As entrepreneurs, our personal happiness, the way we listen to and react to our staff, and the way we shape our own roles at work all have profound effects on our companies, and ultimately, on how they grow.
But lasting change is difficult. I should know —Â I recently achieved three major advances that I didn’t think were possible:
- I pushed my wife to create more work-life balance with me.
- I expressed compassion for a staff member facing personal challenges that were getting in the way of her job.
- I redefined my number one priority with my team atÂ Round Table Companies (RTC) to focus on deepening relationships with potential clients.
It wasn’t easy, but I had a solid guide. Not long ago, I was playing around on Twitter, searching for people with influential business and leadership profiles who could review and possibly shareÂ my lastÂ Forbes piece.Â AuthorÂ Robin Sharma read and enjoyed the article, and consequently challenged me to read his new book. After looking at his site, I knew we were in alignment, so I dove intoÂ The Leader Who Had No Title.
Below are six key lessons I learned from Robin that you can apply to your own business success.
It’s Never too Early to Work on Your Dream
While he continued to practice law, Robin would get to his local 24-hour coffee shop at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning and write until he had to go to work at 8:00. Though the first editor told him he couldn’t write, Robin printed 2,000 copies ofÂ The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari at Kinko’s. He kept them in his kitchen as he sold copies. Sixteen years later, Robin’s books have sold more than six million copies. Early morning hustle pays off!
Question: Do you pop out of bed excited for the day, or are you snoozing your way out of opportunity?
Live From a Place of Gratitude
Robin’s books inspired meÂ to wake up at 5:30 a.m. every weekday morning (for the last 65 days now!) and spend 20 minutes journaling about what I’m grateful for and what I’m dreaming of becoming. That writing sets up my day from a place of appreciation versus the fear or anxiety that can often drive entrepreneurs. Coming from a place of appreciation all the time is a dynamic shift for me. I highly recommend you try it and see how quickly it can impact your brain chemistry and your behavior.
Question: Do you engage in any kind of ritual to help set up your day?
Splash Ice Water on Your Face (Figuratively)
As the owner of a million-dollar-a-year storytelling company, when times are good, I am a blast to work with and for. But as an entrepreneur, my moods change as often as Chicago’s weather. If revenue dips, or a deadline is missed, I take my anxiety out on our executive team, who repeat the process with our support staff.
I grabbed another lesson from Robin to deal with those negative thoughts: whenever I catch myself thinking negatively, I imagine getting splashed in the face with ice water. Amazingly, that practice helps me shake off the thoughts and recognize that they are not reality.
Question: How much of your day is ruled by worry vs. reality?