Your business doesn’t exist in a bubble. While you may limit business to certain hours of the day, what you do with the rest of your time has a real impact on your success as an entrepreneur.
Cultivating powerful habits in your personal life will have a positive, lasting impact on your business as it grows.
1. Always Be Connecting
Interacting with other people is at the core of doing business. If you only did business with yourself, you wouldn’t accomplish very much. Connecting and networking isn’t just about making friends for social purposes. It’s about creating a powerful network that will support you and help you for years to come.
It doesn’t matter if you’re personally meeting new people, or if you’re facilitating an introduction between two people you already know. Both are important. The key is to make sure you’re providing real value to everyone involved.
Instead of sporadically attending “networking events” and lining your pockets with business cards you’ll never use, make connecting a way of life. Seek out interesting people and take them out for coffee. Find out how you can help them and keep in touch. If someone you know mentions a problem they’re having and you can’t help, introduce them to someone who can. In the future, when you’re the one needs help, these people will happy to reciprocate.
2. Flex Your Idea Muscle
Creative thinking is a common trait in successful entrepreneurs. Their ability to solve problems, think big, and find new ways of standing out all stems from creative thinking. No wonder we all want to be better at this.
Many of us think of creativity as something that comes and goes suddenly. It’s not. Creative thinking is a skill you can develop, just like anything else. No, you won’t run out of good ideas. Instead of waiting, wishing, and praying for a burst of creativity or one big idea, hone your creative thinking skills and flex your idea muscle on a regular basis.
James Altucher recommends keeping an idea journal to develop this habit. Carry it with you everywhere. Anytime you have an idea, write it down. A lot of them will be garbage, but some of them will be fantastic. The simple act of thinking this way every day will improve your creativity. Conveniently, writing your ideas down will also make sure you don’t forget about them!
3. Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. It’s the key to health, happiness, longevity, and productivity. A lack of sleep impairs your cognitive thinking.
You may think you’re good at going without sleep for weeks at a time, but you’re probably too tired to realise you’re underperforming. When this becomes a way of life, the effect is worse. Especially in the business world where the culture is to eschew sleep and compensate with Red Bull. Consistently getting less than seven hours a night is just not sustainable.
How you sleep is a way of life like any other habit. Imagine starting every day refreshed, excited, and ready to take on big challenges. When you commit to prioritizing sleep, this is what happens. Don’t wait to build a full night’s sleep into your daily routine. Sure you can cheat once in a while, but you need to sleep well most nights to really see the benefit.
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Happiness and productivity are intimately linked. We’re happier when we’re more productive, and when we’re more productive when we’re happy. This is a powerful cycle worth keeping alive, but it’s not always easy. After all, procrastinating is basically human nature.
Studies have shown that gratitude has a huge impact on happiness. We’re all a little bit altruistic at heart and expressing gratitude makes us feel really good. It not only feels good to show appreciation, but also to remember and dwell on the things that made us happy. Expressing gratitude keeps you focused on the good instead of the bad.
If you want to keep this cycle alive in yourself, start keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you’re grateful for. At first you’ll need a reminder, but if you keep doing it every day, it’ll become an easy habit.
Whether you want to be or not, you’re the same person at home as you are at work. Cultivate these habits in your personal life and they’ll carry over into your business life too.