And no, we’re not talking about drinking more water or waking up at 5 a.m to become a highly effective entrepreneur.
Here are 4 habits of highlight effective entrepreneurs, you can integrate into your life to have more energy for your business, more time for your family, and more excitement about your life:
1. They say “no”
Great entrepreneurs know that every time you say “yes” to something, you say “no” to something else. When you say “yes” to the meeting you don’t really need to be on, you say “no” to the opportunity to focus on more strategic initiatives – aligning your operations to your vision, reimagining how your business structure can support your goals, or moving a strategic partnership forward. Saying “no,” or even “not right now” is your most powerful tool to practicing intentionality in your business and your life.
To get clarity, ask yourself: I know this needs attention, but does it need my attention?
2. They take time off
Modern entrepreneurial culture tells us we have to be heads-down and willing to work all the time – but that pace is far from sustainable. A better approach is actually taking time off – a crazy concept, we know.
Some leaders practice this by having no-tech time: designated time every day where phones are forbidden and email is banned. They also use their vacation time; as the owner of your company, you might not think to use your benefits like your employees do, but it’s critically important that you regularly take time to step away. That space to breathe usually results in more energy and fresh perspective – something you can’t force by working harder or faster.
To get clarity, ask yourself: When’s the last time I felt free from my phone? When’s the last time I took vacation time?
3. They invest in community
Entrepreneurship can be incredibly lonely. As the leader of your company, you never want to complain down – which can result in feeling isolated and like you have to solve your company’s problems on your own. While many entrepreneurs empathize with that experience, it’s not a requirement for running your business.
There are plenty of ways you can connect with like-minded leaders who have been in your shoes and can offer solutions and perspective. Try exploring online communities or structured services like entrepreneurial peer groups. Or, if you’re feeling energy for it, start your own.
To get clarity, ask yourself: Do I have a community of like-minded leaders I can lean on for support? What could it feel like to have one?
4. They’re not overbooked
We can probably guess what your calendar looks like without seeing it. You’re in meetings all day (sometimes multiple meetings at one time), and might plan to spend some time actually doing work tonight around 8 or 9 p.m. Sometimes it can feel like it has to be that way so you can do everything you need to do, but it actually results in you doing less.
Overbooking leads to lack of focus (it takes a lot of energy to context switch as you rapidly hop from one meeting to the other), decreased efficiency (context switching means not really getting deeply into the work), and burnout. Successful entrepreneurs minimize meetings, block off large chunks of time to get into the work, and protect their after work hours for re-energizing.
To get clarity, ask yourself: Does my calendar look like a Jackson Pollock painting? How could my life be different if I was more intentional with my time?