As an entrepreneur, you likely have a strand in your DNA that tells you to go out and crush the day for all it’s worth. This mindset sets you apart and is absolutely essential to your success.
But that small seed of an idea won’t germinate without a little upkeep. The best entrepreneurs know they need to cultivate that “crush it” mindset every day, regardless of whether they’re at home or in the office, in the car, at the gym or in the tub. This is the mantra I built my entire business on.
So, as the founder of that business, which teaches people to cultivate purpose, passion and productivity, to find a work-life balance, I’d like to offer my best tips on how to use your whole day to cultivate your winning mindset.
1. Absorb inspiration.
You need to read, watch and listen, to soak up all the inspiration you can from the world around you. “Reading can offer richer, broader and more complex models of experience, which enable people to view their own lives from a refreshed perspective and with renewed understanding,” says Josie Billington of the University of Liverpool, who’s an expert on the effects of reading.
2. Hit the treadmill.
Staying fit keeps you physically and mentally sharp. It helps you look better, feel stronger and be more confident. (Plus, it always helps in a competitive meeting when you know you can outrun the guy on the other side of the conference table.) Whether you hit the gym before work, over your lunch break or after closing up shop, it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day.
Entrepreneur Josh Steimle makes a point to prioritize exercise over business — knowing it will help his company in the long run. “I schedule my workouts during the workday and prioritize exercise over all my work activities,” Steiml says. “There is some flexibility, but if there is a conflict between a trail run I need to get in and a meeting with a client, I’ll reschedule the client meeting first.
“I do this because I and my business can survive the consequences of rescheduling a client meeting, even if it means losing that client. But as soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether.”
3. Be that kid.
In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, developmental psychologist Carol Dweck describes how children react to challenges. In her studies, she posed a series of increasingly challenging puzzles to her young participants and found some surprising responses. One boy “pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips and cried out, ‘I love a challenge!’”
I’ll bet that kid turns out to be the most successful student in his class — and probably an entrepreneur. The desire to tackle a challenge is something all great entrepreneurs share. It gives us a chance to show off our skills and creativity.
4. Get yourself a ‘growth mindset.’
Dweck also found that mindsets can be categorized as either “growth” or “fixed.” People with fixed mindsets believe their talents and traits are basically unchangeable, whereas people with growth mindsets believe their talents can be cultivated with effort.
I’ve always aimed for the growth mindset, and I’m a much more versatile businessman for it. That mindset has helped me see challenges as opportunities, turn criticism into fuel and be inspired by the success of others.
5. Celebrate and move on.
You can keep your mindset strong, even when you’re outside “working hours.” The key is to celebrate what’s gone well in the day. Be grateful, even if you’ve secured only a small win. Studies support the notion that rewards are critical to resetting, reframing and preparing for the next day. Celebrate in whatever way makes you feel best, whether that means going to a movie with your kids, cracking open a bottle of wine or simply patting yourself on the back.
Then, let go of all the crappy moments that happened that day. Just as you’d counsel your favorite sports team, don’t let a bad play derail the entire game. Focus on the present. Next play. Move on.
Only your mindset will determine how far you rise above the pack. When your competition gets tired or stuck in a rut, it’s your mindset that will keep you going — pushing harder so that you can live to crush another day.