Can you guess the one most fundamental secret to entrepreneurial success?
There is a lot of amateur and outdated advice out there today. There are a lot of disguised sales pitches. There are lots of principles which can help create a successful business. Though even they are often disrupted. If you have to boil it down to just one thing, what do you think will give you the best entrepreneurial advantage.
It may be uncommon advice, not as sexy as some other hyped up trendy habits, yet extremely valuable. It’s super simple. It’s sleep.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep not only helps improve focus and gives you quicker reflexes, but Dr. Merrill Mitler says “The fact is, when we look at well-rested people, they’re operating at a different level than people trying to get by on 1 or 2 hours less nightly sleep.” If you are going to enjoy entrepreneurial success, you must be operating on a different level than everyone else.
The Secrets of Sleeping Your Way to Success
Napping and even office nap rooms have become a trend. They may offer some last resort benefit, but they certainly haven’t found a fan in Spartan Race founder Joe de Sena. He says “Maybe the healthiest thing a workplace can do is set boundaries by respecting employees’ time. Set clear expectations for unplugging. Encouraging reasonable schedules and setting a precedence of heading home at a normal time gives employees an opportunity to unwind and get the recommended amount of shut-eye in their own bedrooms instead of a company nap room.” He suggests yoga, getting outdoors in nature more or trying 400 burpees a day as an alternative if you really can’t stick to a real sleeping schedule. I love exercise, but I think I’ll take the sleep instead of the 400 burpees.
The number of hours you sleep matters. We go through sleep cycles. The more cycles we go through, the long periods of deep sleep we get. That’s when our bodies are healing, building muscle (which helps burn fat), and our immune system is strengthened. Getting a full night’s sleep means enjoying more of these benefits.
This also means quality of sleep is perhaps even more important. For some that may mean tapping sleep technology like this for a superior night’s rest. You may also enjoy this report on the habits of successful entrepreneurs before they go to bed. My friend Tim and one of his coaches Jeff Delaney of Nuviva, as well as research by Dr. Edwin Lee point out that peptides can help promote better sleep as well. This is especially true for aging entrepreneurs who have trouble sleeping, or are looking for additional anti-aging benefits to keep up with those hotshot coders coming out of Harvard this year.
There are reasons that sleep deprivation is a form of torture and an interrogation technique. It puts you at a serious disadvantage. So, what are the benefits of sleep for entrepreneurial success?
Lack of sleep is tied to many health conditions including heart disease. HealthFinder.gov still recommends you get 7 to 8 hours each night. If you even just get hit with the flu hard, you can be out of the game for days. As all athletes know, it’s far better to maximize their uptime than to risk putting themselves out of training or competition by going to hard. Don’t hand the edge to your competition because you chose to skimp on sleep.
Minimizing Injury to Self & Others
Being sleepy is the cause of countless accidents each year. Not only on jobs, but on the roads too. You wouldn’t want the pilot of your plane to be crawling into the cockpit on just four hours sleep when heading to your next investor meeting right? Don’t do it to yourself, team or shareholders.
It’s sad to see the number of young entrepreneurs and business professionals dying due to stress. Some even having heart attacks after finally taking that long put off vacation to Mexico. There is enough stress as an entrepreneur without stacking lack of sleep on top of that. Live long, accomplish more.
You don’t have to be young or beautiful to build a billion dollar startup. Though you still probably appreciate looking and feeling your best. You know when you have and haven’t had enough rest. You know the days you are ducking profile pictures and selfies, from the others. Sleep gives your body the chance to rejuvenate and re-energize. Don’t spend crazy money on products and therapies if you haven’t tried getting better sleep first.
When we are rested we can blaze through work in a fraction of the time as when we are tired. Rest more, work less, get more done.
Better sleep is linked to a variety of improved thinking capabilities. Including focus, creative thinking, strategic thinking, problem-solving and better decision making. You can’t afford not to be your best in these areas as an entrepreneur.
You’re Not so Grumpy & Irritable
You are hardly going to do a stellar job of getting out there to win friends and positively influence people if you are cranky due to a lack of sleep. It’s not going to do wonders for your investor, cofounder or personal relationships either.
Improved Memory and Learning Capability
Memory and learning ability is highly important for founders and for leveraging all the data you are getting. Don’t believe sleep helps? Try going through bootcamp and you’ll soon value your sleep a lot more.
While it may not be as attractive as a secret plugin or webinar course, sleep may easily be the number one secret to entrepreneurial success and gaining the advantage in business. According to Joe de Sena, few Americans are getting enough sleep. All you have to do is ensure you get those couple of extra hours, and make it quality sleep. It may be all you need to wield a great edge when raising money and growing your brand