In your quest to be successful in business, it’s easy to lose focus on your personal health. However, if you want to play the long game in business, it’s really in your best interest to make your personal health a priority.
In today’s episode, we have Dan Roitman who is a successful entrepreneur determined to live life to the fullest. In this episode, he shares his secrets to staying in shape while growing your business or career.
Dan Roitman is the founder and CEO of Stroll, a Philadelphia-based education e-commerce platform and one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Through a business that has encountered astounding compounded annual growth of over 70% since 2002 and 105% percent growth in the past year, Dan Roitman is committed to enhancing the lives of others.
The company Dan started in his room at the University of Maryland, is now a professionally managed organization with over 160 employees whose 2012 sales of $80 million were up from $35 million in 2011.
- Who is Dan Roitman and his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur
- How Dan became a mentor for other successful entrepreneurs
- What type of clients does Dan serve?
- Dan’s physical transformation and the motivation behind it
- Why you shouldn’t become a “pudgy entrepreneur”
- The #1 secret to having it all in life
- Investing in yourself: How to use your money to your advantage
- How to make more time for yourself when you’re super busy
- A better way to approach life
- Covid 19: How the pandemic motivated certain people
- Losing weight and keeping it down as a busy entrepreneur
- Longevity: The Technologies that Dan is interested in
- How being a fat kid can affect your life
- How to set healthy examples and good habits for your kids
- Personal services vs. material possessions
- Experiences vs Possessions
- And Much More…
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Podcast Transcription: The Secret To Staying Healthy And Fit As A Busy Entrepreneur with Dan Roitman
Ted Ryce: Dan Roitman, thanks so much for being on the show today, really looking forward to this conversation, and welcome.
Dan Roitman: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Ted Ryce: Dan, I don’t know how much media you’ve done or do or what you’re into in terms of podcasting and being a public figure. But I met you twice, once in Medellin and then more recently, we reconnected in DC, Mexico in an event for entrepreneurs. And walking over to the hotel together and got into a conversation that I really enjoyed a lot.
I want to jump into so many things. But before we get there, can you talk a little bit about your background, who you are, what you do, some of the amazing accolades that you have, and then we’ll dive a bit deeper.
Dan Roitman: Sure, happy to. I guess I got my beginning, my senior year in college over 20 years ago, where basically, I launched my first company, out of college, which, over 15 years became close to $100 million education company, and so did that business. So, I went from entrepreneur to professional manager over time. I had close to a couple of 100 employees, had a full management team, went through the full transformation and evolution business wise.
And then for whatever reason, I wanted to go back and do something startup oriented, I promised myself after my first company that I just go buy something, but I just had the itch to start something again, and started a software company, did that for a couple years, and then for a small amount of time did like a management consulting type of business.
And then ultimately, three years ago, started an early education company that really is my main focus today. So, 90% of my time is, is really trying to… and really kind of where I see my future is trying to transform education, I mean just think we need a new breed of leaders, and just a whole new approach to education. So, we’re taking an incremental approach to that with our first business, MindFinity, and then have a lot of other stuff that we’re doing there.
Then 10% of my time is spent mentoring high growth entrepreneurs, I’m helping companies that just want to get to the next level, one is exiting, several in the process of exiting. So, it’s just that whole next level piece that I just really enjoy, while I’m in the startup mode, I really enjoyed the scaling of existing businesses as well.
Ted Ryce: We have a lot of entrepreneurs who listen, what is the level that you need to be at to work with someone like you? Is it like, you need to be making seven figures? Or is it eight figures, or…?
Dan Roitman: Generally, it’s 5 to $40 million, is where I found the sweet spot. I do get compensated, so it’s just a good phase where the CEO has some freedom to actually implement. So, they’re not just totally in flight or fighting mode all the time. So, I mean I help solve some of those problems, but it’s just you really want somebody to be in a position where they can work on the business more and more instead of in the business.
Ted Ryce: Interesting.
Dan Roitman: Yeah. And then it’s just the strategies that we can implement, the people that we need to put in place, but I’ll help with some of the operational pieces. I mean, just giving guidance on that, but then I really like to spend my time on how do we get from A to B, C, or Z? I mean, just more of the strategic pieces, and how do you just accelerate what’s already there? And if there are any capital constraints, how do we solve that? Just all kinds of issues that you start to get into, but I don’t know, I find that stuffs more fun than the remedial, like just teaching the basics, it is just that I find it more fun.
Ted Ryce: I understand. So, yeah, if you’re listening, and if you’ve got that business in the 5 to 40 range in terms of your income for your business, Dan might be someone you want to check in with. Dan, you talked about how leadership is really important to you just now. And you actually want to create a new breed of leaders.
In our conversation in Mexico City, we talked about your physical transformation because from 2020 in Medellin, I believe it was in March –no actually, February, to recently in October, in Mexico City, October of 2021, you had this transformation, and when we talked you said something that a mentor told you about the type of entrepreneur, you should avoid becoming. Can you talk about that story you told me, your views on how does it relate to entrepreneurship and success in general?
Dan Roitman: Yeah, so actually it was a close friend of mine who… this is maybe 2001. I remember I had graduated, and one of my best friends was helping me in the business and we’re working side by side in the office and I remember him turning to me one day, and he’s like, “Hey, man, what’s going on over there? Don’t let yourself become a pudgy entrepreneur.” And it might have been even 2000. But we basically just ended up doing the Body for Life challenge back then and got into shows…
Yeah, and he inspired a lot of people, it’s amazing. Yeah, that was something that I always remember, “don’t ever let yourself go too far.” And so I’ve always taken that to heart, just trying to at least maintain some activity level, some balance, or having some thermometer basically level that if you go above that, you just want to do something about it. Because at different points in time, different things might happen, or before you know it, you’re enjoying yourself too much, even if you are working out, you still can gain weight or whatever. So, it’s just one of those things, just always staying on top of it.
Ted Ryce: But why? I know this is my business, I know the statistics, I know the heart disease is number one, but so does everybody else.
Dan Roitman: Yeah. I’ve always looked at it as like, I just believe in life you can have it all. So, you can have great relationships, you can have lots of wealth, you can have great health, you can have everything.
So, I just look at it as one of many dimensions of life that just should be there. And then there’s separately, I don’t know, I personally want to live to 120 years or older if possible. I’m sure there’s somebody alive today who will live to 150, that’s just based on medical advances, and so forth. So, if you identify as someone who’s going to live that long, well, just got to be congruent with it. So, that’s kind of the way I think about it.
Ted Ryce: Interesting. So, a lot of your behavior is driven by this identification of, hey, I’m going to be the guy who lives to 120. And for those people who aren’t aware, like, that’s what scientists think are like the maximum lifespan of a human being without the medical interventions and all that. So, what were you going to say, Dan?
Dan Roitman: Yeah, I was going to say, I think more so it’s just wanting to, number one, feel good, have strong energy levels. I’m constantly optimizing. Last September, I cut out caffeine as an example. And it took me about three weeks to fully normalize.
But after that, my energy levels are completely level all day, instead of, “Okay, first cup of coffee in the morning, and then all right after lunch,” and then, “a little wired, let me have a beer.” and uppers and downers.
So, it’s also just trying to just have peak energy at all times and get the things done that I want to do. So, that’s another aspect.
There are many different aspects of it, And it’s also like, it’s a commitment to my wife, we keep each other… I mean, I don’t have to keep her accountable, she’s got this perfect, amazing body that eats everything.
But that said, I think among us, even, it’s like, we’d call each other out, if we’re headed in the wrong direction or something like that, just to make sure that you’re at your best internally and not necessarily… internal is more important than external but external is nice too. So, that’s the mindset.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, I like that. So, that’s beautiful, man. Your wife is someone who it seems like where you really shine is in the business world and she seem… I haven’t met her, but from what you’ve shared today, it seems like she’s got the health thing down, she maintains her physique and so you have someone in your corner kind of setting a higher standard in that area.
And that’s a beautiful thing to have, and both supporting one another, like you said, you both call each other out. I think that’s so important.
One of the things, Dan, that I hear from a lot of the entrepreneurs that I work with, is actually I’ve got people who have a situation where they’re with, you know, in this case, the guy who has a woman in his life who is fit, but he exercises but he struggles with the eating, struggles with the wagyu steaks with the boys and the three glasses of wine that turns into sometimes five, when it was supposed to only be one.
And I’m very curious, what does that mean? And I don’t mean in a judgmental way, but what are we supposed to think about when our leaders or business leaders or our friends who are entrepreneurs, show up, they have this success in their business, they’re making a million a year or 5, or 40, or 100, whatever it is. I even have a client, who has a client, who’s a billionaire who is flying him around and I asked him, “Is this guy in shape?” And he was very polite about it. But it was obvious, the billionaire guy was not. And so, with so many resources, what does it say about someone, do you think?
Dan Roitman: Wow, that’s a tough one, because there have been periods I’ve gone through where you’re just rolling with the punches and everything. And I guess, part of it is willingness… so you’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs, we are notorious for being ADD, and depends on the entrepreneur, ADD, ADHD, whatever. But not everybody likes structure, even though structure, especially if you have ADD, can give you freedom, in a sense.
And so, I look at it as I try to use my money to my advantage. I’ve got a personal trainer who has come for basically six years now every weekday to my home, at usually around 7am. So, we’ll train, and then that’s it. And so, for me, it’s just making it easy. We’ve got a yoga instructor who comes out twice a week, then we go to tennis sessions, I’m trying to get back into it. So, I’ve got at least one tennis lesson I go to a week.
So, it’s just pain to make your life easier to have accountability. I mean, I could just as easily train on my own and I had that discipline for a long time, too. So, it’s just making it a priority.
I mean, it’s interesting, Richard Branson, he said if he could give any recommendation to an entrepreneur, the one number one thing would be to work out. I thought that was interesting. He doesn’t give any business advice, he’s never given business advice, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen him, but there’s at least a piece of life, so you just need to…
Ted Ryce: Actually, I know his family. And I trained Richard once, I mostly worked with his wife when she was spending time in Miami. I had trained Sam a couple of times. Sam’s been on this show a couple of times. It’s been a while, I got to reach back out to him. But he is a very interesting because he lives on an island and when you think about that, you’re like, “Oh, man, what a douchebag? He’s got a mansion on island,” what the average person might think, right?
What a douchebag? Lives on an island, he’s probably got, helicopters and mega yachts and just this island full of luxury, but it’s actually not like that at all. It’s his sanctuary away from all that stuff, to have the space to be free and create. And he goes kite surfing all the time. And I read that interview, it was very interesting to read, like you said, not a lot of business advice, but he’s like, “Working out.” What do you think about that as business advice?
Dan Roitman: Well, I mean, the advice is, ma ke space for yourself. So, it’s, make sure you have “me time”. And at the end of the day, I mean, I guess it’s known that if you overwork yourself, you’re going to be less creative, and then a lot of creative ideas come just from taking a break from a problem and going for a walk or working out or whatever, just freeing your mind. It can be done through working out, it can be done through meditation, it can be done through taking time off, travel, vacation in all kinds of ways.
But at the end of the day, I think it’s just not forgetting about yourself.
Jordan Peterson wrote in one of his books about how when he looks at the compliance level of medication, about if you’re prescribed something by a doctor, a third of people, even people that just had an organ transplant and need a medication to survive, a third of people won’t even fill the prescription, another third won’t be compliant, they’ll just take the medication haphazardly, and then the final third will be compliant and follow through. So, just a third of people will actually follow the instructions on medication or follow the instructions from a doctor to take medication a certain way.
But if the medication were for their pet, the compliance would be really high. So, it’s just the tendency of people to be willing to give towards others, but maybe not caring for themselves in a certain way as much. And so, I don’t know if it’s just deep-seated lack of self-worth, or what it is, or maybe just more inclination to help others than themselves, but I think ultimately, it’s just loving yourself enough to care about yourself in some ways and being willing to find the time.
I mean, the time is always there, it’s just whether you choose to use it that way. The same thing, even in a workout, you could be slacking off in a workout or, your workouts could be super short, but the moment you’re getting into it, it’s like, “oh, shit, this is going to be an intense workout.”
Every day, I can’t say it gets any easier for me, it’s intense, it’s just an intense workout. It’s short, I’m done, but that’s it. So, move on with my day.
Ted Ryce: Interesting. And you have a whole crew of people, you’ve got a personal trainer, you’ve got tennis lessons, you’ve got yoga. A lot of entrepreneurs that I’ve talked to, not the ones that usually become clients, but they would say, “I don’t have the time for that. I don’t even have the time to exercise at all.” I mean, obviously the people who end up working with me. I don’t take clients on who have that type of mindset, because what am I going to do just like, “Make the time.” “No, I don’t have time.” “Okay, session is over, the coaching call is over.”
But for me, when I look at those things, I don’t think people understand habits that much what they are. And it’s a pattern of neural connections. It’s something that you’re doing over and over and it becomes second nature, it moves from that point of conscious effort to unconscious routine.
And so most of us, at least brush our teeth, right? We take showers, we get dressed, we do these things, they are routine, we learned how to do and when we were young, because our parents made us and certainly, society puts pressure on us to not have bad breath and to be presentable in school and at work.
But with taking care of ourselves, we weren’t taught that and we didn’t need to be previously. This obesity thing is new, it’s a new problem. Obesity has always existed, but the level that it exists in modern society, in other places, maybe if you look at Cambodia, but if you look at the United States, if you look at Malaysia, I believe it’s the wealthiest country out there in Southeast Asia, obesity comes with it. The obesity comes with the seated workplace, with the stress, with the emphasis on growing the economy, business.
And we’re in a weird point – which is very good for my business, but very bad for people – where it’s like, listen, it’s not mainstream yet, you’re probably teaching your kids to take care of their body and they’re going to go to school, get a degree, get a job, start a business, do a startup, whatever the amazing things that your children are going to go and do and you’re going to pass that on to them, but many of us especially… I’m 44, my dad kind of did get me into exercise a little bit, but for the guys who are in their 50s, it probably didn’t happen.
And even in for the guys who are in their 40s or women that are in their 40s too, they didn’t get that yet. And so, we’re trying to go against—it feels like a natural inclination, but it’s really not, it’s just been learned from a young age and trying to change that. And unfortunately, like you said, even when people get an organ transplant… I’m aware of that data that you mentioned, with taking medication, even when in organ transplant, you would think they would be very motivated and heart attacks too, people who just had heart attacks, they’re not taking their medication. And it’s hard to go from being a certain way to being a new way. And you have any insight into that, how to change?
Dan Roitman: Well, some people have been motivated by the pandemic. I was impressed one day when I saw someone who worked for our architect, and he had lost like 20 to 30 pounds, he was just afraid this last April and May, maybe that’s a good impetus, in some sense, just getting people a little bit more focused on their health and wellness and so forth.
Yeah, my dad, he was a smoker, never liked to exercise, just thought it was ridiculous. So, definitely, he was not an influence for me in that sense.
I do think things are changing, though. If we look at the broad statistics, of course, it’s out of control. Then at the same time, I feel like I’ve been somewhat in a bubble, just in the sense like in the online, e-com information products market. I’ve got to know a lot of the fitness influencers, thought leaders and so forth. And I’ve just been more exposed to different kinds of information over the last, let’s say, 15 years.
I’ve been generally paleo, or I guess what I would call now meat first for 13 years, and I have low cholesterol levels, great levels, great balance, and everything else. And I mean, heck, these days, I eat more meat than ever, just purposely, least minimum of a pound a day. And before I got that information, I was afraid of eating red meat, let’s put it that way, I used to avoid it, and it had to be skinless chicken. And now it’s like, if I get a skinless chicken, I’m like, “What is this?” it’s like an insult.
One thing that comes to mind, though, is, with the time issue around working out, there’s definitely a knowledge gap, but the knowledge gap is systemic – I’ll talk about two things – the knowledge gap is systemic, look at the standard American diet, the SAD diet, the food pyramid, it’s obsolete information, it’s like you wonder sometimes where they get this information, or what special interests are influencing these recommendations, because clearly, it’s not working, when you look at the obesity levels within society.
Because 80% of being lean is just what you put in your mouth. I don’t care what amount you’re working out, unless you’re running marathons, you’re not going to outrun the calories in a Big Mac or just eating garbage. Or even a six pack, it’s a myth and the six pack is just residing under those layers of fat that once you get rid of them, you’ll see your abs. So, there’s just a lot of misinformation there.
So, I think these days, that’s probably the biggest challenge, is just like, think of it as the analog to mainstream media and getting true perspectives of what might really be happening versus what you’re being fed. It’s the same thing, I think, with health information, it’s just there a lot of bad sources. And then also understanding the nuances of, you can have two equal truths, like two things could be totally different and both are true, right?
So, you’ve got people who are doing ketogenic diet, for instance. And that’s one extreme, at the same time, you could just do a Mediterranean diet, that’s a more balanced diet. They’re both fine, it’s just that when you’re in one system, you’ve got to stick to the rules of the one system or else you’ll kill yourself. I mean, super high fat, and carbs, combined together, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. So, I feel one thing is it’s just having good information sources.
The other thing is, in terms of being able to work out and having time to do it, I’ve had a cook for the last… basically I had somebody cooking for me probably for the last 11 years, and I’m not talking about my wife. So, basically, we early on, hired someone to bring us food. I guess it goes back even more than that, before I met my wife, that’s got to be 2006 was the first time my business partner and I said, “You know what, let’s get healthy meals delivered to the office,” and did that for quite a long time. And then still today, I have somebody that’s basically… now we basically have a chef just helps with the home.
So, basically, I don’t have extra time I have to put in… and I’m also working from home these days, so that that helps. And I’ve built my life in such a way that it makes this stuff pretty easy. But even if you didn’t do that, I mean, there are simple workout solutions at home that are incredibly effective, that’s what I do.
So, I think it’s just a choice, right? So, everything comes down to decision, and you have to decide who you want to be, and then act accordingly. You have to decide what you want, what end outcome you want. I don’t want to end up like my dad. I was walking with him… he retired in the Czech Republic in Prague.
And I remember walking with Him one day, and we were walking down a hill or whatever and he just said, “Hey, can you stop for a moment? Just rest for a moment?” I was like, “Why? What’s going on?” He’s like, “ah, a little pressure here.” And I’m like, “oh, okay, so how long has that been going on?” He’s like, “Oh, like two months”.
And so, I basically raised hell with my step mom, I was like, “if you don’t take them to the doctor, and he dies, I’m going to blame you.” I just, whatever I had to say, to get her to take him. And he went and immediately and he went in for like stents, because they basically said, he had had a minor heart attack. So, that’s not a future I want.
So, it just comes down to, I don’t know, I just don’t want to be one of these people, that’s just going to take the easy route popping pills. But ironically, I pop a hell of a lot of pills today, just supplements, just proactively.
Doctor checks blood and said, “Hey, maybe we could tweak this little thing, but you are 13 years under your age biologically, you’re looking great, but let’s try this, or, this can help with recovery, or whatever it is.”
So, I’m open to that, you know, fish oil, carbs, vitamin D, that kind of stuff. So, in that sense, it’s more being proactive about something than needing to worry about it later,
Ted Ryce: Well said, and my dad was a big motivator for me. I remember when I was maybe, five or six and he would lift weights and do bicep curls, we had these dumbbells, and then I would hang off his bicep after and I thought he was so strong, then I grew up and realize they were only 20 pounders, you know what I mean.
But still, he was doing well, he was doing well. He’s an attorney, a labor attorney, very successful, had a lot of big clients, but then really started losing it. So, that was a thing for me.
But while you and I are motivated by the relationship with our father, and it’s interesting, other people I know, have a similar situation where their parent passed away or is still alive and just in poor health, it hasn’t quite clicked.
So, it’s interesting, we got to really find that point—I think we almost have to look for it, we really have to look like where can I get leverage over myself to take action, because sometimes it’s so difficult.
I want to change the subject a little bit, you talked about living to 120 or longer. I’ve had clients who went to the health nucleus, and were into all these different types of, you know, paying attention to the different longevity technologies that are developing. What’s exciting you?
Dan Roitman: That’s a good question. I’ve got a buddy of mine, who has a group related to that and he has these Nobel Prize winners, they talk about different things. The only advice he’s ever said is like, metformin, that’s the only thing…
Ted Ryce: Metformin, the diabetes drug.
Dan Roitman: Yeah. I don’t take it but I’m kind of looking to him at some point, to see how that goes. But then, I don’t know, there was this… I forget what company it was, but it was almost like a stranger than fiction kind of or out of a movie kind of notice where this one CEO of some gene therapy company basically figured out some way to lengthen her telomeres or something, and just injected herself with the solution they came up with.
And I mean, this was in the news. And obviously, she’s not doing this to anybody else. But I’m just curious, that’s the case where you want to see, hey, 10 years from now, did that have the intended effect? So, I don’t know, I can’t say that other than being aware of proactive stem cell solutions, for instance, things like that, that I’ve considered but haven’t done yet, I can’t say that I’ve really gone down the full rabbit hole.
I’ve got a bunch of friends that are really into biohacking and other things. And I’m listening, but I haven’t really heard anything definitive yet that that has piqued my attention, other than stem cells, I’d probably say.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, I’m looking into that as well, and also cartilage replacements instead of joint replacements. Some of these people there, if you’re suffering from arthritis, they can…because a big part of it, you’re already doing, nobody wants to hear like, hey maybe, even if there are drugs, they’re not going to build your muscle for you. And we know that muscle is linked with longevity.
And certainly, it’s linked very strongly with the ability to get up out of a chair and do whatever you want to do when you’re older, and certainly, if you’re going to be around, what’s the point if you just have to lay in bed, and binge watch Apple Plus series or whatever. So, very cool. Interesting, I would love to talk more about that, maybe off the interview and if you had anybody who you think would be good for the podcast, I might be interested.
Dan Roitman: I’ve got one friend I think you’d enjoy speaking to, he’s got a supplements company, that’s doing a lot of interesting things with enzymes and other stuff, really growing rapidly, and he does some wild stuff. So, it’s always interesting talking to him as well. So, I think in all this, is just staying motivated, it’s like, constantly…
I just go back to, just having a trainer there, just makes me want to show up, I can motivate myself, like today, he’s at a competition doing something and no big deal, I just worked out or I’ve taken nine trips this year and continue to work out while I was away. So, it’s just staying disciplined.
And then the other thing, too, is, I think on the education front, I feel like there’s always more to learn, it was only this year that I finally was like, I haven’t been getting all the results I really want, let me try changing my diet, and just eating a ton more protein. And so that made a huge difference.
Ted Ryce: Protein matters.
Dan Roitman: Yeah, I thought I was eating enough, but obviously not. So, I gained like 27 or 28 pounds this year. So, I’m basically at the point where I decided to do it a little bit… I mean, so many approaches to putting on mass. I’m at the point where I might want to cut down just a bit, just feeling like I want to get my body fat down again. So, in that sense, even with that, over the years, I’ve done tons of fasting, water fasting.
There’s always like a new tool I’ve learned, which is cool. I mean, eventually you just have this toolbox and it’s like, when I think about losing weight, it’s just super easy.
And even now, the fact that I don’t drink coffee anymore, I think makes losing weight even that much easier, just because there’s no fasting a day, two days, five days, whatever. It’s not a big deal. I always have a tool that you can self-correct with and that’s the biggest thing is learning what those tools are and experimenting with them.
And yeah, it’s something I enjoy doing too, is I’m an open paleo, mainly paleo, an imperfect paleo, that’s why I just say like meat first, but then, I experimented with a ketogenic diet for a couple of months. And then the one I haven’t tried is just the carnivore diet, that’s one just for fun I want to try for a little bit of time. So, we’ll see.
But you know I’ve got kids, so I got to be careful too, I don’t want them seeing me fasting and other things, so I try to…it’s tough, I try to play it off in such a way because, I don’t want them to think it’s okay to be bulimic or something like that, or there are some more eating disorder view of it, or it could inspire that or something anemic, or whatever it is.
So, that’s something that that also comes to mind. That’s why like, a one meal a day or some of these other things, some of them, I’m just a little bit not wanting to try. Also, for just practical reasons, too, there’s that careful balance between limiting your social options, and just living a happy life and needing to have that extra nth degree of fitness level that basically is just like an 80/20. It’s the 20% that takes 80% of the time, or 20% maybe takes away 80% of your joy in life, whatever it is.
So, there’s that balance. But I guess one other thing that comes to mind, too is, when you mentioning, people eating out, and the portion sizes and all this, interestingly enough, if you know what not to eat, it’s never so bad.
Let’s say you go out and maybe the alcohol, the alcohol and sweets are my killer. But other than that, on the food side, it’s like give me any restaurant, even an Italian restaurant, there’s still stuff you can eat, that’s just fine, it’s not going to be a big deal. It’s just knowing what not to eat or what to limit.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, thanks so much for sharing that. So, you have these people that you’re around like Matt and other health influencers, you have some environmental changes that you’ve created for yourself, you experiment that keeps your motivation higher, because something novel that gets you into it, something novel can help you get the excitement back again. Yeah, very cool.
And then also thinking about how you’re influencing your children with your choices. So, being mindful about that. That’s one of the first times anyone – I know this is an interview so it’s a little bit different – but a lot of people don’t talk about that side of things.
And there’s something you talked about eating disorders, you mentioned bulimia, certainly, that’s one being anorexic, but one that people don’t talk about enough is orthorexia, which I kind of went down where you’re just…
This is 20 years ago, when it was hard to find organic food where Whole Foods hadn’t bought Wild Oats yet. I wouldn’t go out if they didn’t have organic options, I was buying all these foods from farms, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s the emotional intensity that comes along with it that can be very unhealthy.
And I think that now we’re starting to realize, hey, physical health is super important, but there’s a lot of physically “healthy people” out there that maybe don’t really qualify as emotionally healthy, or mentally healthy, however, you want to think about it. So, thanks for bringing that up, especially with regards to kids, something we all have to think about, and what are we teaching our children, not through our words, like “Don’t do what daddy’s doing?” Because just like me, with my dad, he was doing bicep curls and working out. I picked that up from him. He even gave it up, but I kept it up.
And that was a positive thing, but could be a negative thing you never know. So, it’s really, really important.
Well, Dan, this was a great interview, I’d love to have you back again to talk more about leadership. And you said you’re very passionate about leadership, we just totally took off on the health thing, which is what I wanted to do today, but I’m very curious about that. So, I’d love to have you back on. If you’re up for that.
Dan Roitman: Absolutely. Yeah, I appreciate it. One more thing on the kids’ side, I got to say I think about that all the time. One thing I didn’t mention is, I was a fat kid, basically when my parents got divorced, I moved with my mom back to the States – I was born in Germany – and so by the time I was 12, I think I was like 30 pounds overweight or something like that. And I finally got fed up and put myself personally on a strict diet for like six months. I didn’t have a single piece of candy during those six months.
And I knew that when my dad was 12 or 13, he also was overweight or whatever. I would say he always carried a little bit of extra weight, I would say that, but not a lot. But that was another thing, my wife and I both feel like, if your child is overweight… okay, I get a little bit of a growth spurt, there’s a little bit of extra weight, and then there’s a growth spurt, but I don’t really buy the child being overweight argument as being okay, at any point, because in my mind, if a child is overweight, you’re screwing up their hormones for the rest of their life, where they’ll always struggle with weight, they’ll always be some tendency, at least, that’s my belief, there’ll be some tendency to gain weight.
So, we’ve really made sure that with our kids, I mean, we’re not total Nazis with candy and stuff like that, it’s just mostly… but my dad in his old age still wanted to drink milk and apple juice, and didn’t really like to drink water that much. And my kids just, they even if we’re out, and people offer them juice or whatever, they might have a little bit, but they’re still like, “I want some water”.
So, that’s their main beverage. So, it’s just really trying to influence that in a positive way. I guess on the downside, after Halloween, because I’d get a pillowcase filled with candy, I’d be high on candy for at least a month, easily just eating copious amounts of candy. And it’s doled out, one little piece a day, after they’ve already chosen 80% they want to get rid of. So, even that stuff is just controlled.
I remember when I was in high school, I would eat, like cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast. And I would be high as a kite, I couldn’t focus at all for at least the first hour of school, there was this weird… I don’t know, I just feel like I was floating all the time.
And so, until I actually started eating more healthy and realize that that’s what it was, you know, now, gosh since I was in college, even just basically just have eaten eggs for breakfast or protein for breakfast and no sugar, and it’s just made a dramatic difference.
But most people don’t know this, they’re not thinking about it. I even have in-laws that only recently got rid of the candy stash, their kids always would go to take something because the kid at 12, 13, 14, 15 that they started gaining some more weighed and putting on extra weight, but it’s too late at that point.
If you haven’t already built the habits in order to explain to your kids, hey, you know, eat this not that, focus on the eggs more and eat less of less of this, but clearly, eat enough, no matter what.
But if you haven’t explained that along the way, how are you going to change those habits at that point in time? You’ve already made your child’s life worse. So, that’s kind of how I think about it. Yeah, I don’t know, maybe I’m more extreme, but I’m not going to fat kids, no way.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, it’s tough. Thanks for bringing this up, but you’re right. I’m not aware of all the literature on children, I don’t work with children. I love kids, but I like to work with adults. But there is a change that happens. And if they’re dealing with it with when they’re young, it’s certainly stacking the odds and like you said, yeah, there’s going to be some changes hormonally speaking, with leptin and their brain and their hypothalamus and the regulation of bodyweight, it really can set them up for a very difficult life.
And so, something to think about, obviously, some people are in better situations than others. But if you’re in a good financial situation, and you’ve got a luxury car and other things, and you’re thinking about where you’re going to send them to school, and what type of car you’re going to buy them and you’re not really thinking about like, hey, listen, my children have a problem here and maybe some of your resources need to go into that. Yeah, it’s a tough situation, one that I don’t really deal with personally, I don’t even know how to help someone with that other than be the leader, be the example.
Dan Roitman: Set the example. You get to choose what you put in your kid’s mouth, what you tolerate, kids can raise hell like, wanting to eat fried food versus something else. But you can decide. So, it’s just sometimes also having the tolerance to sometimes just guide those positive choices. But you’ve brought up the material piece and so forth.
Yeah, my philosophy on the whole material side of wealth is… I tell you what, I would trade personal services over any material possessions any day of the week, because I’d rather invest in that, because that frees me up and that simplifies my life.
So, if you don’t have somebody working for you full time at home, or something like that, and you have a Ferrari, then I think you’ve get your priorities wrong.
Who cares? Like, personal freedom is the most important thing in my opinion, and so you buy your freedom, but at the same time by buying your freedom, you’re freeing somebody else, too, right?
You’re giving them an opportunity, and you’re supporting all these people as well, who are able to then make their life better too, so it’s like a perfect form of trading.
So, you get to focus on what you’re doing, they get to focus on what they’re doing and everybody’s just better off. That’s how I think about that piece. So, that kind of guides a lot of my perspective on things.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, and you’re bringing up such an important point. I’m a coach, so I sell coaching, and I talk about this a lot. The people who hire me are people who are doing really well in life. And one of the reasons that they’re doing well, in life, it’s not just because of the money, but because of the value system behind it, because our brains are wired in such a way, there’s got to be some sort of wiring in our brain.
I was looking trying to look up some literature the other day about this, but cars, you can touch a car, you can get in a car, you can drive a car, you can live in a house, you can feel a shirt, you can look at a watch, you can wear a watch, there’s got to be something in our DNA and certainly, our culture emphasizes that, hey, buy the car. If you’re a guy, buy a car, the hot girls are going to like you. If you’re a woman, get the purse, get the makeup, whatever it is. I don’t really watch much advertising these days, even when it’s putting in my face on social media, I don’t even pay attention to it.
But we have all these messages coming at us, they’re probably exploiting some sort of innate wiring, in our brain, some innate tendencies or biases or whatever. And then buying coaching, “Whoa, what is coaching? That’s such a weird thing. That’s for athletes”. And if you dig a little bit deeper, you know, Steve Jobs worked with a guy named John Bitone, I think he said, but you don’t think about yourself.
Dan Roitman: But he didn’t put them on a fruit diet, did he?
Ted Ryce: I don’t know. No, no, he was a leadership coach.
Dan Roitman: Okay, leadership guide, I was familiar with him. Okay, so that was a bizarre one.
Ted Ryce: Yeah, probably not so good, with the pancreatic cancer, who knows? But anyway, yeah, it’s something where if you don’t make that shift, and start to think about things in the way, or at least more in the way that you’re talking about, Dan.
Society doesn’t set you up for success and even if you’re a successful person, it’s like, “Hey, now you have money, buy this car, buy this watch, buy these things,” and I like nice things, actually I like nice clothes. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just the imbalance that is concerning and the consequences of doing that.
Dan Roitman: 100% Well, it’s just more of a… I don’t know if you call it more abstract orientation versus concrete, or it’s just more external influence or focus than internal, but I agree. Well, it also depends on the age of someone too, that’s the other side of it, when you’re younger – and we’re similar ages, I’m 43 – maybe there’s more of an impetus to show your wealth. But I don’t know.
My dad was basically, from the former Soviet Union, and their perspective is like, what’s the point of money if you can’t show it? So, it’s just a totally different mindset versus I would prefer to be subtle. Maybe if I think long term, it’s like, you drive a modest car, you fly in to catch your car. So, there’s just different perspective, it’s just what’s important to you.
I think it really comes down to what’s important to you, if you’re more cerebral, and you’re more in the world of ideas or experiences or other things, then the physical possession side, I don’t think matters as much. But experiences is another place, what kind of amazing things can you… where can you go? What kind of things can you try? I think that’s where our generation is generally just shifting, most people today, there’s probably more of a movement towards that, like, experiences over possessions.
So, it could be shifting, and there is some level of knowledge orientation; people are going online, looking up things, they’re influencers. I was thinking about this the other day, as much as people still might not be reading a lot of books, historically, the average was like two books a year for an American and I don’t even know if it was two books, but I think it was two books.
But look how much reading is going on, if you really think about it, regardless of what reading it is, people are reading for hours a day online. So, there’s some level more of knowledge orientation, you know, seeking out information. And so I think that’s a big opportunity for coaches, for other people, just to get their message out there and to get to influence people, nudge them in the right direction. So, hopefully, that bodes well for the future.
Ted Ryce: Yeah. And, and having people like you on the show, to talk about your own experiences, it really helps. There’s a circuit of people who go on podcasts, and it’s really nice to get someone’s fresh perspective. So, thank you for coming on and sharing that today, Dan.
Dan Roitman: Definitely. Thanks a lot for your time. I appreciate it.
Ted Ryce: And if someone wanted to reach out to you for mentorship, or for something else, do you have a place where you’d like to send them?
Dan Roitman: It’s all really referral based, so firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, it’s 10% of my time, so it’s a passion area. Yeah, as a marketer, I’m not marketing myself in a sense.
Ted Ryce: I hear you. Yeah, or even just to say something about the interview perhaps,
Dan Roitman: Yes, ping me on LinkedIn, that’d be a nice place to do it. Or go through the front door, at MindFinity and send an email at customer service, it’ll get to me one way or another.
Ted Ryce: Cool. Well, Dan, thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it. Thanks for your wisdom as well and your perspective on this. It was inspiring to hear, and I know it’s going to help shift some people to not be that pudgy entrepreneur that you talked about. I appreciate it.
Dan Roitman: Exactly. No, I appreciate it too, man. Thanks a lot.
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