By Matthew S. Newman

Changes come in all sizes. There are enormous life changes; they can involve marriage, divorce, disease or other life altering events. I learned this from being diagnosed with a Grade 3 Astrocytoma (brain cancer/tumor) at 39. Changes also come in smaller proportion, that if digested properly can lead to a new understanding of the topic it addresses. I took a small one from this pandemic that I’ll never give back.

As life started to change, I ran my business virtually through meetings on Zoom. I am a true Renaissance Man who is acceting of change! I work in financial services wholesaling financial products to advisors to utilize with clients. I am also an author, a keynote speaker, and have ownership on some other businesses as well. Always busy, always working hard. 

I took to virtual meetings immediately and will never look back! It’s more efficient to connect with clients, prospects and team members. It avoids travel (which I now see when not needed is a massive waste of time and capital), it promotes a better work/life balance, and avoids wasting time doing frivolous events, dinners and other events that seem to be part of the gig. I’ve taken to it, and it’s been amazing! 

I speak all over the country and now the world. Standing on huge stages, sharing my story of cancer at 39 and the necessity of financial planning in advance of the bad; connecting deeply with audiences in person is something that all got canceled when the pandemic started. It’s a passion, love and catharsis for me to do, and I wasn’t sure when that would be possible again. All the conferences started going Virtual, and business went through the roof on speaking to some the largest companies, in a variety of different industries. People were looking for realness and inspiration and that’s what I bring! The only difference, I was speaking to a computer; I had no emotional connection with the crowd, and I missed that. At the same time I never left for days of travel and missed time with my family. Pros and Cons if you will. 

What I did realize was the amount of computer time I was spending was getting to me. I get up at 5 A.M. everyday, and fitness is a passion to my wife and I. We have a full gym built in our house which paid massive dividends during the pandemic. I’d workout for 75 minutes, shower and be on my computer by 6:45 A.M. and boom we were off to the races! I’d do 8-12 Zoom meetings a day with clients, an interview or podcast a week, and 1 to 2 speeches as well. There was no break, and it started to add up. I needed to find a way to handle it, and I took on change to address it.

At 4 P.M. every day I would go into my gym and stream a 30 minute Yoga Class to my Google Chrome. I’d put my mind right into yoga for 30 minutes, and come out feeling this peacefulness that changed my energy levels, my anxiety, and my demeanor. I always loved doing hot yoga workouts with my wife, but it took a pandemic to help me find a way to stay focused, utilize time for myself, and stay motivated to never quit. Change breeds complacency or change breeds opportunity. This change created an opportunity that allowed me to prosper. I will never give this up, as the benefits for family, business and life have been a gift that I have accepted. It took a pandemic to see the deeper value of Yoga, and I have embraced it!