Successful entrepreneurs make profits from their passions. They decide what actions they must take in order to establish or grow their own business. After speaking with many entrepreneurs from all different fields, it has become increasingly apparent they all share specific habits and lifestyle patterns that help keep them motivated and push them forward.
1. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday.
Contrary to entrepreneurial belief, pulling all-nighters all the time won’t always make your business succeed any faster. Of course sometimes they’re necessary, but even if you are waking up at 10 AM and going to sleep at 4 AM, the regularity of your schedule will be something that your body can adapt to and the consistency will work in your favor when it comes to mental and physical performance.
Lack of consistency in your sleep patterns can dramatically affect your ability to properly manage stress as well as your concentration when it comes to the most important of tasks. For example, if you plan on making up for all of your lost sleep on the weekends, you will find yourself less productive and focused both during the week and on the weekends. Even if it isn’t a lot of sleep, consistent sleep patterns are vital to maintaining high mental performance.
2. Exercise for 30 min before beginning work for the day.
Exercise time, even if only for 30 minutes, can help keep you in shape and make you more prepared for the day. If you’re a jogger, jog, if you’re more of a yoga person then do yoga. By exercising you release endorphins that will actually in turn help you to focus better when it comes to concentrating on the next project or task. This valuable time also frees you of distractions like email and cellphones. Sometimes it pays to have this time even if it is only for 30 minutes a day. You will discover that undistracted time enables you to more clearly see the big picture of your business – where you are and where you want to be. And of course, immediately record any new ideas or thought breakthroughs that you may have as soon as you finish your exercise routine. Successful people always write their thoughts down.
3. Spend the first 2-3 hours of everyday focused only on the actions that make you money.
For me this is reaching out to new clients and returning inquiries from potentially interested ones. The time you spend should be directly correlated to your income and should not include administrative tasks or to do items that you could get done later in the day. It is important that you log off of Facebook, Twitter, and close your email programs during this time. Lower the possibility of distraction by trying to eliminate as many of the common ones as possible. Try to make this your ‘wired in’ time – think ‘The Social Network.’
Breaking your day into sections will help you organize a lifestyle workflow. Personally, I dedicate three hours each day to the area of my business that make me the most money – finding and converting leads. Things like travel arrangement, managing interns, writing blogs, and other non-income generating activity is kept strictly out of my ‘wired in time’.
4. Devote an hour a day to relevant industry news.
You’ve probably met a professional in a particular industry who is not up on their own field. I find this to be an amateur mistake. Even if you are successful at what you do, there is really no excuse not to know what your peers and competitors are up to. Try to organize feeds of the most frequented places that your peers contribute to online, you never know when having just a bit more knowledge about someone or the project they’re working on may turn out to help you big time in the future.
Successful people are constantly following their peers and learning from them, after all, what someone does poorly may be an opportunity for you to do well. Study the people you look up to at their first steps and not only at their present success.
Bonus: Analyze where your existing time is going – RescueTime.com
This is great software that will tell you how you spend the time in your day. From how much time you spend on Facebook to how long you spent working in Photoshop, Rescue Time can help you make smarter choices with your time and enable you to focus more of your energy on the things that will help drive your business forward.
Michael Costigan speaks to teens and adults about effective communication so that they may make better informed decisions together. Read more about Michael here.