Why Entrepreneurs Need To STOP 🛑 Drinking

If your drinking habits have… let’s say, ‘evolved’ over the last few years, then rest assured that you are not alone.

Come on, if global pandemics, lockdowns, riots, and wars aren’t good enough reasons to have an extra glass of wine, then what is? 🍷

However, I am here to help make you the best entrepreneur you can be.

The harsh truth is that, if you want to continually improve your business, then it’s time to stop drinking.

Drunk Happy Hour GIF

I’m not saying to ‘stop drinking as much’, or to ‘slow down’. 

I mean stop. Completely. 

Why? Let’s take a look.

What’s the harm in drinking?

We all know that drinking isn’t good for us. But we do it anyway.

In fact, in 2007, a list of the most dangerous substances on the planet placed alcohol at #5 – just behind heroin, cocaine, barbiturates, and street methadone.

This means that alcohol was rated as more dangerous than ketamine, amphetamines, and many others

Yet somehow, drinking constantly is still socially acceptable. It’s pretty weird when you think about it. 🤔

How drinking affects your gut (and, in turn, your brain)

You are probably aware that your brain has a direct effect on your stomach and intestines. For example, if you think about eating, your stomach will release juices before you’ve even taken a bite.

But you are much more than just your brain – the connection goes both ways and your intestine can send signals up top.

In short, if your gut health is not in tiptop condition, you cannot expect your brain health to be perfect either.

Now, if you drink regularly – or even now and again – you are at risk of damaging your digestive system.

For example (and this is just one of many examples), alcohol is understood to affect acid production in the stomach. This can hinder your stomach’s attempts at destroying harmful bacteria. In turn, this bacteria can enter your upper small intestine and cause havoc.

As this is a resource for entrepreneurs – and I am not a scientist – I won’t attempt to give you a full lesson on gut health and brain function. However, know that drinking can affect your head more than just that epic headache.

If you are interested in further reading, check out The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer – an important book that takes detailed look at the subject.

Why giving up drinking makes you a better entrepreneur

Hang Over Cameron Diaz GIF

#1 – The brain fog clears

If you’re a heavy drinker, it’s likely that you experience some form of brain fog at some point in your week. It might be when things get stressful. It might just be later in the evenings. Regardless, the result is often a craving for a glass of bourbon to ‘help you relax.’ 

But that’s not what’s happening.

If you experience brain fog that you’re fixing with a drink, you’re probably feeling slight alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

That may make for bleak reading, but it’s the truth and you have to face reality.  

Brain fog can make it difficult to focus, think, and can even impair the making of important decisions. Is this really the state you want to be in as a leader? 

The good news is that brain fog will go away if you stop drinking. It might takes days, it might takes weeks, but it will go away. 

#2 – It makes you a better leader

“Hey, are you drinking… non-alcoholic beer? You’re crazy!”

Giving up alcohol takes willpower, and when you decide not to drink in social situations, people take notice.

That’s not always fun, but more often than not, it says something good about you. Refusing a drink says that you take yourself seriously. It says that you have control

You’re also making the decision to give up the social crutch of booze. That means you have to rely on your own sober social skills to be charming, likable, and persuasive. 

That can be scary as hell. But you know what? Good. Let it be scary. Feel the fear, and do it anyway. 

Improving your social skills is going to build the kind of persuasive muscles that will make you unstoppable. You’ll start noticing new things about people. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable in awkward situations. 

If you face the fear and confront the social shortcomings that alcohol has been masking, you will develop social super powers! 🦸

#3 – It cultivates better stress management 

I mentioned earlier that reaching for a glass of your favorite drink is often a response to stress. So what happens when that remedy is no longer an option? 

You need to find something else to relieve stress. Without alcohol, you have the chance to choose to do something more positive. 

Responding to your stress triggers with mindfulness, meditation, exercise, talking, or yoga is going to have an endless cascades of positive effects. These healthy stress management techniques aren’t a simple band aid (which is all alcohol is, by the way!). These are actually proven methods that can improve your ability to manage stressful situations. 

Imagine kicking into high gear in stressful situations instead of feeling overwhelmed and frazzled. That’s what happens when you learn to manage your stress better. 

#4 – It helps you stick to your habits

Finally, one of the biggest benefits I have noticed by not drinking alcohol is that I find it easier to stick to the habits that make me a better entrepreneur.

This is because drinking can make you skip daily habits. More specifically, the after-effects of drinking, whether that’s a full-blown hangover or just a groggy feeling.

You probably already know that waking up with a headache and deep fatigue makes it all too easy to forget about your morning workout or meditation session. Instead, temptation rises to hit snooze, then lie in bed and scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes.

Ultimately, habits are the foundations of success and the more you skip them, the more you are breaking promises to yourself.

Stop drinking and you will be less tempted to break these habits.

Tips for giving up alcohol

I don’t want to sit here and pretend that giving up alcohol is easy.

It may be a difficult decision. Then acting on that decision is even more difficult.

The bottom line is that giving up alcohol is hard. Very effing hard.

But here are some tips that worked for me and will work for you.

Hard Work I Didnt Say That GIF by Britannia on EPIX

Find great alternatives to alcohol

Sometimes the urge to drink is really more of about the sensation than it is a craving for alcohol.

That’s where non-alcoholic alternatives can be a real life saver. While nothing is going to give you the same experience as alcohol, there are some pretty great substitutes.

When people think about non-alcoholic drinks, the first things that come to mind are non-alcoholic beer or wine, or a soft-drink like a soda or juice. But in 2022, there is a whole world of non-alcoholic beverages out there. 

That’s right – non-alcoholic tequila, rum, whiskey, and gins, all offering similar flavors to traditional alcoholic drinks, albeit with none of the negative side effects.

Companies like Ritual and Drink Monday are creating incredible products to replace alcoholic beverages. This means you can still enjoy the complex flavors and aesthetics of alcohol, without having to just rely on a cola or lemonade.

I am also a fan of drinks like kombucha, which is a fermented non-alcoholic beverage made from sugared tea. While it is classed as alcohol-free, many brands contain trace amounts of alcohol (around 0.05% ABV) due to the fermentation process – if this is a problem for you, then avoid it!

However, kombucha can be a good replacement for alcoholic drinks, because it still has the same ‘bite’ as drinking a cold beer because of the fermentation.

Kombucha is also great for gut health, and is said to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. So it’s a win-win in terms of our goals!

Handle the social pressure like a boss

The social pressure around drinking is probably the biggest pain when you’re trying to quit.

Even if you have no trouble forgoing a drink when you’re alone in your home, being at an event is a different story. 

And it doesn’t help that so damn many events center around drinking. 

  • Social events
  • Business events
  • Networking events
  • Charity galas
  • Sporting events
  • Weddings

If you attend any of these events then you’re sure to face some temptation – especially if there is a free bar. You will also have to deal with the question, “Why are you not drinking?”, over and over again. You may be seen as an oddity.

It’s exhausting. And it’s so easy to just give in and have one, just to make things a little easier. 

But you don’t have to. If the pressure is high, try some of these suggestions:

Order a decoy 

No bartender is going to judge you for ordering a soda water with lime and a sprig of mint, so that it looks like a mojito.

Or go for a non-alcoholic cocktail or a non-alcoholic beer poured into a normal glass.

Sometimes having a drink in your hand is enough to allow you to blend into the crowd and get you through the night. At the very least, it’s enough to satisfy others and stop them from pestering you about why you’re not drinking. 

Be the designated driver 🚗

This one has the added benefit of making you the good guy (or gal)!

If there is ever a situation where transportation might be an issue, offering to drive is perfect. Not only will you avoid any questions, people will thank you for choosing not to drink.

It becomes a demonstration of restraint, selflessness, and empathy towards others. 

Make up an excuse 

If you don’t want to explain why you’re not drinking, you can always make something up.

Choosing not to drink is an incredibly personal decision, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

However, if asked, my recommendation is to say, “Alcohol doesn’t help me become the best version of myself.”

If that doesn’t work for you, then try, “I need to drive home”, “I’m allergic to sulphites”, or “I am taking meds that can’t be mixed with alcohol”. These are simple excuses that will move the conversation along quickly. 

One for the road…

Although I am still convinced that entrepreneurs need to stop drinking, I am not here to tell you how to live your life.

If you are able to limit your alcohol to one or two a week, and it doesn’t impact your sleep or the following day, then great – go ahead and enjoy a little alcohol. The same goes for if you are on vacation and can limit your alcohol consumption to that week or two away from the office.

But if you find it difficult to say no to a third, or regularly wake up with a headache, dry mouth and that feeling of regret, it’s time to reassess your relationship with alcohol and give up.

If you think you have a more concerning relationship with alcohol, I advise seeking professional help. Call the free Alcohol Addiction Hotline on 1-855-908-0087 for free advice on treatment options.

Questions? Comments? We’re here for you at success@wholefounder.com!

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