You've probably been told that mindfulness makes for a better leader. Having a lunch break yoga session, for instance, is scientifically proven to ramp up your afternoon productivity

However admirable, intermittent yoga practice isn't as beneficial as you think. Health and fitness experts increasingly argue that we need to take a more holistic approach to wellness. It's no longer about getting in 20 minutes of exercise as a quick fix for a sluggish workday. We should stop creating these separations between work, the mind, and the body, says Laura Hames Franklin, a coach more colloquially known as "The Entrepreneur's Secret Weapon."

She holds that your body--and all of its parts--actually has a consciousness of its own. "You are everything," says Hames Franklin. While many fitness experts try to pinpoint one problem area (or various ones)--for which meditation or "green juice" may be prescribed--she touts an all-encompassing solution, which has the added benefit of helping people achieve higher levels of focus and determination. 

Here are her top tips for reaching your fullest entrepreneurial potential:

1. Practice embodied imagery

Imagery can help entrepreneurs rewire their brains for maximum success, says Hames Franklin, without creating conceptual separations. Here's a simple exercise she uses with clients: Close your eyes, and focus on your right shoulder. Imagine that it's becoming a beautiful, golden waterfall. Then roll the shoulder out, kneeding the muscles along your arm. She says you should feel your energy shift as you go through this motion. Moments later, she says, extend your arm and feel the difference between the right and the left. There should be more purpose in the right arm, a heightened intention. This exercise can make you more at home in your body, and improve the level of focus you're able to extend to your business, as well. 

2. Exercise regularly

Because she sees the mind and the body as interconnected, Hames Franklin says that getting plenty of exercise is necessary for professional and personal success. She takes ballet class several times a week with her husband, and she encourages her clients to do the same. Keep in mind that this is no ordinary ballet class: You're allowed to wear socks, and positive feedback is encouraged. If not ballet, then perhaps yoga, running, or even a concerted walk around the block--emphasis on concerted. Bottom line: That kind of effort will almost always translate to your business, as well as any other difficult project requiring a focused effort, so long as you see exercise as a longer-term solution rather than a quick fix. 

3. Eat well and hydrate

How can we improve these so-called mind-body links? By drinking plenty of water throughout the workday, for starters. Keeping workers hydrated is "the most important thing that a CEO can do" to foster a community of healthy, happy, and productive employees, Hames Franklin says. Of course, maintaining a balanced diet is another key piece of the puzzle: Check out her Superhuman Breakfast Challenge for more details, and learn how you can help your business through helping your body-- since, after all, they are really one and the same.    

Published on: Nov 12, 2014