Being a lifestyle entrepreneur is, unlike other jobs or titles, an undertaking that requires a literal commitment to the words themselves. That is, if you seek to establish a company based on health, exercise, diet and nutrition, then you had better look – and act – the part for authenticity is the essence of ensuring the survival and success of any business. But it has particular importance to the person who publishes articles about, or stands before a camera to record segments concerning, how to reduce stress, improve physical strength, eating better and maintaining healthy habits. This emphasis on truth, while critical to what I do, should be a principle every entrepreneur must follow and every business – big or small – should uphold; because there is nothing more valuable than, and there is nothing harder to redeem, than your personal reputation.
Hence the necessity of humanizing a professional endeavor: By giving an organization an identity, by lending your name to this enterprise, by investing yourself fully in the rise or fall of your company, you lay the foundation that can transform a business into a brand. The former is one of the anonymous many, for which there may be a great number of profitable projects, while the latter – to gain entrée into this fraternity of the few – is of incalculable worth. Think of Apple or Disney, or Mercedes-Benz or Tiffany & Company- brands that resonate with consumers on an emotional level; products and services that are totems of membership within a specific social circle, and items that are more valuable than the sum of their respective parts.
That fact inspires my work as an entrepreneur, where, under the banner of Bob Caputo Living Well, I write and speak about – and also host videos involving – how to make healthy living inseparable from living well. Indeed, because my name is on everything I do, my credibility is at stake whenever I run a column, post a comment, do an interview, record a show or issue a statement about a topic relevant to my expertise. And, since my name adorns this virtual storefront (or online kitchen), I can more easily connect with viewers – I can more quickly have a conversation with friends and fans – than some faceless corporation or unknown presence on the Web.
Those truths compel me to work harder, to research further and to write deeper than many of my peers; because, and this is where matters of pride and integrity take precedence over sales and numbers, I want my name to mean something; I want it to convey the values I support, and the virtues I will never forsake, so I can build an everlasting tribute to the ideals I strive to achieve and the goals I want to accomplish. That is the lesson every entrepreneur should adopt because it is critical to connecting with people in ways a conventional business can neither match, nor hope to equal.
Please note: To get to this point, you must yield to the one thing no entrepreneur can control, no business can accelerate and no individual can manipulate – time. For my brand is the result of years of effort, months of immeasurable focus on even the most minor of things, and decades of personal immersion in the subjects – health, wellness, fitness, diet, exercise and nutrition – that make me intelligent enough to write about, and wise enough to speak about, the subjects only an expert can master.
My recommendation to every entrepreneur is to do likewise. I advise you, the reader, to transcend the ordinary so you may acquire that which is extraordinary. You may not always succeed – I do not always succeed – but you will develop the insight necessary to appreciate the significance of this journey, and you will have the discipline necessary to begin this journey, because of your willingness to attempt this journey.
So, yes, being a lifestyle entrepreneur has its benefits. Those rewards are the result of study and practice, with a concentration on creating something of permanence and personality.
By following this advice, entrepreneurs can earn a niche for themselves. They can enjoy the advantages that accrue to those willing to sacrifice almost anything for something far greater than any one thing. They can be leaders.