As a performance and crisis coach, I’ve seen many people who were financially successful, but personally miserable. Burnt out. Overloaded. Miserable.
Below are my tips for how entrepreneurs can avoid such a fate:
1. Continuously work on strengthening your mental game.
Entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time working on their business strategies, evaluating their market, and analyzing the competitive landscape. But they often spend very little time strengthening their mental game. However, building a successful business is one of the most mentally taxing experiences a person can go through.
So I advise entrepreneurs to continuously work on strengthening their mental game, their mental focus and their resiliency.
This can be done through reading books (or listening to audio books) or simply doing daily affirmations (I highly recommend the ThinkUp app) as part of their daily routine. But it needs to be something that is done every day, because an entrepreneur never knows when he or she will have to pull from their mental reserve to keep pushing through.
2. Schedule daily check-ins.
Being an entrepreneur is a fast-paced game. Sometimes important decisions have to be made in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, that means that one simple decision can quickly head you in the wrong direction. Waking up and not liking the company you’ve built or the life you’ve created doesn’t happen overnight. It happens one decision at a time.
I often suggest my clients ask themselves three simple questions at the end of each day. First, are we still headed in the direction I envisioned for the company? If yes, great. If no, am I comfortable with the direction in which the company is headed? Second, did I say yes to something today to which I should have said no? And if so, can I go back tomorrow and say no? Third, am I doing what I need to do mentally and physically so that I can perform at my highest level, and if not, what can I do tomorrow to change that?
3. Listen to podcasts in which successful entrepreneurs talk about their struggles.
It is easy as an entrepreneur to get frustrated and overwhelmed when things don’t quite turn out as planned or when one encounters a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
Hearing the struggles of some of the most successful entrepreneurs can help entrepreneurs realize how challenging the entrepreneurial journey often is and how resourceful many successful entrepreneurs had to be to reach success.
I recommend podcasts, because they are easy for an entrepreneur to incorporate into their day (i.e. during their morning commute or while exercising).
4. Make taking care of your health nonnegotiable.
Eating, sleeping and exercising go a long way in helping an entrepreneur perform at their peak level. Yet, these are the areas many entrepreneurs skimp on, with many of them naively believing they can work on their health once they “make it.”
So they put off eating well, getting proper rest, regularly exercising, not realizing that skimping in this way actually limits their ability to perform at their peak level.
I have all of my clients make taking care of their health nonnegotiable – even if it means reading the morning news while running on the treadmill, or hiring someone to cook healthy meals, or even putting an elliptical machine in their office.
5. Get buy-in from your spouse or significant other.
Owning a business is rough on even the healthiest of relationships. The long hours. The unforeseen challenges. That first customer acquisition taking a bit longer than expected. Not to mention the stress of worrying about letting your significant other or family down.
What I suggest to entrepreneurs who are married or in a committed relationship is to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with their partner. Explain the reality of how they expect the next several months to go. If they aren’t going to make it home for dinner during those months, be honest. If their partner is going to have to carry more on the home front, be honest.
Often entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that such a discussion won’t go well, but often it results in their partner feeling like they are part of the process. A teammate as opposed to an adversary.
It isn’t easy to being a successful entrepreneur. But following these tips can go a long way in helping an entrepreneur stay at the top of their game.