People often focus on the business part of the term “business owner” and fail to give attention to the “owner” part. And after weeks or months of pulling all-nighters as you try to grow the company and exhausting yourself from hours of flights to and from business seminars and investor meetings, this can cause strain on your physical and mental health. Ultimately, negligence of your personal health can dull your entrepreneurial senses including your ability to think logically and make critical decisions as challenges come along. Here are five personal improvements you can do that can impact your performance in business.
It’s a scientific fact that humans think the sharpest when they get good sleep. A clear and mindful brain allows you to concentrate, absorb and retain information, and access it later on as needed. Meanwhile, those who deprive themselves of sleep have a higher risk of making mistakes and being less productive at work. Years of study have proven that high-quality sleep can trigger positive changes in the brain, particularly in that it solidifies memories and hones synapses between brain cells. By sleeping more, you can retain the information you learnt throughout the day more effectively.
Imagine if you were meeting with someone who was excessively sweating and had food stains on their clothing. Would you think he/she held a high position in office, let alone run his/her own company? Looking neat and well-groomed can go a long way with the people you meet on the road and in the workplace. For those who have been smoking for quite some time now, there are a lot of whitening options for smokers to remove or at least lessen the buildup of teeth stains.
Dress For Success
Wearing sweatpants and hoodies all week long doesn’t really attract investment into your business. It’s in human nature to be attracted by visually appealing elements and be influenced by people who we ostensibly perceive as confident and assertive. People who wear power suits, ties, and a shiny pair of black dress shoes exude power and competence. These are people who look like they can lead a crowd into something great. Dress for success on a daily basis, whether you run a traditional brick-and-mortar company or a home-based business. Invest in a few pairs of formal clothing so you have something to wear when meeting with potential investors and clientele.
Reading more books can translate to more creative ideas and a firmer grasp of different theories and concepts. More specifically, reading novels can improve your ability to relate and appreciate human emotions and situations. You can apply this ability to better understanding your target audience and establishing stronger relationships with your client base. As a business further expands and becomes more complex and multilayered, more support from the community is necessary to make scaling possible and sustainable. Aside from fiction, self-help guides are also good reads during your downtime. They provide simple-to-digest information that you can apply immediately the next day.
Manage Your Time Wisely
There’s only 24 hours in a day, a third of which is spent on sleeping, eating, showering, and doing other basic day-to-day tasks. Without proper time management, it’ll be difficult if not impossible to work on both your personal and professional responsibilities. Practice time management at home by listing all your daily tasks and dividing your time accordingly. Prioritize tasks from most important to least important, making sure that tasks such as cooking meals for your family and getting laundry done are prioritized over watching TV or browsing your phone.
Making these changes won’t happen overnight. Proactively work on them until they become unbreakable habits. Keep in mind that these personal improvements are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to self-help for startup CEOs and business owners. There are a lot more personal lifestyle hacks that can boost your proficiency as an entrepreneur.
Very few people know it but becoming a trader and stockbroker was not really my initial career choice, and I don’t think it pleased my parents at first. I knew from an early age that I did not want to go to college and had told my parents about this. They were at first very disappointed but then they thought I would find myself a decent blue collar career and maybe go to college later in life.
My high school career counselor had recommended that apply for a welding apprentice program with one of the local unions. It sounded great: 4 years of on the job training with very little classroom and exam work and a decent wage when I was finished. There was even the prospect of specialized training that would lead to a high paying welding diver career with upwards of $150,000 annual income.
For a 16-year-old kid that was an amazing prospect, but fortunately I had one encounter while on a train to NYC. I ended up sitting next to a guy in a very fancy suit and a cell phone and laptop. Bear in mind this was the early 90s where such technology meant that you were pretty important and wealthy.
So, I plain out asked him what he did and how he got into it. It turned out he was a commodities broker at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and he was traveling to NY for a conference by train because he hated flying.
He didn’t tell me how much he earned, only that 6 figure bonuses were pretty common. 6 figures was as much as I could hope to earn as a welder, so I was immediately hooked on the idea and wanted find out more. I hounded this poor man for about an hour and with all credit to him he entertained my questions and took the time to explain what it was all about.
That set in stone my career choice and when I finished high school and went and applied to probably every single stock and commodity broker on and around Wall Street asking for intern jobs. I eventually got an intern position as an assistant on a prop-trading desk and I was addicted. From the first day I did not want to leave the office and I was always one of the last people to leave, hounding anyone with questions who would have a minute to talk.
This quickly gave me a reputation and within 6 months I was given a small account and I started my 18 months of training. It was a very intense time where I worked 80 hours a week and spent all weekend researching investments. This was easy for me as I after paying rent and eating I simply had no money to do anything else.
All that changed gradually and by the time I was 28 I had gotten my first 6 figure bonus check. The rush that came over me that day was immense, as I imagined what it would have been like to work a dangerous welding job for an entire year just to earn what I was given as a bonus payment.
The moral of this story is that sometimes you just have to go with your heart and that college is not the solution for riches as it is made out to be.
One of the many things I do as a bachelor who has earned a lot of money through playing with stocks, is to go out and party at places.
I am no history genius so I have no idea when partying and clubbing started. But I do know that clubs and party hubs are not just places for fun and dancing, not just for music and body-bumping, not just about alcohol and head banging, but also a place where you could actually find someone you could make a genuine connection with; someone you could spend your lifetime with.
My friends and I have different reasons for going to clubs and parties. One just wants to lose it and get drunk and go wild on the dance floor. The others want to get rid of the stress from work and feel young and carefree every once in a while. Then, there are a few of my friends, me included, who go out in clubs to search for someone to love.
Some people think having a relationship with someone you met at a bar or a club could only mean that the relationship would not last. I thought that one too so I never really took the dating thing seriously whenever it was with someone I met while clubbing.
People think that just because someone is rich, love comes easily. It’s exactly just as hard for others, too. I mean, it gets complicated because of the fact that someone you fall for might just be after your money. While that would be fun and acceptable at a certain age, it drains you a little and makes you sad as you age by, because nobody sees you for who you are, but only for the money you have.
Of course, this is not a generalization of girls. Nor is this a judgement call. It is just how things have been for me. It’s not even entirely the woman’s fault why we do not work out.
All I want is someone to love but because of how busy I could be, my real partners tend to give up on it because of the fact that I spend more time earning than actually investing on our relationship. On the other hand, those who are not really in love and are just with me for the money, tend to steal from me or cheat on me.
It’s really sad how my love life has been but it does not mean I regret the life I live. I earn money, I can travel whenever and wherever I want, I can part if I want to, and have no obligation outside myself, my work and my parents.
I also know that someday I will be able to find the perfect woman for me.
But for now, I will continue to party and live my life because I can.