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Entrepreneurs are the embodiment of the American Dream – they are hard-working, focused visionaries tackling the world on their terms, and succeeding in bringing their dreams into reality.
We’ve all heard the success stories, from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Mary Kay Ash, all the way up to Wally Amos and Debbie Fields. These, and countless others throughout history, have shown us the way to be successful while still being true to ourselves.
Every entrepreneur does it differently, but those who truly succeed have one or two stories of how an early investment changed their entrepreneurial life. Here are five important ones you should consider making as an entrepreneur.
“Tired minds don’t plan well. Sleep first, plan later.” Walter Reisch
Much research is being done on sleep, and why it is vitally important – to our overall health, to our job success, to our living a good, purposeful life. Burning the candle at both ends may lead to success sooner, but the proverbial candle burns out quickly when lit from both ends, and so do people.
Sleep deprivation is seriously bad news, and entrepreneurs, who are in it for the long haul, recognize that sleep – good sleep – is essential to their long-term health and their long-term goals.
A good night’s sleep promotes a better day, and a good day promotes easier sleep: “A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance Man, and he was certainly an entrepreneur; Leonardo recognized the relationship between sleep and productivity, as evidenced in the above quote. Tired people don’t produce as well as they could, and going without sleep for long periods is detrimental to their health.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohm
One of the best ways to take care of your body is to recognize you need a balance between work and the rest of your life. People who attain this balance live longer, more productive lives, as opposed to those who work themselves into an early heart attack or a lonely retirement.
It’s a difficult feat to achieve, but it’s a necessary one; at the end of your life, you will not regret missed hours at the office, but you will regret all the missed experiences with your family. You also will spend less time at the doctor’s office when you spend more time walking a nature trail with your kids; the exercise benefits your body, the outdoor experience benefits your mind, and spending time with your kids benefits your soul. Take the time – in the long run, everybody wins.
“Running a startup is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss. After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends.” — Elon Musk
When most of us look at entrepreneurs, we see people of vision and courage, making their ideas into reality. What we don’t see is the downside – ADHD, depression, anxiety, and stress, just to name a few of the mental health issues entrepreneurs face.
They’re no different than the rest of us, but because they’re leading start-up companies, we think of them as supermen, not subject to the same stresses of everyday life we fall prey to; the reality is, when entrepreneurs are starting new companies, with employees depending on their strength and vision to get the job done, their stress levels are more intense.
When starting a new business, or possibly an entirely new industry, the wise entrepreneur will have covered the possible mental health issues, and will have a safety net to catch him or her when they fall – a good mental health practitioner lined up; a group therapy session on the schedule; a good friend to talk to.
An investment in your mental health is one of the best investments you can make as an entrepreneur.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was a wise man; he knew the value of a good reputation, and how easy it is to lose it. When everything is said and done, a good reputation is one of the best things you can have; if you come out of your experiment with your reputation intact, you’ve done okay.
A good reputation will help you get back on your feet and get started again. It will give investors and employees something to hold onto as you get back in the race. A good name is priceless, and a smart entrepreneur will keep this in mind.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney
Investing in the future is what entrepreneurship is all about. It’s having a great idea, and the courage to take the risks necessary to make it a reality. If you’ve ever been to EPCOT , you know Walt Disney was all about the future and how to make it better.
An entrepreneur invests in the future just by being an entrepreneur, and takes it to the next level. Once the dream is a reality, the entrepreneur starts investing in everybody’s future, by becoming aware of the needs of the world and doing something to help. Most successful entrepreneurs are philanthropists, donating huge sums of money into worthy causes and helping others – investing in the future of humanity.