Here are some sights and scenes from one wicked cool tradeshow.
BOSTON -- In late 2000, I was at a crossroads in my life. I had recently gone through a difficult separation and had no money. I knew it was time to start a new chapter.
At the time, a friend recommended the chauffeured transportation business. After researching the industry further, I was immediately intrigued. In early 2001, I started Boston Chauffeur during the height of the technology boom. Markets were setting all-time records and my business started incredibly well.
Then, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 knocked everyone off their feet. Business came to an immediate halt. For the next two years, I found myself working 24/7. I would routinely drop off a client at 1 a.m. and then park down the street for my 4 a.m. pickup.
I would recline my seat and set an alarm for 3:30 a.m. on my Nokia. I had no social life, and at the time Mark Kini was Boston Chauffeur. A few of the challenges I encountered were the stressful 24/7 nature of the business and the struggle to find good employees.
In response to the stress that comes along with these struggles, fitness became my medicine.
A recent example of the stressful nature of the business happened in March. As I was wrapping up my work for the day, I had to drop everything I was doing to drive clients because we were busy and dealing with flight delays. As many business owners know, things are constantly changing on a moment’s notice.
However, getting your fitness life back on track is essential to being consistent. For instance, if I am forced to skip a workout, I will improvise and take my dog for a three-mile walk around the lake near my house. Walking my dog allows me to start my day off in a healthy way while clearing my head of any stress. After my walk, I am focused and energized when I enter the office.
There are many other ways to live a fitness-oriented lifestyle, including yoga, pilates, cycling, swimming, tennis, hiking, or joining a gym.
In addition to the time-consuming nature of the business, I have struggled to find good employees. This past year, I lost a key employee to an untimely death. This was a very stressful time for the company and it put me under a lot of pressure. I felt as if I would not be able to replace him. However, I remembered, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” according to the late Robert H. Schuller. We were able to find someone to undertake some of his responsibilities, but the key to getting through this difficult period was maintaining my healthy lifestyle.
Eating well, getting proper rest, and working out got me through this tough time. Stress causes me to be sluggish and tired, and I find keeping healthy eating habits helps me avoid this. Consuming five small meals per day sustains a consistent energy level. Proper rest is just as important. Recently, I endured a 19-hour workday. Instinctively, I listened to my body and took it easy the next day. Rest is imperative to performing at your best in both your fitness and business lives.
I could not have overcome the stress and difficulties of this business without a culmination of fitness, healthy eating, and proper rest. All three elements are vitally important to living a balanced lifestyle. Nowadays, the pursuit of a fitness lifestyle is easier with advanced fitness apps and gadgets. Some of the apps allow the user to record the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats consumed at each meal. You also can record total water consumed and total calories burned each day.
Gadgets, such as trackers, allow the user the same reporting as well as a useful sleep report. I have implemented fitness in my company, Boston Chauffeur. We are looking into a company gym that we can offer our employees access to. I also have bought a walking treadmill work station which allows me to stay active while on a conference call, viewing a webinar or checking emails. This has been beneficial to managing my time. Above all, a fitness lifestyle is not something you do; it is something you live.
Starting this lifestyle can seem overwhelming, but the payoff in health and happiness will make the effort well worth it. If you have any questions or need some direction on getting started, feel free to contact me. Together, we can become a healthier industry.
Mark Kini is the founder and owner of Boston Chauffeur.
He can be reached at (978) 921-4334 or [email protected].
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