No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Coaches Diary: Tom Discovers That Body Care Increases Profits!


Tom sat in front of me, his face grey with tiredness as he spoke of how hard he had been working in the three years since he set up his IT training company.

Finding clients had been a lot tougher than he had expected with more time and money going on networking and promotional activities than he had originally anticipated. And, like many other small-business owners, Tom not only had to find the work but then he had to run the projects too.

Now, sitting across the table from me, Tom admitted that he was completely exhausted. “If I had realised that it was going to be as tough as this, I’m not sure that I would ever have gone into self-employment,” he said, his shoulders sagging at the thought of what lay ahead.

“Remind me why you did,” I asked him.

His face broke out into a grin as he began to remember the excitement of those earlier days. “I had been working for my boss for more than five years, and I was absolutely convinced that I could do his job better than he could. One day he made a completely ridiculous decision regarding one of our key clients and I decided that I couldn’t stand it one day longer, so I resigned!”

“To be fair, my decision did coincide with my receiving a small sum that my grandfather left me when he died so I started my new business venture with a bit of a cushion. I was really enthusiastic about wanting to make a success of the business, not least because I wanted to get even with my old boss.”

Three years on and Tom was aware that ‘getting even’ with his former boss wasn’t a solid basis for starting a new enterprise. However, in the main Tom had been enjoying the freedom, status and income that being his own boss had given him. The only problem now was that he was overwhelmingly tired and at this juncture couldn’t see how he would be able to sustain his hectic lifestyle.

I asked Tom if he took any time out of his busy schedule to relax. Ruefully, he shook his head and admitted that most of his time was spent working or slumped in front of the television.

“Perhaps your body – by making you feel constantly exhausted - is trying to tell you something,” I suggested. “If you don’t take any notice of your body’s signals now, it will have to make you really sick to get your attention. It is as though your body is telling you that your work/life balance is out of kilter.”

I pointed out to Tom that we ‘work to live rather than live to work’ – and that perhaps now it was the time to make a decision to look after his greatest asset: himself!

Frowning slightly, Tom asked me exactly what I had in mind. “Well, you’re working pretty hard and doing OK for yourself so why don’t you treat yourself to a gym membership and even the services of a personal trainer? That way, you could get yourself back in shape and when your body is functioning at its optimum level, you’ll find that you’ll have bags more energy. It’s a virtuous circle the more you look after your body, the more your body will look after you!”

Tom looked thoughtful for a moment and then he smiled again, acknowledging that not only did he need to look after himself better but that perhaps he also deserved some pampering too. “After all, what’s the point of working for yourself if you can’t enjoy the benefits and advantages?”

As our session drew to a close, Tom committed to joining his local spa and gym. “Not only is gym membership a legitimate business expense but I bet it will be a great way to meet other people in business too!”

Olivia Stefanino is a leadership development consultant and executive coach, who works with blue chip organisations, SMEs and individuals. To find out more – and to download your free e-booklet “128 ways to harness your personal power”, visit


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!