Entrepreneurs are gifted with the ability to dream big and think outside of the box.
We're able to imagine a world where things are drastically different.
As soon as an entrepreneur realises that they're an entrepreneur, they're forever cursed with an obsession with building something great, something that no matter how hard they try, they'll never be able to shake.
A lot of the time, in fact, these visions of the world are brought to life.
It's how Amazon was created - Jeff Bezos had a grand vision no one ever thought of before.
He wanted to revolutionise the supermarket and so the vision was born plus some more.
It's how Apple was created - Steve Jobs wanted to create the simplest, sleekest mobile phones.
The creations of the iPad, iPod, and finally the iPhones are what catapulted Apple to where they are today, the largest company in the world.
It's how Google was created - Larry Page wanted 'to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.'
Looking now in 2021, they're one of the largest monopolies in the world with over 90% market share in the search engine space.
With this all being said, it's easy to see how as an entrepreneur, your goals and visions become so instilled into you that you can lose sight of what else is important to you.
Slowly, all your time is taken up by building this thing you've created in your head, that you no longer have time for other things that were once important to you.
You might no longer have time for friends.
You might no longer have time for family.
You might no longer have time for health, for fitness.
And that is what we're going to be discussing today.
It's so easy to focus on your goals that you become blind to what else is truly important.
The things that make you human and keep you sane.
Today, we're going to be discussing exactly how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur.
We're going to be discussing some good habits that entrepreneurs do in order to stay in shape and stay healthy.
There's a specific mantra that I live by (or try to) nowadays.
You may have stumbled upon it in my other articles.
If it doesn't mame me healthier or wealthier, stop it
It's a simple, yet powerful mantra. Whatever does not benefit you positively, stop doing it.
Get adequate sleep
It's one of the most important habits of millionaires and a lot of other people too.
Without good quality sleep, you're setting yourself up for a bad day.
Generally, you're looking at getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep.
Any shorter or longer, and you'll feel your energy levels depleted when you wake up in the morning.
Getting too much sleep is equally as bad as getting too little sleep.
Aside from the guilt you face of wasting so much time sleeping, you'll also see the lack of energy reflected in your mood.
You're going to feel down and unmotivated throughout the day.
You'll tend to see lots of 'gurus' talk about working nonstop.
This is all a lie, no one works all day and only gets a few hours of sleep.
You can't function on a few hours of sleep - keep it up for a few days, and you might as well be drunk.
I suggest taking the chronotype quiz to find out what your chronotype is.
It's a simple, quick test that matches you to 1 of 4 animals: dolphin, lion, bear, or a wolf.
My chronotype is a bear.
Therefore, the way I sleep is similar to that of the bear/wolf chronotypes.
On top of this, sleeping early is also very important.
When you don't sleep early, you can't wake up early.
This cycle continues and can be hard to fix.
Remember that sleep is where it all starts: without good sleep habits, you're already far behind on a healthy lifestyle.
The second most important thing for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is exercising regularly.
A lot of entrepreneurs wake up extremely early, between 5-6am, and go for a run or go to the gym immediately.
This is a good time to go to the gym or exercise because your body is not awake fully yet.
So waking up with some exercise or a gym session is a great way to get ready for your day.
However, it's important to note that this most likely would not work for all of us.
Again, look at the chronotype quiz and see which animal you're matched to.
That way, you'll get a good idea of when you should wake up, when to exercise, etc.
Exercising releases endorphins which help with keeping focused and dealing with stress.
When you're unhealthy, your stress levels are more than likely going to be pretty high.
Exercise is a great way to fight stress.
As a byproduct of exercising and staying healthy, you'll also be able to produce better results at work because you can stay more focused and work more effectively.
Simply going for a daily run is a great starting point.
Even doing a little workout, be it pushups, situps, crunches, treadmill, next to your bed when you wake up is a great way to stimulate your brain and your muscles too.
I also try to squeeze a basketball session in every week.
Basketball is less of a thing I 'have to do' and more of a hobby of mine.
That's why it's easy for me to spend 4/5 hours outside a week playing basketball.
Add on the fact that it's healthy and helps me wind down from work, playing basketball weekly is a great habit to have.
Find something you enjoy doing - maybe it's football, basketball, tennis, etc, and try to do it once a week.
I spoke a little more in detail about this in the article on getting 10X more done in a day.
Take regular breaks
I can't stress the importance of taking breaks.
It's why things like the Pomodoro technique exist, working without breaks is terrible for your long-term focus.
It's scientifically proven that we can't focus for longer than 2 hours at a time.
Therefore, it's important that you schedule some breaks where you just let your mind rest, or maybe even go for a short walk or shower.
A lot of the times, you may also find yourself procrastinating, stuck in a state of inaction, where you're just thinking or staring into space.
This is a great time to catch yourself and decide to take a break. It could be a result of working for too long without breaks.
If you find it hard to schedule in breaks, just use a timer on your phone or laptop.
Work for 45 minutes, then rest for 15 minutes.
Repeat this for however long you work each day.
Going a step further, you can even use the Pomodoro technique.
Very similar to the strategy I just shared, but instead, you're working for 25 minutes, and breaking for 5 minutes.
You do this 4 times, then take a longer 15-30 minute break.
A lot of the time, we get stuck working and lose track of time.
Therefore, taking these small breaks can be a great way to collect yourself and let both your mind and body rest for a bit.
Sitting in front of a screen the whole day without breaks is very damaging to your eyes and mind.
The longer you work without breaks, the less productive you get, and therefore the worse the output will be.
Taking those small breaks can make the difference between finishing your daily goals, or not being able to finish them.
You can learn more about this in the article on effective time management.
Start eating right
Eating healthy is, again, extremely important if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur.
This means no big macs, no pizzas, no fast food.
Well, maybe once a week is a good starting point.
Trying to limit the amount of junk food you have to something like once a week is a great way to start eating healthy.
You can't expect to immediately just stop eating junk food and start eating healthy.
You need to work your way into it.
For example, if you have junk food/eat out 3 times a week, start eating less and less each time you do have junk food.
Once you do this successfully, you can then start only eating twice a week, once a week, once every fortnight, and so on.
To be honest with you, eating unhealthy is fun.
When we eat fast food, our brains release more and more dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical in the body responsible for pleasure.
It's the reasons we, as humans, desire things immediately, the reason we want immediate gratification and can't bear waiting for things to happen.
When we have fast food or junk food in general, dopamine gives us a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
With that said, we don't have to eliminate fast food forever.
Having fast food once a month is a great position to be in, and you can easily stay healthy with this sort of junk food intake.
In fact, it's rumored that Warren Buffet, the world's wealthiest investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, drinks about five cans of Coca-Cola a day, and eats sweets and salt very regularly.
This is not to show that there is nothing wrong with this, in fact, I'm surprised he's still as healthy as he is.
However, treating or rewarding yourself sometimes is still important.
Speak to people
Entrepreneurship can be very lonely.
Oftentimes, you're going to be the only one out of your friends and family who see the vision you see.
That makes it hard for others to relate to you.
You're then left working alone each day which can be very unhealthy for your mind.
You'll often hear of people saying 'your network is your net worth.'
I don't entirely believe in this statement.
As long as your 'network' doesn't get in the way of you having to do what you have to do to get to where you want, there is no problem in having friends or family who don't see eye to eye with you.
It's very important that you have friends who you can speak to or connect with, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur.
People will always have different goals and visions - this doesn't mean cutting off anyone who doesn't align with yours.
I have had one friend for around 6-8 years now who I am still very close with.
We still talk often.
We play basketball together.
We laugh together.
This is all normal - becoming an entrepreneur doesn't mean losing sight of who you once were.
Becoming an entrepreneur just means bringing a vision you believe can change the world to life.
If you're still not 100% sure about this, or maybe your friends are a complete distraction, there are a bunch of communities or spaces you can find business friends.
Business friends are great to have because you elevate each other.
You talk about things that you both enjoy - business - and so it's a lot easier to connect and speak.
Schedule regular meetings, update each other on how you're doing, just be human.
Find a balance | Have fun
The happiest and healthiest entrepreneurs are those who are able to find a balance that works for them.
A balance where everything in your life works as best as it could.
You get enough work done to see real results.
You're able to eat healthily and exercise regularly.
You're able to enjoy yourself because it's okay to have fun.
Did you know Bill Gates takes two weeks a year off to go out and live in a cabin?
He calls these, 'Think Weeks.'
It's a way to have time to do some reading, and just 'Think.'
Business isn't supposed to be this thing where only the stoics survive.
Business is a life-changing journey that people embark on to change for the better.
Therefore, it's okay to have fun, it's okay to slack sometimes, it's okay to go out with friends or family to enjoy yourself, it's okay to go on holiday.
Lots of people start businesses for this reason alone - to be able to enjoy their lives and control their destiny.
This is why a balance is crucial.
Get the work done and enjoy yourself in the process.
That is how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur.
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Till next time,