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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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                              1 How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work 2 20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs) 3 The Best Interview Questions to Hire Only the Elites 4 How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed 5 15 Smart Ways to Approach Interpersonal Relationships at Work

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                              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                              Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

                              You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                              Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                              “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                              It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                              Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                              As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                              As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                              Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                              Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                              1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                              When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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                              Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                              2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                              Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                              But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                              If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                              Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

                              3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                              Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                              If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                              Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                              Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                              The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                              Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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                              4. Show Initiative

                              Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                              Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                              Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                              5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                              Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                              Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                              6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                              A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                              Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                              Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                              A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                              Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                              Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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                              These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                              Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                              7. Find a Mentor

                              With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                              Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                              Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                              Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

                              8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                              After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                              What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                              Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                              Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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                              You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                              9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                              Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                              Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                              Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                              Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                              The Bottom Line

                              Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                              “Half of life is showing up.”

                              The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                              Remember, your career is your business!

                              More About Continuous Growth

                              Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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