People tend to think of very successful (and subsequently wealthy) entrepreneurs and cultural leaders as extraordinary and singular human beings, and sometimes they are. Usually, however, they are just highly attuned, exceedingly motivated thinkers who would rather try and fail for themselves than work for someone else. Yet there are some common threads that run between world-famous entrepreneurs and cultural leaders, and one of them is daily tasks.
Plan your time! Successful people tend to have a set schedule. Their schedule is arranged in advance, before that day, before that week and sometimes even months before. Of course, their schedule can change, and certain variables will alter appointments, meetings and business dinners, but starting with an organized, prearranged schedule allows busy professionals to avoid wasting time throughout the day, thinking about their next move. It seems simple and obvious, but adhering to a set schedule—in all aspects of one’s life—can help lead to success.
Exercise! Successful people take time to work on their fitness goals. Whether they are working out, jogging, biking, swimming or practicing yoga, successful people understand that in order to have the energy to complete their daily tasks, they must feel good physically. Take a look at the most successful people in the world—entrepreneurs, singers, actors and actresses, CEOs, TV and film producers—and you will very likely see that almost all of them block out time for fitness, regardless of how busy the rest of their schedules are.
Personal Development! Successful entrepreneurs understand that in order to maintain the level of success they have already achieved, they must continue to learn, grow and improve their craft. They often add personal development into their schedule, knowing there will always be someone who can provide them with guidance, advice and new knowledge, so these inquisitive people make time to learn something new every day. Personal development is easier than ever now; all you need is an internet connection and a laptop (or a tablet or cell phone). You can watch industry leaders and all types of icons discuss just about any topic on TED, and you can find inspiration in your own community by listening to local leaders on TEDx. You can even take free, challenging online courses via several MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) websites, such as Mooc List, which is an aggregate list of worldwide MOOCs. If you are a high achiever, you may prefer the remarkable selection of Ivy League MOOCs; you can take courses taught by real Ivy League professors from Brown, Columbia, Harvard, (Harvard also offers numerous video lectures, taught by some of the world’s greatest professors, through its Open Learning Initiative), Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. If you have varied interests and would like to learn about something related to your business, you can easily utilize Coursera, which offers courses on a multitude of subjects from universities. Through Coursera, you can take “Strategic Business Analytics Specialization” from the ESSEC Center for Excellence for Digital Business in France; “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue” from Duke University in North Carolina; “iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs” from the University of California, Irvine; “Inspirational Leadership: Leading with Sense” from HEC Paris; “Leading People and Teams” from the University of Michigan; or “Wireless Communication Emerging Technologies” from Yonsei University in South Korea. Or, just for fun, consider “Magic and the Middle Ages” from the University of Barcelona; “Greek and Roman Mythology” from Penn; or “Dog Emotion and Cognition” from Duke University. If you prefer to expand your horizons the old-fashioned way, simply pick up a book whenever you have spare time. You can even listen to audio books while you commute. Many successful entrepreneurs admit to reading over 60 books per year. How many books did you read last year?
Eat Breakfast! This is another simple but overlooked task. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not all of us live by this rule. Successful people, however, seem to take the adage more seriously. Despite schedules filled with numerous responsibilities, a variety of locations and business decisions that may seem much more important than eating breakfast, highly successful people still eat breakfast. They acknowledge that they simply do not perform as well when they are hungry (what type of performing they do is irrelevant); they are not as aggressive, not as creative, not as focused and not as motivated. For most entrepreneurs and cultural leaders, this small step is an easy way to gain a competitive edge.
Reflect! Revisit successes and failures throughout the day, and consider whether or not you reached a goal, missed a deadline or grew your business. Successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders take time to acknowledge their daily accomplishments, and also explore the ones on which they fell short. They ponder what happened, and what can be done differently in the future. A lot of successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders contemplate their goals at least twice a day. If you compare this to average people, who tend to only scrutinize their aspirations at the end of the year (in the form of New Year’s resolutions), it becomes fairly obvious who has a clearer capacity to reach their career and personal objectives.
These are just five daily tasks that all of us can implement in order to emulate some of the most successful entrepreneurs and cultural leaders in the world. Start tomorrow, with these five, expand on them as you can and be sure to let us know how you’re doing. Please feel free to add suggestions for other daily tasks in the Comments section below, on our Facebook page or on our LinkedIn page.