A Healthy Solution For Appraisers
Why Prioritizing Health Can Help You and Your Business
By Ron Maloney
➢A look at the problem: health challenges faced by appraisers
If you’re an appraiser you likely have some concerns about your health and business.
Many I speak with confess that they have health issues and are worried about being able to keep up.
Health is important not just for appraisers who work on their own and don’t get paid for sick days, but also for those working in the corporate world who have production targets to hit and bosses to answer to. As well as older appraisers who can’t afford to retire.
The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” itself implies a whole set of issues for those like us who spend a lot of time at our desks.
The reality is the health challenges we face aren’t going to just go away on their own.
The question is: how can you take control of your health?
- The solution: start making health a priority now
One of the biggest reasons I take care of my health is because I know it has a positive effect on my business.
If your health plummets your business would most certainly fail or your ability to hold down a job could be in serious jeopardy.
And at 61 years old, I am more aware of the need to take good care of myself.
Linkedin’s Jeff Weiner the #1 ranked CEO in the country is an example of just how important good health is to business and personal success.
He directly correlates his success as an inspirational and passionate leader to a foundation of 3 simple things: exercise, good nutrition and quality sleep.
What Jeff knows is in order to have the energy, focus and positive mindset to lead his company to success, he first needs to be healthy.
And recent studies1 have shown that even moderate physical activity offers big benefits, including better immunity, healthier body weight, improved sleep and a sharper mind.
It’s even been reported2 that those who exercise regularly make $25,000 more than those who never go to the gym!
It’s clear that good nutrition, fitness and sufficient sleep bring personal rewards ranging from reduced risk of illness to weight loss. As well as the professional benefits to withstand physical and mental demands.
Combined, these benefits help mitigate the challenges we face and can add up to both individual and business success.
Have You Made Health a Priority?
It’s a very personal question that only you can answer.
And the answer is simple: it’s either YES or NO.
And if you haven’t, it can be scary and embarrassing as well. Researchers found that depression runs as high as 33% in patients after a heart attack due to feeling guilty and ashamed for their health3.
The consequences of not prioritizing your health can be significant or even deadly, and devastating to your loved ones.
If you’re like most appraisers, your life is centered around your profession and as a consequence your health has likely suffered.
I have experienced this first hand, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
When Health Became My #1 Priority
After owning an appraisal company along with my dad and brother, for nearly two decades, I was burnt out and badly in need of a change.
Being stressed out and overweight with high blood pressure were just a few of my problems.
Even though I was a former athlete and health educator I had allowed my
health to take a back-seat.
My relationships – both personal and business – were suffering and I was miserable.
We had sold our appraisal business and I stayed out of the profession for a few years, having lost all my enthusiasm for appraising.
During this time, I became involved with entrepreneurial pursuits that didn’t work out and ended up losing all the money I made from the sale of the business.
I also went through a breakup with a women I was engaged to. And my father and one of my closest friends passed away, each unexpectedly.
I was now in my early 40s, living in a studio apartment, single, felt alone and I was broke – it was rock bottom!
One day I found myself lying on the floor speaking on the phone with my best friend, physically and emotionally drained, trying to make sense of what had happened and figuring out what to do next.
Although he was kind enough to lend an ear, he didn’t have any answers and was going through tough times himself.
After speaking to him, instead of laying there in despair, without thinking I rolled over and started doing push-ups and then went for a jog. This was the beginning of my comeback.
In order to get my life back together I couldn’t wait for my head to get in the game, wait to get inspired again or for a perfect opportunity to come my way.
I had to stop thinking and take action and I had to start with taking care of myself.
It took some time but eventually I restored my mental and physical health and got my energy back.
With a renewed sense of strength I could think clearly again and could see the best chance I had to get back on track was to re-enter the appraisal profession.
My career that I once thought was over, has flourished ever since. It would not have happened without making my health a priority.
Just Do It
Most of us think we need to wait for the perfect opportunity to start working out, start eating healthy or pursuing our goals.
We want to think about it more so we can make the best decision. Or to find the confidence, the time, the drive and energy before we can take action.
This is paralyzing and stops you from taking action.
It’s in the act of doing the physical work out, sweating, lifting a weight or simply taking time out to go for a walk that you gain the confidence, the energy and the motivation to keep going.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t focus on our health until we experience severe problems.
If you need a change and want to take control of your health you can do it just like I did, starting today.
This very moment.
Your 4 Keys To Better Health
Exercising regularly is important. It can boost the immune system, better equip the body to fight bacterial and viral infections, reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer according to the National Institutes of Health4.
The NIH guide explains that exercise is believed to aid immunity by flushing out bacteria and carcinogenic cells, speeding circulation of antibodies and white blood cells, temporarily increasing body temperature and slowing the release of stress hormones like cortisol.
It recommends a moderate exercise program such as daily walks, bicycling a few times week, light sports or regular gym sessions for immune boosting benefits.
Any form of exercise, from weightlifting to yoga to following the prompts of an at-home fitness DVD is better than staying sedentary.
Even when mountains of work pile up, a quick walk or jog can boost your motivation and refocus energy thus making you more productive. Taking time for personal fitness is essential to avoiding burnout.
Nutrition is critical to individual work performance. Research5 by International Labor Organization found that inadequate nutrition affects worker productivity, physical work capacity and performance.
Poor nutrition has been linked with increased absenteeism and sickness, low moral and even increased accidents.
Entrepreneurs, business owners and other busy people can find it all too convenient to rely on foods that aren’t necessarily nutritionally sound or good for you.
Every effort should be made to seek out healthier options due to the direct correlation between quality nutrition, good health and performance.
Sleep is an important, yet often ignored component of health and fitness. Sleep is needed to support physical fitness, is tied to good eating habits and plays a major role in mental performance and motivation.
Sleep deprivation is associated with a higher body mass index and a greater incidence of obesity6. And it’s associated with eating more calories and making less healthy food choices, likely due to an increase in hunger hormones the article explained.
Feeling tired during the day also makes physical exercise less likely, resulting in fewer calories burned.
Getting sufficient rest is critical mentally for attention, focus, learning, memory, problem solving and mood. And physically for reducing the risk of inflammation and chronic disease.
Mental Fitness can also be phrased as “stress”, but I prefer the term mental fitness because we can change the way we handle stress by changing our perception to it.
Inspirational speaker Wayne Dyer said, “your thoughts cause stress, not the world”. He also said. “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. At a glance those statements sound like quotes from someone who never had a bad day. But in reality they’re statements from someone who is in control of their life, or at least perceives it that way.
Social psychologist Dr. Albert Bandura, says we feel stress when we feel like we’re out of control of the situation. He recommends to perceive the experience as a challenge and once you overcome that challenge you’ll have boosted confidence. If you perceive it as beyond your abilities you’re likely to feel distress7.
Stress affects our sleep, immune response, hormones and can cause serious health problems like anxiety, chest pains, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and heart disease8.
According to a survey9 by the Depression and Anxiety Association, 72% of the respondents reported that daily stress interferes with their everyday life and 56% reported that anxiety interferes with their job performance.
Exercise, nutrition, sleep and mental fitness are all intertwined and create a foundation to the overall network of health.
The Top 15 Ways Good Health Affects Your Business
- Better mental clarity
- Improved mood
- Greater patience
- Longer concentration
- More energy
- Greater confidence
- Willingness to take on more challenges
- Ability to overcome challenges
- Positively impact relationships
- Enables you to think strategically, “outside the box”
- Improved productivity
- Fewer Dr. visits and hospital stays
- Less days out sick
- More opportunistic
- Ability to work longer
A Health Advocate
In business I’m known as the Appraiser Advocate, however my first passion is as a health advocate.
Way back in the day, I played football in college and graduated with a degree in Health and Physical Education.
The lessons I learned on the playing field and the knowledge gained in the classroom have helped me greatly, especially when I needed it most.
Although I only taught for a few years, I’ve continued to have an avid interest in health and fitness and their impact on business and personal success.
I even developed a coaching program over the past 5 years centered around helping appraisers gain appraisal and business skills. In some of these sessions I enthusiastically discuss various health and fitness topics.
These are some of my students’ most welcomed classes, in part because it’s unique to combine the business of appraising and health. But mostly because they find the information about health can be so beneficial to their everyday lives and their businesses.
At a recent event my wife Lacey and I held in California, we started the 2 day training with an emphasis on health. This session was unique to the appraisal profession and was very well received.
Today I’m healthy and in good shape, weigh the same as when I was a senior in high school and have a lot of energy.
I rarely get sick and some find it surprising that haven’t had any surgeries or that I’m not on any medications.
But of course I have some aches and pains and can feel a little stiff getting out of bed in the morning.
For full disclosure my wife is a Health Coach who graduated from a world class integrative nutrition program and has been the single biggest influence on my health.
She has the same enthusiasm about health and helping people as I do and offers some very valuable insight and information to our students.
My Top 10 Tips for Better Health
As mentioned before, exercise, nutrition and sleep all play obvious roles in health but the mental health aspects cannot be overlooked as well which is why I put such an emphasis on them in my top 10 list:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
This used to be a chore but now I look at getting up to refill my glass (and to use the restroom) as a benefit to stretch my legs and get out from behind the desk. I drink 6, 16oz glasses per day. It is now such a habit I don’t even need my wife to remind me anymore!
- Work out at least 3 times a week
I typically spend 3 days at the gym working out for about 45 minutes. I do a combination of treadmill and resistance exercises as well as stretching with a foam roller. On the other days that I don’t go to the gym, I do a shorter workout at home that includes push-ups, sit-ups, air squats and a mile walk around the neighborhood with our dogs.
- Do nitric flush exercises 2-3 times a day
These “exercises” are really more like movements that helps release beneficial nitric oxide from your cells which have have significant cardiovascular benefits. If you’re familiar with taking niacinamide (the B3-vitamin that causes a “flush” throughout the body), these simple exercises are a way to achieve a niacin flush without the supplement and help reduce blood viscosity. And it’s another way to get myself out from behind the desk. You can learn more here.
- Limit sugar and refined carbohydrates
The only sugar in our house comes in small amounts from some extra dark chocolate we enjoy after dinner. That makes it much easier to forget about sugar when it’s not even an option. And now that we have been eating this way for so long, thinking about adding sugar to my coffee or eating flavored yogurt like I once did no longer sounds appealing. Refined carbohydrates act similarly to sugar when digested so those are also out of the house.
- Have a mantra and use it to stay the course
My mantra is “keep on punchin”. I use this simple phrase when I start telling myself I’m too tired or my motivation is waning. It helps me focus and re-align with my goals. I didn’t realize until listening to Jocko Willink’s podcast, a former Navy SEAL Commander, just how important a mantra like this is. He says his mantra “discipline equals freedom” got him through the SEAL training! So a simple, self-talk motivator like this works!
- Have an attitude of gratitude
I like to sit at my desk in the early in the morning before the day has started and take a moment to appreciate all that I have, including my family and friends. I think of the simple things that make me happy, like going for a walk with my wife and our two dogs. As well as how fortunate I am to be in good health and in a career I still find interesting and challenging. I also make sure to tell people “thank you” and not just to a waiter at a restaurant but also to those close to me like my wife who helps me out with the technical side of my business. This makes me happier, more optimistic and more motivated to stay the course. It’s been shown10 those who feel gratitude work out more and have less doctor visits than those who don’t.
- Go to bed early and wake up early
We are in bed by 10pm and up at 5-5:30am. Yes, even on the weekends. Waking up early lets me start my day without feeling the pressure of deadlines or the inbox. I can make time for the gym and time for myself by having a head start to the day. Plus, keeping a sleep routine helps ensure more consistent deep sleep.
- Stop work at 5:00 pm and plan for tomorrow
As an appraiser, you know how much reading and analyzing is required in this profession. I’ve learned I must stop work by 5:00pm or I’ll have a hard time quieting my brain at bedtime. I then take a moment to organize my desk and write down what I need to do tomorrow (like going to the gym), so my next day is focused and productive.
- Have mentors, coaches and people you admire
I am always striving to be a better person and having people I look-up to and respect is critical to growth. My dad used to refer to a quote in the Bible that says “take good counsel, and accept correction”. I’ve been fortunate to have great coaches and mentors including my dad and have learned from their experience and counsel. I also look-up to and respect people like Arnold Schwarzenegger whose story of triumph against all odds is truly inspirational. From leaving Austria to pursue his dream of a bodybuilding career (a seemingly trivial pursuit, even more so at that time), to becoming a top-grossing Hollywood star with a funny accent and a name people couldn’t spell to becoming governor of California! Arnold was determined to reach each of those goals and against all odds he did.
- Find fulfillment
Finding fulfillment is important for overall optimism and mental health which translates into physical health as well. Getting fulfillment out of life can happen in many ways but it often means giving back, either by money, time or both. I offer encouragement to friends and family, and mentorship to students in my coaching program, which are among the most gratifying things I do. It also aligns with my overarching purpose in life to pay it forward from all of the great mentors I am fortunate to have had. Tony Robbins11 says success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. There is nothing quite as detrimental to health than feeling unfulfilled when you’ve reached success.
The Bottom Line
Prioritizing health and emphasizing healthier habits are keys to having a successful and long-term business.
It only makes sense that people who are mentally and physically healthy can withstand the challenges in life and in business much better.
Your health is your wealth. Your business’ success is dependent on you being healthy and able to operate consistently at a high level.
Take care of yourself so that you can have a successful business that takes care of you.
The Appraiser Advocate
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Ron Maloney – Business and Health Advocate
Ron Maloney is the owner of Professional Collateral Analysts. He performs reviews of valuation reports for accuracy and to identify risk of overvaluation, reconciliation, fraud detection and USPAP compliance. He was a founder and former co-owner of Classic Appraisals Corp. Ron is a Certified Appraiser in NY, CT and WA, an Approved Instructor as well as a Regional Advisor (RA) and Subject Matter Expert for NYS.