Lifestyle dictates success more than anything else. Many of the top entrepreneurs throughout the world share a way of life, regardless of their network or where they come from. From early morning activities to what they do while on the job, the right habits have the capability of elevating professionals to new heights. For anyone who strives for success, habits of highly effective entrepreneurs should be replicated. Here are some of the most notable habits and personality traits any budding professional should attempt to add to their daily routine.
Excise does just as much, if not more, for the mind than it does the body. While physical fitness helps cut down health risks while improving strength and endurance, regularly working out increases blood flow throughout the body. With an elevated heart rate, blood transports oxygen, nutrients, and energy to other cells in the body, including the brain. With the increased oxygen, energy and nutrients level in the brain, he or she will avoid mental fog while improving productivity and the ability to focus on a given task.
In addition to improving mental capacity, exercise helps reduce stress levels, which may also drag down productivity and performance. According to German researchers, by simply going for a 20-minute walk or bike ride prior to studying a new language, new vocabulary becomes easier to remember. These results were demonstrated in both children and adults. In similar research conducted within a Dutch school system, lessons were interrupted with 20-minute aerobic exercises. Classes with the added exercise not only saw an improvement in physical fitness, but students became less distracted and were able to multitask without a reduction in the quality of their work (The Guardian, 2016).
For anyone looking for workout examples, there are plenty of them out there. Former President Obama puts in 45 minutes of cardio, six days a week. This comes in the form of playing basketball, jogging or any number of other fitness activities. Mark Cuban, the billionaire, judge on Shark Tank and owner of the Dallas Mavericks ups this to at least an hour of cardio every day. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, likes to switch it up between rock climbing, weightlifting, swimming, and yoga. There isn’t a limit to the kinds of exercise routines out there. Some may find it’s easier to avoid boredom by switching it up what is done (Business Insider, 2016).
Cut Down on Low Importance Decisions
No matter how small the decision, it still takes mental effort. This mental energy often is better served directed at other larger business needs. Due to this, many of the most successful entrepreneurs do what they can to minimize their low importance decisions. Steve Jobs wore the exact same jeans, shoes, and turtleneck every single day, whether giving a keynote presentation or heading into work. Mark Zuckerberg does exactly the same. It’s not from laziness, or even because they enjoy the particular style. By cutting out attempting to make clothing decisions in the morning (what to wear, what matches what, can you wear blue shoes with black pants, etc.), these entrepreneurs could dress without thinking and direct the mental energy towards more important tasks.
Others cut down on low importance decisions my always eating the exact same food for their meals. Warren Buffet famous eats the same meals while enjoying a Coke, regardless of his age or whether doctors tell him to cut out the soda. Despite this, most people spend the clear majority of their time focused on less important decisions. According to The Black Box of Product Management (2017), the more important the decision, the less time the average person spends on it, simply because they are spending more time on all the non-important decisions in their daily lives. It proves successful entrepreneurs have a completely different mindset and a habit anyone looking to replicate their success needs to take up.
The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm
Many of the most successful professionals accomplish more in the early morning than most do throughout the course of their day. Top entrepreneurs know this, so they start their days off before first light. This way, they can squeeze in a solid workout, spending time with the family, meditating or any other tasks they might need to all before heading into the office. So, while the competition remains groggy and lacking sleep, the top professionals are already wide awake, additional oxygen and energy flowing to their brain thanks to the workout and ready to go.
Waking up early varies a bit depending on the individual and often their age. Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, wakes up at 3:45 every morning while Richard Branson wakes up at 5 a.m. Mr. Branson states he does this regardless of his location around the world (he’s a well-documented world traveler). Additionally, Peter Shankman wakes up at 3:30 a.m. because he believes in order to be successful, it’s necessary to wake up and work when others are in bed, sleeping (CNBC, 2017).
Remember to Eat Breakfast
Everyone has experienced that moment of waking up late and rushing out the door in order to make it into work on time. Breakfast becomes a distant afterthought. In fact, far too many people view breakfast as an afterthought. Despite this, eating breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. Eating breakfast needs to become a force of habit. It provides the body with necessary energy to perform. This energy doesn’t just fuel the body’s muscles but the brain as well. The combination of a healthy, balanced breakfast combined with an early-morning workout helps ensure there are important nutrients and vitamins for delivery to the brain.
Breakfast doesn’t need to take long. A breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, a protein drink or something else quick and easy provides the body with the needed vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and proteins. According to WebMD (2017), eating breakfast comes with a host of benefits. First, it helps with weight control. Individuals who skip breakfast put their metabolism on hold. This means for the rest of the day, the body slows down its processing of consumed food, resulting in a slow down of burned calories and the increase in weight gain. WebMD also provides helpful breakfast suggestions for maximum nutrient potential without weighing the body down with simple carbohydrates (sugars). This includes a veggie omelet, whole-wheat English muffin with scrambled egg, a smoothie with fruit and low-fat yogurt, whole-grain cereal, oatmeal with skim milk or a yogurt smoothie with breakfast bar.
For some more specific entrepreneur examples, according to Business Insider, Whole Foods founder John Mackey eats a green fruit smoothie for breakfast. Richard Branson eats a fruit salad with muesli. Even Winston Churchill started his morning off with eggs and toast (during wartime he added a whiskey soda, although this is not recommended).
According to LifeHacker Australia, a person who eats breakfast continually performs better (and feels better) throughout the entire day, as opposed to someone who skips breakfast altogether. Eating breakfast needs to become a habit for anyone looking to improve the potential success as an entrepreneur.
Meditation is more than chanting monks with shaved heads and flowing robes. Meditation helps clear away the stress and mental anguish of daily life. Everyone, no matter how wealthy or how poor, experiences stress on a daily basis. It’s the way they handle the stress that dictates their ability to perform throughout the rest of the day.
In research conducted by the Maharishi University of Management, transcendental meditation helps reduce anxiety over nearly every other tested method. In the study, testers experienced a drop in their anxiety levels by three percent when they simply tried to focus on the task at hand. “Other techniques” saw a drop-in stress by four percent. However, transcendental meditation saw a reduction in anxiety by eight percent after meditating for the first time. These numbers continued to improve with every subsequent meditation session.
According to Inc. (2017)., there are a number of professionals, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who swear by the practice of meditation. Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, meditates daily (and has done so since her teenage years). Jerry Seinfeld has stated he meditates daily to help boost productivity. Bob Stiller, the head of Green Mountain Coffee, doesn’t just practice meditation himself but he recommends his employees to do the same. Oprah Winfrey uses the practice as a means to feel closer to God, but she also has said it helps her feel focused and improves her business life as well. It’s just another reason why those looking to improve their productivity and take after highly effective entrepreneurs need to make this a daily habit.
Ditch the Clutter
Collected clutter has a way of cluttering the mind in addition to the home or the office. When attempting to work, clutter turns into distractions. Whether in the form of a stack of magazines, desk toys or just odds and ends, successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of ditching the clutter.
According to The American Genius (updated 2016), a properly cleaned and designed workspace will lead to a boost in productivity while removing possible distractions. For starters, it is necessary to file away all paperwork. Only relevant folders should remain on the desk, as all other paperwork needs to be put away. For office settings using telephones, the desk phone needs to remain on the dominant side of the person’s body in order to avoid reaching over the desk. Overly personalized workspaces should be avoided. Photographs of family members, pets, and vacation spots are nice reminders of the outside world, but it’s easy to become lost in these photographs and cut down on productivity. Office supplies should remain limited while available “white space,” or open space next to the dominant side makes it easy to quickly write out notes when needed. This kind of a workspace removes clutter and avoids desktop distractions.
Take a Look, It’s in a Book
LeVar Burton had something when he hosted the popular PBS television program Reading Rainbow. The show revolved around Mr. Burton, an actor who also famously appeared in multiple Star Trek programs and movies as the character Geordi La Forge, and his love of reading. The most successful entrepreneurs have followed the suggestions of LeVar and continue to read on a daily basis.
Individuals including Warren Buffett read throughout the day, although most have turned in the children’s picture book for works of nonfiction. These nonfiction books include self-help, biographies, and history. Essentially, those reading the books look for ways to extract information, which can help improve their own performance and productivity throughout the day. In fact, Warren Buffett has gone on record to say reading every day is the most important habit he has (according to Time Magazine, 2017).
Plenty of other successful entrepreneurs read on a daily basis. Oprah Winfrey hosts her own book club to share with her followers her favorite book of the month. Bill Gates may not have a book club, but he does continually donate money to libraries and schools throughout the country in order to ensure children have access to books. He has said, according to Business Insider (2017), he reads around 50 books a year. Other major professionals who read on the regular include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, Nike founder Phil Knight, and Elon Musk (although he ditches the standard self-help and biography books in favor of science-fiction novels, which likely surprises nobody).
According to research reported by Raymond Geddes, reading offers more benefits than an increase in knowledge. As suggested by the image below, 46 percent of adults take the wrong medication because of a lack of reading skills, while the U.S. sees a $70 million increase in healthcare expenses annually due to the lack of reading. Plus, 2/3 of students who are not able to read proficiently by the conclusion of their 4th-grade year will likely end up either on welfare or in jail.
From meditating daily to waking up early for an early morning workout, these are some of the most important habits someone needs to form if they want to model their lives after highly effective and successful entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter the industry, the passions of a professional or where they want to end up in life, by modeling oneself after successful, it makes it easier to eventually obtain this successful. However, success requires lifestyle changes and the formation of new habits. These are the necessary daily tasks to focus on and take advantage of.