Boudreau
Boudreau

MONT TREMBLANT, Quebec — According to Sylvain Boudreau, the best way to succeed in life is to mind your own business.

“You are the CEO of Me Inc.,” Boudreau told members of the Quebec Produce Marketing Association when he spoke at the association’s 64th annual convention Aug. 18-20. “You are your own business. Don’t depend on others to take care of you or do the job for you.”

Me Inc. has a lot of divisions to take charge of, he said, including health and work.

With more and more people living into their 80s, said the sports-minded speaker, it’s important to take care of our health.

“Our body is like a car … you have to take better care of it if you want to keep it for 10 years, compared to if you want to keep it for three years.”

Though life may throw us curve balls we have no control of, how we react to these events is 100% under our control and determines what kind of person we are and our attitude toward life.

“Winners see themselves as winners and they attract other winners,” he said, adding that seeing a glass as half full instead of half empty is an important concept to pass on to children.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your employees if they’re happy working for you,” he said. “If they’re not happy, how can you reach your objectives?”

Demonstrate your positive attitude by saying hello and smiling at people you encounter. If you wake up thinking it’s going to be a long day, he said, you’ll get what you ask for.

Coming to work tired is also a recipe for failure, he said.

“If you need nine hours of sleep, take nine hours. Be in top shape when you go to work. Your mind can’t be clear if you’re tired.”

One of the best ways to feel more alert is to get some exercise, he said. Don’t say you don’t have time – with 168 hours in a week, if you find three hours to exercise, you’ll have 165 hours left!

If you have a day job, Boudreau advised taking a 30-minute walk in the morning so you arrive at the office refreshed. Take a walk at noon or go to the gym to wake up.

“Sports are energizing,” he said. Don’t be passive — move!”

Taking concrete actions and making plans are also the sign of a successful life, he said. For example, rather than telling a colleague you must have lunch together, which will never happen, say let’s have lunch together next Friday.

When you set a date, all your decisions for the next week will revolve around that meeting, he said. You may even change your schedule to make it happen.

When it comes to vacations, planning increases the benefits and the pleasure, he said. If you decide you’ll go to Jamaica next February, and book your ticket now, you’ll have months to savor the trip.

Success is also in the small details, he said. Even the smallest action has value, like picking up a piece of litter because it’s there, or acknowledging and saying thank you to all the employees, from the guy who sweeps the floor to the dishwasher in a restaurant kitchen, who make up the million details in a day.

As a test, he asked attendees to think about what brand of watch they wear, whether it has roman or Arabic numerals, whether it has a second hand and whether there’s anything special at the three and six position. As he predicted, few attendees could answer all four questions, though he said we look at our watches 150 times a day.

“There are so many people in society that we should thank, and we don’t even notice them,” he said. “We have to develop our capability to notice and show our appreciation.”