In entrepreneurship, it’s natural to invest a great deal of time and energy into your business. Therefore, it becomes quite important to continually learn and grow even when you’re not technically working. Taking the time to grow both yourself and your business can reap rewards for both, so it is worth setting aside some time for personal and professional development in your schedule. This doesn’t need to be particularly laborious, as you want to stay away from making self-development feel like an obligation. You may be surprised by the impact of some of these seemingly simple activities – it turns out that by taking care of yourself, you’re also taking care of your business.
A healthy business starts with a healthy leader, both mentally and physically. One way to do this is to make time for physical activity as a regular part of your work week. Exercise helps to alleviate health problems like diabetes and heart disease, but it also helps to release endorphins and enkephalins, your body’s “feel-good” hormones, which can make problems more manageable. Jinny Hyojin Oh, founder of WANDR, swears by this and says that some of their best ideas that got implemented in their business have come to them while they were surfing.
Many entrepreneurs recommend keeping a journal to reflect on daily thoughts and focus on their overarching goals. Founders tend to wear many hats, doing a million different things at once, which can lead to tunnel vision. A journal can also be beneficial for workshopping through different ideas and is a powerful tool for helping to keep your eyes on the big picture.
Breaking your routine and traveling to new places helps to spark creativity and innovation. For this reason, Daisy Jing, founder of Banish, recommends solo trips. Jing says that staying in a hotel room while traveling helps her to relax and recharge because it frees her from obligations and distractions. Jing finds that she is most energized when she is alone in a hotel room, which opens her up to creativity and new ideas.
Just like having diverse investments makes for a healthier portfolio, being a well-rounded person with interests outside of your business makes you a better entrepreneur. Rana Gujral of Behavioral Signals explains, “I have found that having a hobby that has not relation to what I do professionally has helped me grow tremendously. It gives me an outlet to be passionate about, to meet new people, and give my brain a rest from the daily grind.”