By Larry Zogby, an EO New York member and president of RDS Delivery Service Co., Inc.
The power of Forum is life-changing— one experience can catapult you to new heights of personal and professional success. I know this because that’s what happened to me in April 2010. At the time, my Forum of nine years was planning its annual retreat. While we had the location settled, we still needed a theme. We wanted to choose a topic that would help us learn and grow as entrepreneurs. It was later decided that our agenda would focus on the mind, body and fitness.
I was disappointed, to say the least. I was interested in a business agenda, not learning about health stuff. Little did I know that what I would learn would drastically change my life. At the time, I weighed 235 pounds and stood 5’11. I was a living testimony to ignoring one’s health. It wasn’t until I went on the retreat that I finally put my life in focus. I spent the entire time exploring different ways to improve my mind and body. It was a little overwhelming, but it opened my eyes.
Over the years, I have heard expressions like “Focus precedes success” and “What gets measured gets done.” While I was always able to wrap my brain around those ideas, I never fully realized the impact they could have until I went through my weight-loss process. In the interview below, I touch on the importance of Forum, outline the formula I used to lose the weight, and explain how I am applied my lessons learned to achieve greater business success.
- What role did your Forum play in your losing weight?
“My Forum decided to make a retreat agenda that focused solely on health and fitness. One of my Forum mates, Mike Ferranti, coached me and served as my accountability partner throughout the process. He provided me with the tools and education that I needed for this lifestyle change.”
- What steps did you take to lose weight?
“It took a lot of work to lose 52 pounds. It all starts with measurement, focus and education. In order for me to lose weight, I had to measure daily, weekly and monthly. I measured every meal and every exercise session. I found by breaking something down to its smallest component and measuring it, it gave me the immediate gratification I was looking for. I also had to have a single-minded focus and make adjustments to my schedule. The adjustment I made was simple— put Larry first! Absolutely nothing happened until I exercised and had my meals prepared. Finally, in order for me to lose the weight, I continually educated myself about nutrition, supplements, exercise and the psychology of motivation. I also read industry-related stories and articles.”
- Why do you think you were able to lose the weight?
“It was a combination of things: I was ready for change, and there was a single focus on the agenda— health and fitness. In addition, Mike has the expertise and knowledge on how to achieve a healthy life style. He provided a safe environment for me so that I would not feel judged for my lack of knowledge about the process.”
- What changes did you experience after you started to lose weight?
“As a result of the exercise and establishing the ‘right’ eating habits, I started to have new experiences that impacted me mentally, physically and emotionally. First and foremost, I felt alive! I had increased my energy, production, focus, self-esteem and self-confidence. I am experiencing a renewed spirit, and now I am energized with more passion, intensity, motivation and commitment. When I review the lessons I learned from my weight loss, I see them as universal principles that can be applied to any situation to achieve success.”
- In your opinion, why is Forum such an integral part of the EO experience?
“I have been part of two Forums for 12 out of my 14 years in EO, and I’m currently in Empire Forum. Forum is an integral part of the experience because of the camaraderie and continued education on a personal and professional level. I am able to learn life’s lessons that are applicable to me, I have resources and networks that are always available at a moments’ notice, and I get to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. What’s more, I get to see how others view life through their experiences and decisions. I feel like I have my own board of advisors that are able to provide objective feedback, and I don’t have to re-invent the wheel on subject matters because 90 percent of the time someone in my Forum has that particular experience.”
- How have you engaged your Forum since your weight loss?
“There is a built-in support from my coach and the Forum as a group. My monthly Forum meetings help keep me accountable, and my peers provide the gentle pressure I need to sustain my success, because I never want to go back. In addition, I have become an inspiration to them, not only from a personal point of view, but from a business perspective, as well. They can see that if you put your focus to something, anything is possible. To me, the support is working both ways, on a conscious and subconscious level.”
- How has losing this weight made you a better business owner?
“It taught me two valuable lessons: Focus proceeds success, and what gets measured gets done! I finally understand what that means. Losing the weight gave me confidence to excel in every area of my life, because I know I can. And when someone knows that they can do something, it makes all the difference in the world in how they act and how they make decisions. When you focus and measure, you win. Believing in yourself is half the battle!”
To learn more about Larry’s story, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.