If you are like most people, chances are you dreamed of being the next Bill Gates or Vera Wang at some point in your life. Maybe the world’s most successful entrepreneurs inspired you to become one yourself, or maybe you just find them to be great role models.
When we take a closer look at the lives of the “Elon Musks” and “Mark Cubans” of the world, we can see that they have some traits in common. Not only do they have a similar approach to work and life, but they often share the same daily habits—and their daily habits could be your recipe for success.
They Wake Up Early
Howard Shultz, the owner of Seattle SuperSonics wakes up at 4:30 a.m., and so does Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, wakes up at 3:45 a.m. (no, it’s not a typo). Those who work closely with Cook can expect to receive an email from him by 4:30 a.m. every day.
While this may be puzzling to most people, the world’s most successful individuals have good reasons for waking up early. The stillness and silence of the early-morning hours allow them to concentrate and focus best on their efforts. Waking up early also helps to improve the quality of sleep.
If you are not a morning person, you can work on becoming one. All you need is to make some micro-changes to your daily life. For instance, you can wake up 20 minutes earlier the first week, then another 20 minutes earlier the week after that. This way, you will achieve your wake-up-hour goal in just a few weeks.
They Take Part in Regular Coaching Sessions
Even leaders have someone to hold them accountable. When you are a leader of one of the most successful companies in the world, the people that surround you don’t dare to question your actions, methods, and decisions. But your coach isn’t afraid of correcting you. This is why input from a professional business or career coach can be invaluable to entrepreneurs.
We all need someone who will set us straight. Talking to someone about your true concerns is difficult when you run your own business. Friends, peers, parents, and life partners don’t get it for various reasons, and you can’t expect them to.
A career or business coach can be your soundboard, help you face challenges, point out your blind spots, and give you that confidential, quiet space to focus. And most people can afford a career coach—they are not just for those who have already made it big.
They Set Daily Goals
While silent mornings are a great time to contemplate your long-term goals, evenings are a great time to set goals for the following day. Many successful entrepreneurs make a list of challenges they want to tackle and the goals they want to achieve for the day.
Grab a piece of paper, and write down a specific goal for the day. If you have more daily goals, arrange them according to their importance. Then, set deadlines for your daily goals.
You should also include the actionable steps you need to take to achieve those goals. So that you can better focus on your daily goals, get back to your list a couple of times a day.
They Use Organizing and Productivity Tools
The chaos in your life can lead you to run from one task to another without actually completing any of them. Chaos is something entrepreneurs face on a regular basis, but the most successful ones are those who know how to manage distractions.
To keep chaos at bay, use the same tricks that successful entrepreneurs use. Arm yourself with tools such as Google Tasks or a Pomodoro Timer. For instance, you can use Google Tasks to create a to-do-list within your email page or email app. The app also allows you to integrate it into your calendar, add details or subtasks, and set reminders.
A Pomodoro Timer is a simple timer that allows you to break down a task into 25-minute blocks. After you complete one “Pomodoro” of 25 minutes, you take a 5-minute break. You can take a longer 15 to 30-minute break after you complete 4 Pomodoros. Of course, you can use this technique with any timer, and not just ones that are designed for the Pomodoro Technique.
They Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously
Successful entrepreneurs try to keep a lighthearted attitude every day because they know that not everything in life and business is going to go their way. If you are too rigid or controlling, you can’t expect innovative solutions to come to you. Openness is key.
It will help you better deal with things that are out of your control. It will also give you a clearer picture of what is in front of you. Many successful entrepreneurs have discovered that the ability to stop controlling and let something go is what allows them to move forward.