9 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship has continued to grow year after year, creating the vast majority of employment opportunities all across the world. Starting a new business can be an exciting experience but despite the rewards, it’s not without its stressors. 

There is a lot of competition out there – including our own self-doubt – so it’s a great idea to adopt some success-minded habits that successful entrepreneurs already practice.

1. Quality Sleep

It may seem counter-intuitive to the over-achievers among us, but research shows that less sleep leads to less cognition and experts report that entrepreneurs who don’t get enough sleep, are more likely to fail.

So whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, strive to get at least seven hours of sleep each time you hit the sack so you can wake up rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever comes at you.

The National Sleep Foundation states that quality sleep is just as important as how much sleep you get because if you’re having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep; you are not experiencing restorative sleep. Be sure you have a nurturing, comfortable place to lay your head so you can get the sleep you need.

2. Eat Right

Let’s face it: being an entrepreneur is a busy job! But that’s no excuse for not eating right. From skipping breakfast to simply being too busy to eat, these unhealthy habits have disastrous effects on our health as well as our behavior and productivity.

Consider adopting these healthy habits:

  • Plan breakfast in advance. It helps if you know what you’re going to eat in the morning ahead of  time, so you don’t have to decide last minute.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Have healthy snacks available.
  • Don’t skip meals.

3. Wake Up Early

Our days are full of distractions so many of today’s successful people wake up early to spend the wee morning hours getting ready for the day. For example, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes up at 3:45 a.m. every morning and Michelle Obama is working out every morning by 4:30.

This time of day is a valuable time to allow yourself some mental space to think without noise, interruption, or distraction. 

4. Establish A Routine

Having a routine doesn’t just reduce our stress, but increases the productivity of entrepreneurs. Routines help to “free up brain space” and allow us to be more creative and better at problem-solving. 

As an entrepreneur, it may not be practical to have an all-day routine because you can’t always anticipate what will happen during the day, but a morning routine is common among the most successful entrepreneurs.

5. Continued Learning

Successful entrepreneurs know that continued learning is a fundamental part of staying ahead and continuing to grow. You may not have time to return to college or take night classes but there are many ways to fit learning in your busy schedule:

  • Online classes – There are many business-related learning opportunities online. Hubspot Academy, for example, offers a host of online learning courses that are free and allow you to go at your own pace.
  • Reading – Whether it’s a newspaper, a biography, or an industry publication, make it a point to take in new information that elevates your level of knowledge and understanding.
  • Webinars/Podcasts – The beauty of webinars and podcasts is they can be listened to while you’re on the go. Find podcasts that are relative to your industry and use them to gain insights and ideas.

6. Exercise

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg makes it a point to exercise every morning and he’s not the only successful individual to do this. It can seem daunting to try to find the time to include a strict work-out routine, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be rigid. Taking the stairs or walking an extra block are simple ways to get into exercise each day.

7. Meditation

When you think of meditation, you may be inclined to envision Tibetan monks in orange robes, sitting in Yogic poses with their eyes closed. This, however, is not the only way to implement meditation, nor to capitalize on the power of mindfulness.

Meditation has been repeatedly proven to be good not just for our minds but our bodies, too, so finding ways to incorporate it into your day has proven benefits. Being mindful, means being aware of yourself and how you are feeling. If you begin to recognize you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or lost, practice simple meditation and mindfulness techniques to get your feet back on the ground.

– Practice Deep Breathing Exercises 

Experts say that deep breathing exercises help alleviate stress when we experience the “fight or flight” response and it only takes a few minutes.

– Schedule a Five-Minute Break

Allow yourself to take a five-minute break at the same time each day. This helps you stay grounded and centered so you can get back to work and be more focused on the things you want to accomplish without arbitrarily forcing yourself to find time to meditate.

– Use Waiting Times 

Be aware when you are waiting for something, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a few minutes to practice mindfulness and meditation.

– Incorporate Technology

There are many guided meditations available online and apps you can download that can help you relax your mind and focus inward. 

8. Learn to Prioritize

As an entrepreneur, you’ll have a pretty full plate and sometimes it can be utterly overwhelming. One great tool to use to help you get – and stay – organized is the Eisenhower Matrix. This simple but effective prioritization tool helps you determine which things are most important and which can be delegated, delayed, or forgotten altogether.

9. “Me Time”

It becomes obvious that self-care is an incredibly important habit for successful people to adopt. While owning a business involves being busy because you want to be productive, creative, and innovative, perhaps the most important thing is to take care of yourself.

There is a reason the flight attendants instruct us to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before anyone else: We must be our best selves before we can serve others.

Be sure you set aside time for yourself to refresh and rejuvenate your mind, spirit, and body and stick to that time. Be present and allow yourself to enjoy extracurricular activities that bring you joy and happiness. Adopt hobbies that you enjoy or try new things that broaden your exposure to different ways to experience life.