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Sam Griffiths

Sam Griffiths on building your minimum

By Sam Griffiths

Founder, Healthy in Business

Driven by a deep sense of purpose to help others, following his own personal experiences of burnout, Sam Griffiths is channelling his energies into helping business owners stay Healthy in Business.

Sam is an advocate for behavioural change, achieved through a sustainable approach in building good foundations of self-care.

Here, Sam shares how he is teaching business owners that “the best do basics better” for everyday health and performance.

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You’re extremely passionate about health and wellbeing, what prompted you to follow that path in a professional sense?

Nine years ago, I owned another business, unrelated to what I do now, which burnt me out. I had a nervous breakdown and had to rebuild myself physically and mentally. I took the opportunity to change careers, and worked my way into health and fitness. I now focus on working with business owners, teaching them how to look after themselves better.

I've had challenges with my mental health most of my life, and that burning out was a catalyst because I realised that upon reflection, I didn’t have the strong foundation I needed to manage the stress and responsibility of owning a business.

What are the core principles of good health?

I describe health as your everyday performance. What you need each day to be productive, happy, healthy, and have the energy and capacity to do the things that you need to do.

Much of the health and fitness industry is about quick fixes; practices that don’t serve people long-term. My overriding principle is learning to ‘build your minimum’ not striving for maximum. For everyday health, you need to be able to operate on your worst days.

Build minimum standards in the way that you exercise, the way you eat, your lifestyle habits and how you look after your mental health. Always aim for achievable even when you’re time-poor, stressed, or under pressure.

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"Build your minimum in the way that you exercise, the way you eat, your lifestyle habits and how you look after your mental health. Aim for minimum, not maximum, and play the long game."

Do you have any top tips for daily good health?

Look at your boundaries. A happy, healthy and productive individual is a person with good boundaries of their time, with their relationships and within their environment.

Look at where you’re spending your time, who you’re spending your time with, and the environments you’re spending your time in, and how those influence your health, either positively or negatively. It’s about becoming consciously aware of how those things are affecting you.

Why do you think that now is the right time for business owners to focus on self-care?

The pandemic has made people much more aware of their health and how it has affected them. How they’ve been able to manage this year has been a product of how healthy people were in the first place; physically or mentally.

Poor health is very insidious, it doesn’t tend to show up over a week or a month, it shows up over years. It’s teaching people to think much further ahead in the way they look after themselves and prepare to always be ready for uncertainties. To play the long game.

How do you personally practice good health principles?

Being present as a father is a really key aspect of my identity and my business approach is flexible to enable that.

Flexibility is very much built into what I’m teaching people. Traditionally, diet plans and exercise programmes are very rigid, and that’s why they don’t work for a lot of people. Flexibility, both in terms of health, and working practices, is a really key aspect.

What impact do you think social media is having on peoples’ health and wellbeing?

I’d say overall, it has a negative impact, for two main reasons:

One is comparison; everyone puts their best self through social media. It can be very easy to see a trend that everyone’s doing well, when in actual fact, everyone has similar struggles.

The second is misinformation. There’s so much information coming from so many different channels, that it can be paralysing. If you’re busy, and under pressure, focus on simplicity and minimalism. Whether it’s a way of eating, an exercise programme, or a way to get headspace, ask yourself: can I see myself doing that in 12 months’ or do I need to change it to make it more sustainable? Take advantage of the ‘compound interest’.

You’re an avid reader, which books have influenced you?

My favourite author is Ryan Holiday and two of his books in particular; The Obstacle Is The Way and Ego Is The Enemy. He’s known for the philosophy of stoicism and the art of overcoming adversity.

My favourite book is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, it was his personal journal from 1400 years ago and so much of what he says is so relevant today.

"Poor health is very insidious, it doesn't show up over a week or a month, it shows up over years."

Sam Griffiths, Founder at Healthy in Business