Achieving and sustaining a healthy and high quality of life has parallels to the requirements of building a growing and profitable business. Both involve facing daily obstacles and deterrents, and both require the support of great people to encourage you to stay on track.

Anytime Fitness founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen are a classic example of a successful entrepreneurial story. They had the foresight to hire John Kersh, who has proven to be a real impact player in helping expand the Anytime Fitness brand to almost 20 countries. John’s experience and journey within the organization is a direct result of the entrepreneur’s personal growing pains and perseverance.

I recently had the opportunity to interview John on my weekly radio broadcast and was blown away by his story. With a history of being both an entrepreneur and a hired gun, his last adventure prior to joining Chuck and Dave may have taught him some of the most valuable lessons, from which we can all draw strength when the inevitable tough times are upon us.

John started a retail fitness business in South America with every penny he owned, and then some. Despite not speaking the native language, he opened up more than 15 sites and actually made a positive impact on the people in the market; however, the work took a substantial toll on John, his health and his finances. It could have had an unhappy ending…

Most of us find it hard to see the value and powerful lessons that can come from challenges. Yet, it seems that John has transformed his experience into a force for good with Anytime Fitness and is making a real difference in many parts of the world.

Here is what I gleaned from my time with John:
• How we think is everything, and managing interpretations is vital.
• Neglecting one’s own health is too high a price to pay. You must find the time to care for yourself — even while many are dependent on you — because no one else will do it for you.
• Look to advisers and mentors to help you work through challenges. No one needs to be Superman; others have blazed similar trails for us to learn from.
• You have to be clear on your goals and expectations of yourself and others.
• Most things of value in life take longer to achieve and require more money or energy than you may have originally envisioned.
• Life is an obstacle course, and problems never go away; the bigger challenge often triggers the bigger issue to be resolved.
• Neglect of family, even unintentional, is time and experience that is gone forever.

In whatever road we travel, we are defined by the choices we make. Being responsible for the outcomes is one of the great life lessons we can learn. Stories like John’s invite us to review our priorities and allocation of time, and seek support in considering alternative ways to fulfill our health and professional goals.

Author's Bio: 

James McPartland (aka “Mac”) is the Principal and Chief Inspiration Officer of The JMac Performance Group, a specialized management consulting firm focused on realizing the importance of the human potential in business. He is an entrepreneur, author, international speaker, and noted authority on leadership, team building, corporate wellness, and transformational change.

Mac focuses on helping successful leaders transform into their ‘best’ by achieving positive lasting change in behavior (and results) for themselves, their people, and their teams. As a consultant and speaker, he has worked with senior executives in organizations from Fortune 500 corporations including; The Dow Chemical Company, IBM, Allergan, Technogym, Les Mills International, Spinning and Total Gym, as well as non-profits such as The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Mac’s vast business experience includes
• Expertise in strategic business modeling and business plan development, analysis and execution
• Design and deployment of creative, effective, and aggressive sales and marketing strategies
• Recognition of potential in business, people, and opportunities
• Strong communication skills in motivating and inspiring allegiance to company goals and core values
• Strategic recruitment of synergistic top executive and support staff talent
• Development of passionate corporate culture, commitment and productivity through credible leadership, incentive drivers and motivation training
• Proficient management analyzing and employing measurable key metrics to drive core objectives and outcomes
• Efficient execution of self-administered accountability systems motivated by incentives, recognition, and reward programs
• Track record of results. Built companies from start to $150mm in annual revenue, launched two additional companies in the health and nutrition space

Mac actively participates in numerous events and organizations including; The International Health and Racquet Sports Association, The American Heart Association, and The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In addition he is currently active in U.S. Public Policy legislation that will positively impact the companies that provide wellness benefits.

He sits on the Board of Directors for two new health and wellness companies in California: Best Fit Data and Worthwell. Mac also speaks French, and is an active member for The World Presidents’ Organization.

James has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including; The Register and Times of Los Angeles, Club Business International and The Business Journal. He has also been a guest on network TV and numerous radio shows.

In 2008 Mac was recognized at The Mayo Clinic by The President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports for his outstanding contribution to wellness. Additionally, his efforts were rewarded by The World President’s Organization with an award for leadership. After a year of preparation he led a group of 55 executives on a first of its kind business retreat to Vietnam.

James earned his Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State University. An avid fitness enthusiast, he has completed 37 marathons and 8 Ironman Triathlon events. He resides in Coto De Caza, CA with wife Mara and sons Luke and Logan.

About The JMac Performance Group:
A ‘Human Performance Company’ dedicated to improving the health and profitability of a company by unlocking the potential of its employees. Business and people development consulting is cultivated through seminars, workshops, and executive retreats.

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