Two years ago I set myself a challenge, the ultimate social challenge – one year without alcohol. As a broker in the city of London, most people thought this an impossible task and others considered it terrible for business. Instead of destroying relationships however (as I too had feared), going alcohol free transformed not only my life, but also my business.
Here are my top 9 reasons why giving up alcohol is good for business and life:
My background as a professional athlete and my current experience running a busy brokerage, has taught me much aboutpeak performance. However, for many years I had a blindspot to the one area of my life that would produce gains above all others – giving up alcohol. As soon as I stopped drinking it triggered all the wonderful benefits below. The culmination of these marginal gains took me towards a level of performance I have never experienced before.
Time for a Life Outside of Work
Drinking takes time and hangovers take more. Once free from alcohol I got so much time and energy back that I had ‘time’ to reignite old hobbies and interests. I regained a life outside of work; I was living again – not just existing. The wellbeing boost this created motivated me to excel in the workplace. Check out the science with the brilliant Shawn Achor, a fellow positive psychologist, as he explains the happiness advantage.
Once the booze was gone, my personal and business relationships began to flourish. Clients love talking to someone on a Friday morning who is bright and on the ball. Whilst colleagues noticed a real difference, tempers were less frayed and a relaxed calm took over.
Build Real Lasting Confidence
Business, just like sport, is a confidence game. The fake confidence dutch courage pretends to offer destroys real world confidence. The anxiety and nerves induced by hangovers are enough to break the best. Over time, I discovered that there is something powerful about dealing with all life throws at you without the crutch of alcohol. This builds a strong lasting inner confidence that puts dutch courage to shame.
Increase Your Mental Strength
Let’s not beat around the bush – alcohol and hangovers are terrible for your mental wellbeing. Personally, I would suffer awful anxiety when hungover, at times it felt like I had fallen into a hole. The bigger the session, the deeper the hole. It would take me days to claw my way out. Fortunately for me, since I stopped drinking I have never had to face this feeling again.
Enhance Your Physical Health
At this stage we all know how bad alcohol is for our health. Yet we still smooth over the knock on effects that really do the damage. Hangovers destroymotivation to exercise and produce a craving for junk food. This produces a triple whammy of poor diet, zero exercise and anxiety. It is important to point out that I managed to drop from 30% body fat to 10%, not just because of the reduction in alcohol related calories, but also because the junk food was replaced with a healthy diet and I had the energy to exercise.
People are Bored of the Usual ‘Lazy’ Drinks Night
Dropping alcohol forces you to get creative with entertainment and in doing so helps build stronger relationships. For example, my great friend, Ruari Fairbairns, runs a ‘spin & steak’ night. Clients appreciate the originality of these events. Come to think of it, nobody ever sent me an email to say thank you for a wonderful night’s drinking!
Better Quality of Sleep
A recent study of basketball players who were encouraged to sleep more, produced on-field gains that coaches thought impossible. Personally, I discovered that even small amounts of alcohol destroyed my sleep. Fair enough alcohol knocks you out, but the quality of sleep you receive is so poor that your body never recovers. When deprived of necessary sleep, performance takes a hammering. Without alcohol in my system, quality of sleep was enriched creating a vitality that lead to a cascade of positive business and life improvements.
Achieve Your Dreams – Productivity Goes Through the Roof
If you want to get stuff done, take a break from alcohol. It’s that simple. Theenergy and motivation that I unearthed, propelled me towards dreams that were almost lost in the fog of hangovers and regret. On this note, I am currently experimenting with the 5 am miracle – an idea to dominate your day before breakfast.
The Take Away:
This whole experience was so much more than quitting alcohol – it was the catalyst for a complete life and business makeover!
So if you want to get stuff done this year why not try the30,90 or 365 challenge, you have nothing to lose only everything to gain!
Finally, if you enjoyed this post please share it. We are on a mission to help break the social pressure around alcohol. Also, I would love you hear your stories, so please add me on Linkedin or drop me an email [email protected]. Thank you so much for your support. Andy.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.
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