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Ask The Entrepreneurs: 13 Golden Rituals That Keep Entrepreneurs Sane

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 13 Golden Rituals That Keep Entrepreneurs Sane

    Ask The Entrepreneurs

    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What daily/weekly ritual do you keep that keeps you sane as an entrepreneur?

    1. Meditate Stress Away

      “My daily ritual always involves at least fifteen minutes of meditation. When I meditate I give my brain a break. As an entrepreneur my brain is on overdrive. The key to getting real, quality work done is to take a break and tune in. Meditation offers you time to release and recalibrate. For my free guided meditations visit www.gabbyb.tv.”

      Gabrielle BernsteinGabrielle Bernstein Inc.

      2. Feed Yourself with Inspiration

        “You know when you read a quote and immediately it gives you that instant boost you needed in that moment? I keep my favorite quotes with me and look at them daily to remind myself that no matter what, it’s going to be okay and I can push through. Sometimes you need to be reminded of the simple things, even if it’s through a quote.”

        Ashley BodiBusiness Beware

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        3. Lift Off the Frustration

          “Lifting weights, especially heavy ones, has been something that I have come to rely on as an entrepreneur. The frustrating obstacles that we face every day while blazing new trails can add up. Personally I am driven by my own stress and anxiety, of which I have plenty. Sometimes the only thing that can relieve some of the pressure is a good ass whoopin’ at the gym!”

          Andrew BachmanScambook.com

          4. Stretch to the Limit

            “It seems cliche, but yoga has been my saving grace. It pumps me up for a day of productivity, while simultaneously reducing stress. It helps balance my mood at a time when the days get darker sooner. It stretches me out after hours at the computer. It helps me shut my brain off before going to sleep. I go to a yoga studio five days a week. Scheduling that time for myself keeps me sane.”

            Steph AuteriWord Nerd Pro

            5. Break the Rules!

              “During my work week, I’m super strict on my nutrition, workouts, sleep and business regimen. To combat this, I constantly break the rules on purpose and have a “cheat day.” Blow off an event, put back a few beers, or sleep in on Friday. Remind yourself that you are human, and the reason you are an entrepreneur is so you can have the freedom and flexibility to make these decisions for yourself.”

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              Matt Wilson, Under30CEO.com

              6. Focus on Loved Ones

                “Playing with my son every day and spending time with my family keeps me grounded and focused on why I’m doing what I’m doing. I always think of how my business and work affects my family, and ways to constantly improve upon that.”

                Tim Jahn, Entrepreneurs Unpluggd

                7. Join the Team!

                  “I try to play at least one team sport every week. I find that while your head is in the game and you’re cheering for your teammates, all the stress and work waiting for you washes away. When I return from the game, I find that much of that stress turns out to be gone for good, and I’m refreshed and ready to take on the week’s challenges.”

                  Jason EvanishGreenhorn Connect

                  8. Coach a Team!

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                    “I coach 3rd-5th grade AAU basketball. No matter what’s going on with Modify or in my personal life, I always forget everything stressful when I walk onto the court with the kids. They’re eager to learn and I can’t help but focus only on their growth. And if I’m really stressed, I can just tell them to do more sprints! (Just kidding.)”

                    Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

                    9. Touch Base Often

                      “I begin each day with a 5-minute check-in call with my accountability partner. We share our daily goals and discuss on-going challenges and projects. This daily check-in ensures that I make steady progress, and it’s great to know that someone who understands is just a phone call away for support and encouragement.”

                      Kelly AzevedoShe’s Got Systems

                      10. Mentor Another Entrepreneur

                        “Sometimes running your own business can be exhausting and you can lose track of end goals and the passion that got you started in the first place. I find that mentoring other young entrepreneurs reminds you why you started your business. Also, the feel-good vibes you get from helping others are the best way to recharge.”

                        Vanessa Van PettenScience of People

                        11. Read Your Calendar

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                          “Our calendars hold a lot of information about how we spend out time. If you sit down and scroll through your calendar to take a look at the meetings, phone calls, projects, and tasks that you have had over the past week, it will give you clarity about the things that you have accomplished and about what you can do differently.”

                          Dmitriy KatselAdU Network

                          12. Set Boundaries for Sanity

                            “I will not and do not (except before a big launch) answer or read emaisl within a few hours of my shut-eye time—nor will I read email on my phone IN bed. Sleep is sacred, and so is my schedule. A client wouldn’t dare call me at midnight; so why would they expect an email reply? YOU need to cut the email cord, not them. So do it. And turn off push notifications on your phone while you’re at it!”

                            Lindsey DonnerWell Versed Creative

                            13. Surf…the Internet?

                              “I’ve found that the best ideas and most productivity occurs when you actually completely disconnect from the work you’re doing. For me this has been surfing…in the ocean! Anything that forces you to be completely present for even a few hours a week does wonders for your mind, body and, as a result, your business.”

                              Srinivas RaoBlogcastFM

                              (Photo credit: Businessman Standing Alone via Shutterstock)

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                              Last Updated on December 3, 2019

                              7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                              7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                              I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

                              It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

                              A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

                              1. Define Career Success for Yourself

                              Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

                              What does career success mean to you?

                              This is about defining your career success:

                              • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
                              • Not what people may think of you
                              • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
                              • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

                              “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

                              When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

                              There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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                              • Work-life balance
                              • Opportunities for growth and advancement
                              • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

                              Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

                              • What do you mean by work-life balance?
                              • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
                              • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

                              Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

                              • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
                              • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
                              • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

                              Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

                              • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
                              • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
                              • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

                              Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

                              Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

                              What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

                              2. Know Your Values

                              Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

                              There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

                              Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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                              • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
                              • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
                              • Put the words on your fridge
                              • Add the words on your vision board

                              Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

                              3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

                              When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

                              How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

                              Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

                              • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
                              • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
                              • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
                              • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
                              • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
                              • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

                              Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

                              • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
                              • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
                              • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
                              • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

                              Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

                              By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

                              4. Determine Your Top Talents

                              What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

                              What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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                              What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

                              What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

                              What do you notice?

                              5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

                              Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

                              I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

                              Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

                              Keep these words visible too!

                              Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

                              6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

                              Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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                              Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

                              “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

                              7. Manage Your Own Career

                              Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

                              Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

                              Summing Up

                              For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

                              Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

                              Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

                              1. Define Career Success for Yourself
                              2. Know Your Values
                              3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
                              4. Determine Your Top Talents
                              5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
                              6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
                              7. Manage Your Own Career

                              “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

                              Good luck and best wishes always!

                              More Tips on Advancing Your Career

                              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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