The Why Behind the challenge!

by Pete Wilkins

Entrepreneurs are always under pressure to perform. Stress builds and it takes a toll both mentally and physically, which impacts their ability to lead and grow a startup. I've been in those shoes, so I can totally relate.

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Earlier in my startup career, things were cranking. The more I worked the better the business got. Even though it was hectic and full of stress, I never complained. Every entrepreneur I knew had that attitude, “work until you drop”—or so it seemed.

As you might imagine, the never-stop-working lifestyle came with a price. Upon reflection, I realized that I wasn’t taking time for myself. I would tell myself that I’d go to the gym after I completed one more task. But it didn’t happen. So I would push it off to the weekend when I would have more time. But it rarely happened. As the days, weeks, and months went on, I went from 170 pounds to 180 to 190 to 200 to just under 210 pounds, which was not a healthy look on my frame. The weight gain was very symbolic of how I was treating myself: shitty. My blood pressure was high, my fitness was poor, and my energy dwindled.

Like most people, I finally hit a tipping point and knew I had to make a change or end up dead before I was 50. What happened as a result improved my life in multiple ways. As I started to take more time for myself, I began to feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally, my life grew more satisfying, and I became a better, more productive entrepreneur.

I have since switched roles from entrepreneur to investor, but I still interact with countless entrepreneurs daily. Unsurprisingly, I see more and more entrepreneurs hit the wall just like I did. The constant grind impacts their overall performance, both professionally and personally; it’s a real problem.

I believe that, in order for an entrepreneur to do their best work, they need to ensure that they’re ready and able to perform. This means taking care of mind and body to maximize performance. To prove it, I created The Chicago Wellness Challenge in the Spring of 2019.

Throughout the Spring 2019 Chicago Wellness Challenge, participants and partners shared their experiences, tips, trials, and successes on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in hopes to call others to engage, learn, and start moving towards their own wellness goals. It was overwhelming success and really made a difference in many lives.

As result, we will are exploring challenges in other cities and another Chicago Wellness Challenge in the Fall 2019/Winter 2020.

Stay tuned for updates on my blog.

Founding Participants | Founding Partners