How Successful Entrepreneurs Spend Their Free Time

What makes remarkably successful people tick? What separates them from everyone else? One thing they have in common is that they work hard. But what about outside of business hours?  

For decades, psychologists have studied what successful people do in their free time to see if any commonalities exist. A common misconception is that successful entrepreneurs are married to their work, never devoting enough time to their personal lives or interests.

Entrepreneurial success isn’t just about what you do when you’re working; it’s just as much about what you do when you aren’t. If you want to be successful, the best place to start is to study what successful people do.

Successful entrepreneurs have mastered one crucial aspect of their lives that enables their continued success: balance. These busy, hard working individuals have somehow found the time to pursue pleasures despite their impossibly busy schedule.

Here are some common ways that highly successful people spend their hard earned free time:

They read

The most successful people have a thirst for knowledge. They are curious by nature. That’s why they love to read. The topic isn’t really relevant. They’ll read about any topic that interests them. The more knowledge they acquire, the more well-rounded they can become.  

Reading fosters creativity, which in turn can translate to new and innovative ideas that can be applied in all aspects of your life, including your business. The pursuit of knowledge is part of what makes a successful entrepreneur tick.

In today’s digital world it’s become easier than ever to get your hands on information. So go ahead and carve out 30 minutes a day to read.

They find time to exercise

You would assume that exceptionally successful people don’t have time for exercise, right?

In fact, most of us don’t seem to have the time. The thing about successful people is that they MAKE the time. What they don’t have time for is excuses.

They understand that exercise isn’t just about keeping their bodies in good health, but that there are psychological benefits as well. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that give you lasting energy and fosters positive thinking. Studies have also shown that exercise stimulates creativity and helps you focus.

Many swear that exercising first thing when they wake up is a key component of a successful morning routine. It sets the tone for the rest of the day.

They spend time reflecting

Reflecting on business decisions, day-to-day operations, and overall work-life balance is a key aspect of finding entrepreneurial success. Starting a business is one of the most challenging experiences that individuals can put themselves through, and during the early years, the work can seem nearly constant and almost impossibly difficult. Even so, these people understand how important it is to take little moments out of the day to pause and reflect. 

They plan rather than dream

Dreams are not goals, but rather the potential to achieve them.

If you have a goal, you need a solid plan with actionable steps to achieve it. This is a lesson some of the world's top business leaders have not only learned, but use to their advantage regularly. It can be as simple as planning your activities for the next day.

Entrepreneurs map out how to achieve their goals rather than wish for good things to happen to them. It is this mindset that sets the most successful business owners apart from the rest.

They network

When building a business, it is not only what you know, but who you know, that matters.

Successful entrepreneurs make the time to connect with people. They attend networking events, go on business lunches, attend conferences, participate in fundraising events, and even play sports with other like-minded individuals.

Don’t think you have to go it alone. Consider socializing with others who are going through the same things you are. It’s an incredibly useful practice to make a habit of. You never know what potential collaborations or new investments are around the corner.

They make sure to unwind

Believe it or not, the most successful entrepreneurs on earth make time to relax and enjoy the simple things in life.

They learned early on that not allowing for personal enjoyment, and “time-off” from their work activities leads to burnout and mental exhaustion. Allowing for personal time, even if it’s just to sit and watch a good TV show or enjoy an evening stroll in the park, is a great way to decompress and retain the crucial aspect of balance for busy professionals.

They sleep

Ever notice how some entrepreneurs brag about how little sleep they get? It’s like a competition where the person who gets the least amount of sleep is crowned the winner for being the most dedicated to his or her business.

Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. They learn early on that sleep is not the enemy. In fact, getting enough sleep translates to increased productivity. So, while they may not be working harder, they’re definitely working smarter.

As for how much sleep to get, the right amount varies from person to person. However, the general consensus is that seven hours is a reasonable amount to aim for.

To learn how to be successful, you don’t have to look far.  Start with your own circle. Are there any people you could learn from? If so, study their habits. You’ll find that certain threads begin to emerge. By studying these common attributes, you can begin to apply these habits to your life, and in time, find the success you are looking for.