Recharging The Batteries: An Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

Being successful is the core goal of any entrepreneur. It’s what drives them to work hard, put in long hours, give-up weekends with family and friends, and make sacrifices in time and energy that they might not have otherwise.

As a society, it’s been ingrained in us that go, go, go is the way of life and that if you want to succeed, stress is just part and parcel of what it will take to get there.

However, this is simply not true. In fact, this mentality is self-limiting and is a sure fire way not to live up to your full potential.

Yes, drive and determination are important. Yes, you have to work hard, and yes there will be times you need to make sacrifices. But, that’s not the whole story. There’s a crucial element that shouldn’t be overlooked and that the most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

They take time to recharge their batteries.

Here are 4 ways you can start doing the same.

Take a Think week

A think week is as simple as it sounds. It means taking a week “off” from life to break from your normal routine and recharge your juices. Repeating the same day-to-day activities and the constant pull in every direction leaves many entrepreneurs feeling stagnant. The repetitive nature of it all becomes suffocating and stifles creative thinking. Some of the world’s best entrepreneurs (think Bill Gates) make it a priority to take a “think week” once or twice per year.

You can travel somewhere or you can stay home, so long as you are in seclusion. During this week the idea is to re-connect with yourself, find inspiration, reflect, and rethink your goals. It’s a time to unplug (more on this next) and focus on your own personal development. Do whatever stimulates you. Read, do research, or go for a hike. The idea is that you’re taking time to focus your direction. It’s hard to do that in the real world, which is why a think week is so effective.

If you can’t swing a week, start with a weekend. You can always build up over time.

Unplug

While great, technology has forced us to be “on” at all times. A 40-hour work week is a thing of the past.  We now operate on an on call basis 24/7. Plan to do a tech detox. It may seem unfathomable, but it can be done. Remember that life existed before cellphones and tablets. Businesses survived and even thrived.

Start small. Start with an hour or two per day. Pick the same time each day (bedtime doesn’t count) and turn off all your electronics. No peeking. Enjoy some uninterrupted time with your family, go for a bike ride, go to a movie, listen to music, or take a cooking class. The possibilities are endless. Before you know it, you’ll start looking forward to this part of your day and you’ll be surprised by how effective it can be at helping you recharge and focus.

Seek Adventure

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. It’s in their DNA. They aren’t afraid of a good challenge. It’s no coincidence that the characteristics that lead to the makings of a great adventure are synonymous with those of running a successful company.  The adrenaline required to undertake a huge business launch is the same that’s required to reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, entrepreneurs who seek adventure outside of the office tend to be more successful than those who don’t.

It’s time to pull out the old bucket list. And if you don’t have one, it’s time to commit one to paper. Whether you want to hike the Mendenhall glacier in Alaska, camp under the Northern Lights, or swim with the great white sharks of South Africa, you can be sure of one thing: adventure fuels success. Why? For one, it makes you more adaptable by teaching you how to deal with life’s curve balls. More importantly, it gives you confidence. With so many accomplishments under your belt, you start to believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. And with that mindset no one can stop you.

Strive for Balance

Balance is probably the hardest thing for any entrepreneur to achieve. Most end up burning the candle at both ends, hoping that the harder they work, the sooner they’ll attain the holy grail of success. The truth is that the more success you attain, the more you want. There’s never really an end game. And that’s ok, as long as you find a healthy balance. The problem is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to deciding what will work for you personally.

Here’s what you can do. Remind yourself that it’s not a race. Success is success, whether it happens today, next month, or even next year. Make sure to allow time for sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and down time. You may find that incorporating these things will help you reach your goals sooner than you’d expect.

By now you’re starting to get it. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Recharging your batteries is crucial not only to your health but for your long lasting success.