10 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

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Any entrepreneur can tell you, it isn’t pure luck that brought them to where they are. It is the development and implementation of strong daily habits that build a foundation for success. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world can attest to this, and we’ve gathered the most impactful habits from impactful startup founders for you here. From developing a strong morning routine to getting a good amount of sleep, these are the habits of successful entrepreneurs.

10 Entrepreneur Habits to Learn From

If there is one thing that successful entrepreneurs have in common, it is that they develop strong habits that contribute to their success. We’re here to help you learn from the greats with this list of the top 10 habits of super successful entrepreneurs that you should learn.

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. Evan Williams: Take the Middle of the Day Off

Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter and Medium, has a unique daily schedule. The successful entrepreneur takes the middle of the day to visit the gym. Taking the time to reset in the middle of the day might seem backward; however, exercise can help entrepreneurs take on the afternoon slump and keep productivity high.

2. Elon Musk : Teach Yourself New Skills

Elon Musk is many things. He’s an entrepreneur, billionaire, controversial public figure; however, he is also an avid reader and strong proponent of teaching yourself new skills. The founder of the most successful space exploration company in the world, Musk himself is not educated in aeronautics. 

The billionaire entrepreneur claims to have learned the skills necessary to launch, operate, and grow his successful business through reading and self-education.

3. Oprah Winfrey: Practice Gratitude

Oprah Winfrey has worked hard to reach the level of success she has. However, that doesn’t stop her from practicing gratitude as part of her daily routine. According to Oprah.com, Winfrey kept a daily gratitude journal for over a decade, detailing five things she was grateful for every day. When the entrepreneur recovered a journal from 1996 after falling out of the practice for a time, she recognized a noticeable difference between the times she prioritized gratitude and times she did not due to an exceptionally busy schedule. 

“I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots,” Winfrey says.

4. John D. Rockefeller: Pay Attention to Patterns

One of the greatest skills entrepreneurs can learn from the career of oil mogul John D. Rockefeller is recognizing patterns through data and analytics. Then, leverage that information to make impactful decisions and pivot as needed. 

Fortunately, technology makes tracking and identifying patterns easier than ever. Using the latest digital analytics tools, you can easily and effectively conduct market research, identify trends, and leverage data to make cogent decisions for your startup.

5. Steve Jobs: Make Necessary Changes

During a commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, said that he asked himself every morning, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And, whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” 

While this section of the famous founder’s speech was largely about death, the message held an uplifting message for entrepreneurs, to create a life and career that you are happy to participate in every day. And, if you’re not, don’t be afraid of making a necessary change.

6. Arianna Huffington: Prioritize Sleep and Relaxation

Arianna Huffington, author and founder of the Huffington Post, is a huge advocate for quality sleep. In her New York Times bestseller, Huffington not only speaks on the sleep deprivation crisis but provides actionable tools to inform a better sleep practice for readers. In fact, her website features an entire section dedicated to Sleep Resources

Additionally, Huffington swears by 20 to 30 minutes of meditation per day. The successful entrepreneur has spoken with several publications about the positive impact of mindfulness and meditation, specifically for entrepreneurs like herself.

7. Howard Schultz: Early Bird Gets the Worm

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, is unsurprisingly a huge proponent of an early morning wake-up call. However, it isn’t coffee alone getting Schultz out of bed. The coffee CEO has his first cup of coffee at 5:45 AM, reportedly after a strict wake-up time of 4:30 a.m. and walking his dogs. 

Schultz isn’t the only super successful business mogul with a strict wake-up time — AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns are just a few examples of other powerful CEOs with early wake-up times.

8. Richard Branson: Get Moving

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Media, knows the importance of incorporating exercise into his morning routine. According to his blog, one of the first things the founder does after getting out of bed at 5 a.m. is to run, play tennis, bike, or kitesurf (weather permitting). 

As Branson says, “Exercise and family time put me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.” And, he isn’t alone in this belief. There are several other successful entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg that have spoken publicly about the importance of exercise in their daily routine as a means to stay productive and effective.

9. Julia Hartz: Maintain Work/Life Balance

Julia Hartz, co-founder of EventBrite, has mentioned publicly that finding a balance between work and personal life is critical to her success. For many entrepreneurs, this is an understandably difficult undertaking, especially during the early stages of launching your startup; however, not achieving a work-life balance that works for you can result in health consequences, according to numerous studies. 

One of the most impactful habits you can adopt as an entrepreneur is to prioritize the balance between work and personal life in order to maintain a quality of life and limit an overload of stress or exhaustion.

10. Tim Chen: Keep a Detailed Schedule

Tim Chen, founder of NerdWallet, keeps a detailed schedule from morning to evening to keep his day on track. As most people who have worked in the startup sphere before know, entrepreneurs are oftentimes at the mercy of their ever-evolving schedule. It is tough to predict what your day will look like when you are running your own business — especially if that business is a startup. 

However, starting your day with a schedule that details the important tasks and priorities you need to get done can better prepare you to tackle any last-minute additions to your to-do list. Using a productivity or scheduling app can be extremely helpful in developing and sticking to your schedule.