Entrepreneurs are grumpy people, well only second to Civil servants who complain about everything and are perennially broke, a fact that I will never understand because civil servants are blessed with a guaranteed life, a guaranteed salary, pension, reliable medical cover, mortgage, loans and Per-diems. But that’s a story for another day.
Today, we are focusing on how to become a happier and wealthier Entrepreneur. The average human being is convinced that if they had more money, a bigger house, a figure-8 light skin wife or a wealthier pot-belly free (trimmed) husband, bigger car among other vain human wishes their lives will be happier. In order to achieve that happiness, we have been conditioned to grind because only through hard and smart work can anyone achieve all their hearts desires and become happy, or so we believe.
This situation is more alive in Entrepreneurship. Every Entrepreneur believes that as soon as the business grows to a particular level, they will be happier. They will have money to spare, and flexible working hours due to the seamless processes they have been creating over the years that will see the company run like clockwork. No hitches, no errors. Unknown to some Entrepreneurs there are things no one tells you about business. As the business grows the Entrepreneur will learn, albeit too late, that they shall have less time to undertake activities they enjoy because running a big business requires a huge amount of time. All your hopes of living life with a big spoon when your business grows will fade away. Since your business is definitely going to grow and require more of you, is there hope for you to ever have time to undertake activities that make you happier and enjoy your wealth? Should you wait for that opportune moment to start enjoying your life? Is it possible to begin the journey towards being a happier and wealthier Entrepreneur? The simple answer is YES. How?
- Sleep: I know this works against all logic, advice and profound religious beliefs because as every Entrepreneur knows, brilliant practical ideas are born in the serenity of the night. However, science is on my side. The Average human being requires at least 6-8 hours of good sleep to be fully rested and function at optimum. The pressures of building a business only allow an entrepreneur under 4 hours of sleep, if they are lucky. But even when an Entrepreneur is supposedly asleep they are most likely calculating profits, bank balances, thinking of innovative ideas and approaches that will make the business more efficient and profitable. It’s all for the good of the business. But at the expense of a rested entrepreneur. Which is unfortunate because Entrepreneurship is mainly about decision making and the best decisions are made by a sound mind. A sound mind is well rested and balanced. Sleeping allows the brain to rejuvenate and refresh, that aids faster decision making.
It’s important for an entrepreneur to get a good night’s sleep. Regardless of the pressures of the business, make a conscious decision and effort to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night. A simple way to shut eye quickly is to make a habit to celebrate your achievements every day, it gives a sense of fulfillment and achievement which is a great way to minimize worry. Then draw a to-do- list for the next day. That way your brain will not be wandering during rest. It’s also important to make a conscious decision to sleep. Shut out the world, all its pressures and pain out for a minute and you will be surprised at how quickly you will settle in and rest. Good decisions will not only make you happy but will attract the resources you need to become wealthier. Nobody likes a grumpy spirit, so rest, be happy and attract wealth.
- Closely related to sleep is…you guessed it, Exercise: Your body is your greatest asset – Ask any Entrepreneur who has become so ill they had to leave the business to focus on healing and of course Ask Vera Sidika – and you must take care of it. One of the simplest ways to take care of your greatest asset is by exercising. There are many reasons why exercises are good for you, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will enumerate a few. Exercises are a good way to relieve pressure from your brain and muscles, when your body stretches all systems align including the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive. However, the most important aspect of exercise is the fact that it improves your mood in a simple seamless process. Whenever you exercise you are getting into an unfamiliar ground, it’s a break from your routine, if for instance you go to the gym it’s an opportunity to meet other people with different world views, concerns and interests, It’s a wonderful learning opportunity and a great way to forget your struggles even for a short while.
Secondly, exercises are one of the ways to balance your hormones. Imbalanced hormones are known to hinder optimal body functions which may lead to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancers. Imbalanced hormones are also a major contributor to grumpiness because the body is not producing feel- good hormones. Exercising promotes the production of feel-good hormones that make you happier and more approachable to the people around you. The more approachable you are the easier it is to attract the right people with great ideas that support your dream to becoming wealthy. Also a happy person easily creates social capital that plays an important role in your business growth.
- Celebrate small wins:
We live in a competitive world where only the big wins are visible and recognized. It’s easy to miss the small wins that happen every minute in our lives. Entrepreneurs’ need to be keen not to miss out on the small wins around them. Simple acts such as an increase in the number of Facebook followers or successful delivery of a small project, or losing a weight are small wins that contribute to the great success that everyone will be celebrating in the long run. Celebrating small wins is a great way to build a grateful heart and recognize the small efforts by your team, directors, family and those around you. Employees especially appreciate it when the boss notices and celebrates their efforts. It’s a good way to motivate employees to strive to achieve higher targets.
- Offer probono services
I know times are hard and business is stretched. So offering Probono services is not an attractive idea. You may even consider it dumb. Before you swipe along, hear me out. When I propose probono services, I am referring to supporting a course that you believe in and touch a soul or make a difference in the life of a person. The service offered need not be monetary at all, it could be a simple act of kindness like offering a listening ear, or spending time with Senior citizens, or children or providing business tips to Entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses. As you introspect, you will be surprised at how many opportunities exist to offer probono services. In my 10 years of Entrepreneurship I have found that the services I offer probono usually open doors to greater business opportunities I never though existed. This is especially so when you are honest and true about the service you are offering. At some point you may find it impossible to offer the service alone, consider seeking for partners that are passionate about your course. The quickest route to happiness is by making other people happy.
- Create an ecosystem to support your lifestyle.
The greatest joy of Entrepreneurship is the ability to plan time based on your lifestyle. I have heard whispers that real entrepreneurs lead a flexible lifestyle which explains why they get hair dos on Wednesday at 11am and go to the gym at 10am on a weekday, while the rest of the world is deeply engrossed in work. A flexible lifestyle can quickly become a mirage if the entrepreneur does not create an ecosystem to support their lifestyle. An ecosystem is an environment that brings together elements that work in tandem for one goal- your success. For an Entrepreneur that means getting the right systems and skills in place to allow you to achieve as much as possible. Most unhappy entrepreneurs spend their lives working in the business, basically being everything – While this saves you money in salaries – it wears you out and in a short while you will burn out and start hating your business and your life.
Identify what areas can either be outsourced or delegated to employees or consultants. Be ready to spend a little bit extra in exchange for more time to work on the business. A proper ecosystem goes beyond the business; it also encompasses your household. Who takes care of the cleaning, cooking, children and aging parents? Do you have a system that ensures seamless operations? Identify ways to create ecosystems that allow you to rest, achieve more and spend time doing what you enjoy the most : Growing the business. That will definitely make you a happy, wealthier Entrepreneur.