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Eat Smart, Sleep Well, Be Successful

HuffPost logo HuffPost 7/07/2015 John Bowen

© I Love Images/Rex Features As entrepreneurs, we need energy to pursue opportunities every day. But when you burn the candle at both ends, as many entrepreneurs do, you run the risk of burning out -- both physically and mentally.

That's where Dave Asprey comes in. Asprey is the founder of Bulletproof Executive, and author of the bestselling book, The Bulletproof Diet. (Yes, he's the "butter in your coffee guy" behind Bulletproof Coffee.) He's also a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who has revolutionized the world of nutrition and biohacking. Asprey has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to figure out how to help the body and mind work together to upgrade his performance as a successful entrepreneur.

Asprey recently shared his best advice for how entrepreneurs can take charge of their bodies and minds to lead a more high-performance life -- both in and out of the office.

Step 1: Measure your health, not just your wealth. 

© Image Broker/REX Successful entrepreneurs have learned to love measurements in their businesses. They know they need to measure their progress toward goals as well as revenues, profits and even the amount of inventory in their storerooms. But when Asprey asks entrepreneurs how many keep quarterly reports on their health, very few hands go up.

"I want to know whether I'm getting better or worse or just holding even," says Asprey. "This is just as important as monitoring cash flow. If you're willing to do it for your company, you should be willing to do it for your physical hardware."

It's this attention to detail that helped Asprey turn around his health. Weighing in at 300 pounds in his mid-20s, Asprey knew that his poor physical condition was affecting his ability to stay engaged with his work. So like any good entrepreneur, he did the research to figure out how to save his failing venture -- which in this case was his life. "When you get it right, you avoid the things that make you weak," he says. "I was able to lose the weight and keep it off, and I turned my brain back on and increased my IQ. Now I have the energy to run circles around the 25 year olds who work for me -- and I'm about to turn 42."

Step 2: Make choices that help you kick butt. 

© the food passionates/Corbis Entrepreneurs often forget about their bodies -- the engines that powers creativity and drive. Our bodies and minds play a critical role in helping push our entrepreneurial efforts toward success. Take interacting with clients or employees: If you feel lousy and aren't taking care of yourself, you may get stressed out more easily, and that stress may be reflected in your interactions with the people you work with. "If your biology is off, it's not possible for you to 'bring it' all day, every day," says Asprey.

So what can you do? For starters, make the effort to kick out food that doesn't give you the right kind of fuel. Sure, those quick-but-unhealthy lunches may save you a few minutes in the middle of the day, but you -- and ultimately your company -- may end up paying a higher price for those choices.

Instead, Asprey asks what will happen if you start making real decisions about what you put on your plate. What if you pick something better that will leave you full and satisfied, with lots of energy to get through your day? The one-page Bulletproof Diet Roadmap spells out which foods will make you feel most amazing.

The result will be that you are better able to manage the energy that's so critical to drive your business. This is one of those classic simple-and-elegant solutions: We all need to make better decisions, and the place to start is with the food you eat.

Step 3: Sleep smart and prosper. 

© Rick Gomez/CORBIS Many entrepreneurs have sleep issues. Some have a tough time falling asleep; others can't stay asleep. Asprey says those two types of insomnia suck the power out of your day.

But what if you could fix your sleep issues so you fell asleep fast, and stayed that way all night? The results, says Asprey, could give you back more time in your day because you're not spending as much time falling asleep, and you can get a more restorative sleep in less time. "It's possible to make your sleep more efficient," he says. "If you sleep 12 hours of light sleep, you don't get much benefit from it. You're really just wasting time."

To sleep more efficiently, modify your environment. Asprey sleeps in a pitch-dark room with no LED lights or other distractions. He also uses tools such as inexpensive smartphone apps that track his sleep cycles and wakes him during a specific window of time each morning where he is near the top of that cycle. "If you wake up when an alarm jolts you out of a really deep sleep, it can destroy your whole day," he says. "But if I wake up when I'm already almost awake, I get so much more energy from not having a bad morning. It's the little things like this that can really change the quality of your day."

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