habits that entrepreneurs should adopt

Entrepreneurs Share Habits That Changed Their Life

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Humans are creatures of habit. We fall into unconscious ways of doing things repetitively, and it often seems second nature. Think of how you’re overwhelmed by the urge to grab that midday coffee, or how you’ve gotten into a habit of snoozing your alarm thrice before waking up. According to Charles Duhigg in his book “The Power of Habit—Why We Do What We Do In Life & Business”:

“The reason the discovery of the habit loop is so important is that it reveals a basic truth: When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in the decision-making. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”

Over at the Evolving For The Next Billion podcast, we’ve interviewed guests who seemingly have a lot to do – juggling work, personal commitments and relationships. They’re building companies and teams, pitching ideas, meeting investors, closing funding rounds – all within the same 24 hours you or I have. We hear from these entrepreneurs as they share habits that have positively impacted them, or that have drastically altered their attitude towards life, in hopes that you could be inspired to pick up a habit or two, too.

1. Becoming a morning person

“For me, I get up before 5:00AM. It’s that couple of hours in the morning when I’m up before anyone else and I spend time either reading or thinking. I think that just centers me for the rest of the day and the week. This habit has reaped pretty good results for me.” – Rohit of Snapdeal

2. Engaging actively in curiosity

“The habit of curiosity. I’m exceptionally curious about everything. When I encounter something new, I always have lots of questions. I think that’s actually what has brought me this far in life. Being curious is integral to your personal development.” – Hendra Kwik of Payfazz

3. Be less reactive

“Not reacting too quickly. It’s something I learned as a scientist, and then as a banker. Most times, your initial reaction may not be the right one. Always take a pause and you will benefit from a more measured response.” – Brian Gu of Xpeng Motors

4. Inversion thinking – where you consider the opposite of what you want

“The habit that changed my life is inverse thinking. I used to consider a hypothesis where I prove myself right. But now I actually try my best to consider the downside. It sounds very counterintuitive. Everyone tries to envision success, and that’s not wrong, but I think I made a lot of mistakes because I tried to prove a hypothesis right. Now, I also consider how to manage failure. I ask questions like what would things look like if everything went wrong tomorrow? And what does this tell us about how we should prepare today? That habit changed me greatly.” – Tao Peng of Airbnb China.

5. Developing persistence and grit

“I would say its persistence. If I believe in something, I keep going at it. I’m pretty stubborn that way. It also helps if you have thick skin, especially as a young woman in the tech industry.” – Ankiti Bose of Zilingo.

6. Making time for the people that matter

“The number one habit that’s changed my life is that now I cook breakfast every morning for my children. It’s amazing. There’s this moment when I cook something for him, and he eats it, and he’s like, Daddy, your eggs are the best. I don’t have to do anything else that day. I’m done.” – Garry Tan of Initialized Capital.

7. Meditation 

“I grew up with anxiety, something I’ve had ever since I was a kid. Today a 10-minute sit in the morning with Insight Timer (a meditation app), doing some meditation has made me a better leader, and possibly a better husband and a Dad. I know meditation is a buzzword now, but it truly has changed my life, dramatically, for the better.” – Harley Finkelstein of Shopify.

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