I ran across a great article over in the Entrepreneur magazine. Here is a summary: Being an entrepreneur is challenging. Every day is a constant battle with uncertainty and doubt. But it can be a lot harder if you don’t actively make yourself a bigger priority than your business.
The thing that many entrepreneurs fail to realize is that you are your business. If you don’t take care of yourself and do things every day that put a little extra gas in the tank, then you’re dooming yourself and your business to burnout and failure.
Here are just a few things that you can do every day to ensure that you are able to succeed at the highest level in your business and in life.
1. Get enough sleep.
I know, I know, Benjamin Franklin said: “You can sleep when you’re dead.”
Well, that’s fantastic, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will be living each day like you are already dead. There have been a number of studies in recent years showing just how detrimental prolonged sleep deprivation is.
Just a few of the effects include lower memory capacity, slower decision making, inability to solve problems, a weakened body and immune system (making you more susceptible to injury and illness) and even an increased risk of obesity.
The message here is clear. Get enough sleep. And make sure it’s qiality sleep!
Like getting sufficient sleep, exercising on a regular basis should be a higher priority than even your business.
Exercise releases endorphins and all sorts of other wonderful chemicals into your body that increase your happiness levels and improve your ability to perform daily tasks.
Not to mention, exercise has also been proven to help you live a longer healthier life.
Not a bad trade off for something that takes about 20 minutes a day, is it?
3. Take a break.
Entrepreneurs are notorious for working seven days a week without ever taking a break. I have been guilty of this myself on more occasions than I care to admit.
Taking one day off every week from all work (that includes email) will allow your body and your mind to recharge and refuel, allowing you to come back to your business with a fresh perspective and more energy than you have had in a long time.
Be sure that when you take this day off, you take full advantage of your time.
Spend the day hanging out with friends and family who energize you, reading an interesting book, playing with your kids, or getting out in nature. Don’t waste it sleeping 12 hours (too much of a good thing) or sitting in front of the TV.
Sitting in a chair for 20 minutes and doing nothing. Sounds like a waste of time, right?
Not so. The science is clearly in on this one: meditation has tremendous benefits for you and your business.
It has been proven to help improve your ability to focus, your creativity and your overall happiness levels.
The best part is that you don’t have to get fancy. Just 10 minutes with a guided meditation on YouTube, GooglePlay or just a relaxing piece of music will work wonders for your mind and body.
5. Acknowledge your small wins.
Whenever you own a business, it can be hard to reward yourself whenever you aren’t doing as well as you would like to. I understand, and I’ve been there.
But if you can shift your focus to everything that you are doing right, all of the things that you have accomplished, all of the progress you are making, you will be happier, more productive, and as a result more successful. Keep a pen and pad near your desk andcelebrate all of your small wins at the end of the day.
Maybe it was a client that you landed, a landing page you finally wrote, an employee that you gave a second chance, or maybe it was just hauling yourself out of bed to work on your business when you could have slept in.
It doesn’t have to be big; it just has to be something.
6. Surround yourself with positive people.
Life is short. Why would you want to spend even one second more than necessary surrounded by negative or pessimistic people? One of the quickest ways to skyrocket your success and happiness is to start intentionally cutting out negative relationships and cultivating positive ones.
There is no way around it, you become like the people you surround yourself with, and if you are surrounded with unambitious, lazy, and negative people, it will rub off on you no matter how hard you fight it. So get around people who lift you up and encourage you. It may be the most important decision you ever make.
There is a reason that they say laughter is the best medicine. Stop taking yourself so seriously and learn to laugh a little. Don’t make life any harder by going through every day with a permanent scowl on your face.
8. Keep a healthy diet.
One of the biggest and most underrated factors that affects your mood, thinking, focus, productivity, and health is the nutrition you ingest. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. According to the study by the International Labor Organization (ILO), our nutrition habits directly affects our productivity.
Best way to keep a healthy diet is to do following:
- Don’t leave any junk food at home or at the office. I don’t know about you, but if it’s there I will eat it.
- Subscribe to a healthy meal prep service. The convenience is well worth it, because it’ll keep you more consistent.
- Have a cheat day per week, so you can get your cravings out of the way.
If you want to succeed in business, you first have to succeed in life.
You have to take care of and prioritize yourself so that you can properly serve your company, your employees, and your clients.
Never forget what Jim Rohn said: “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.”
So take some time each day to invest in yourself and you will see a bigger return than you thought possible.