet, and I want to lose at least another 10 to 15 pounds. At Thanksgiving, I was able to have 1 plate of food, and enjoy it, I felt no need to pile the plate or go back 2 or 3 times.

I encourge you younger studs who think your kick arse bodies and physical shape will never change, to make sure that you have a plan and process to get off the tools, and multiply your own efforts and create a business that will allow you to be a process manager, rather than a carpenter, so that you do NOT do long term damage to your bodies and compromise your physical condition for the rest of your life.

Michael Stone /


Spoken like a saint. The only thing that I would add is to tell our fellow readers that you have had all the practice you need with the tools by the age 35. By then, you should have a plan in place to work on your business, not in it.

Thank you Dale, your post is appreciated by us all.



subscribe now

to receive our Wednesday morning newsletter