When you’re a serious entrepreneur, it’s hard not to blend your professional and personal life, primarily because you’re always working, thinking and speaking about your business.
There are tons of typical activities that have made me a better entrepreneur, such as reading, learning new skills, writing and failing. I like to be different, so I created a list of activities that aren’t the norm. Here’s what I came up with:
1. Seeing family
Every time I see my family, which is pretty often, everyone always wants to know "what I’m up to?” This exercise has taught me how to communicate simply and concisely. If I were to give most of my family members the long version of what I’m working on, I’d confuse them and lose their interest.
I’ve learned how to give bullet point answers, explain simply and ultimately communicate more effectively, which has provided value to all areas of my startups, including dealing with customers, working with employees and communicating with investors.
2. Cards Against Humanity
Sometimes my brain gets so focused on the analytical and logical side of business, I neglect the creative side. Playing the notorious Cards Against Humanity with friends and loved ones has helped me push through creative blocks and be totally unrestricted in my thinking. This translates over to running my companies and helps me solve problems creatively.
I have enjoyed playing chess since I was a kid. Chess is a strategy game that helps me think through scenarios and outcomes offensively and defensively. Chess has parallels to business, and empowers me to think more strategically about my startups.
4. Comedy shows
Everyone needs to laugh. Comedy shows help me disconnect. Plus, similar to "Cards Against Humanity," it helps unleash the creative side of my brain, which spurs me to be more creative in my thinking.
5. Flying a plane
A few years ago I had a random itch to learn how to fly a plane one Sunday morning. So I did. I went to the airport and paid for a flying lesson. I paid the guy a little extra to actually take off, which was thrilling. Flying a plane gave me a cool adrenaline spike, and also made me remove preconceived notions of what’s possible.
It’s easy to fall into mental traps of viewing the world with limitations. But when you’re up in the sky flying a metal contraption, you seem to free yourself of that mental bondage.
Although I haven’t traveled much lately, I love traveling. I’m headed to London and Wales in two weeks to explore the U.K. A few years ago, I dedicated one year to going to every major city in the country. It was tons of fun and enlightening learning about the different cultures and people. Traveling expands my mind and allows me to think in grander realities, while also giving me insight into how other people in different places live, think and behave, which all contribute to greater entrepreneurial capacities.
There are endless activities out there that can make us better entrepreneurs. I’m curious to hear what you guys do. Let me know in the comments section below.
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