There are several small, but key commitments, effective entrepreneurs practice in their daily routine which help them to stay a cut above the rest. When it comes to success, these types recognize it is often the smaller disciplines which catapult them far beyond others who may be smarter, more talented or who have access to more resources which would seemingly give them the advantage. Highly effective entrepreneurs are scrappy, and succeed beyond their peers and colleagues because they commit to the simple things, which provide them the grit and resilience to push ahead.
1. They hydrate.
To function well, effective entrepreneurs start their day hydrated. Once they’ve had their coffee or tea, they start pushing the water. They are aware that staying hydrated keeps their memory sharp, their mood stable, and their motivation intact. Of course, highly effective entrepreneurs also give themselves permission to indulge in ending their day with an adult beverage to take the edge off, but they are mindful to do this with a balance. They would never choose to start their next day hung over. They start their next day hydrated from the previous one.
2. They exercise.
There is a misconception that successful people have the freedom to exercise whenever they want; however, this is not true for the exceptionally busy. With all the different variables at hand during a workweek it can be near to impossible to workout at the same time, or even in the same location each day. What is important, is not when or where they exercise, or even how long for that matter, but just that they do it. They exercise because exercise has proven to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain; making them smarter and more able to exist on the cutting edge of intelligence. Aside from the undeniable stress and health benefits, they will not sacrifice an opportunity to produce growth in their brain’s ability to stay sharp.
3. They get ready for the day.
Effective entrepreneurs are always ready for their day. No matter how busy they are, they accept that to be totally on-point they must be prepared and organized. The more prepared they are, the more confident, relaxed and efficiently they operate. They prepare lists, goals, calls, meetings, calendars, what they’re going to eat, sleep, what clothes they will wear, travel itineraries, time for exercise, family and friends. They make sure to start each day ahead of the game, rather than consistently behind the 8 ball.
4. They involve others.
Many entrepreneurs feel because they are on their own journey, they shouldn’t enlist the help of others. However, highly effective entrepreneurs embrace that success is never a one-man job. The more people they have on their team believing in their mission, the more innovative and successful they become. No one can succeed in a cocoon. They let go of their fears, guilt's and doubts around their personal responsibility. They know their limits, and value the need to involve others to help complete them as person to get to the top. Success is the most fulling when it’s a shared experience.
5. They take time for themselves.
To be successful it takes a tremendous amount of grit and sacrifice. Effective entrepreneurs need time for themselves to recharge. They carve time in their daily schedules to make this happen, and view these meeting with alone with themselves as just as important as the meetings they have with others. They understand that to be truly be present to others, they must first nurture the connection they have with themselves. This time serves to keep them proactive in their mindset, rather than reactive.
6. They join groups outside of work.
There is a life outside of the office and effective entrepreneurs embrace this. They involve themselves in all kinds of groups that fit their tastes, whether it be CrossFit, yoga, church, charity, travel, or other extracurricular fun. These groups get them out of “business mode” into a more relaxed state where they can enjoy the fruits of their hard work. It also connects them with people who have nothing to do with business, which is enriching to their life. Involvement in these groups gives them a healthier work/life balance.
7. They ignore the naysayers.
Successful entrepreneurs have likely lost more relationships than they have gained. Why? The path narrows as they get to the top. The more successful they become the more people shoot arrows of jealousy and naysaying in their direction. They do not give them attention. If Matt Damon can drop out of Harvard, write a movie, have Robin Williams star in it, and win an Oscar then it’s possible for any of us to achieve the dreams we set out to achieve. The great successes work hard, ignore the jealous chatter, cruel stabs and have the grit to not stop until they make it to the top.
8. They don't negotiate with their time for self-care.
Effective entrepreneurs value time as their most precious commodity. They understand they must maintain their much-needed quiet time to avoid burnout. For this reason, they pre-plan vacation time, take days off when sick or otherwise necessary. Because they take the breaks to enjoy their lives, they are actually more successful than the entrepreneur who works non-stop, lives on caffeine, nicotine and fast food in order to not miss work. Time for self-care is sacred in an effective entrepreneur’s world.
9. They embrace the chaos.
Any journey towards success will have chaos as a fundamental part of the process. Mistakes will be made, they will need to fire people, they will get screwed over, lose money and have to recover; hence, there will be frustration and failure. To be effective, they know they cannot shy away from the chaos or cower under its power. Rather, they see chaos as something they must study, face and conquer. Every run-in with chaos, successfully handled, is one step further along the path to living their dream.
10. They seek support of like-minded people.
Effective entrepreneurs view themselves as ‘learners.’ It's no easy task working to be the best at what they do; however, the healthy medicine they need is the support they get from like-minded and similarly driven others. Effective entrepreneurs do not see and end-date to their success, so to continue learning and growing, it is crucial to have successful others to mentor, support and teach them. It is also important for them to play this role for others. They believe wholeheartedly the more help, support and encouragement they give and receive, the more enjoyable their journey to success will be.
11. They have supplies of motivation and information on hand.
Successful entrepreneurs are never without motivational quotes, books, audiobooks, or seminars on hand at all times. They are consistently tracking their written goals and organizing their next moves. They have copious notes on their computers, on paper and contacts in their rolodex. If they have questions, they have the resources at their fingertips necessary to get the answers they need.
12. They don't take themselves too seriously.
Effective entrepreneurs are well aware that not everything is going to go their way, and it is for this reason they train themselves to keep a lighthearted attitude. Innovative solutions cannot come to a rigid and controlling thinker. They recognize how important it is to be able to laugh at themselves. They have learned the more open they are to what is in front of them, the clearer they see where they have control and where they don't. This openness helps them come up with the solutions they need and to also know when it is time to stop controlling and let something go.
Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Ow...