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When speaking with fellow entrepreneurs about how to build a successful career, one of the first things I mention is the importance of mindfulness in your daily life. Being mindful, intentional and present can help set you up for success for every role you have in life — be it a parent, wife, husband, brother, sister and business leader. As entrepreneurs, we play many roles. We are the boss, the employee, the assistant and the financial advisor all rolled into one. We face challenges from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until the moment we lay our head on the pillow each night. Our days will always be frenetic and full to the brim, but one thing that has helped me become better in all the roles I play in my life is focusing on being mindful and intentional about my daily morning routine.
It’s easy to reach for the phone the second we wake to see what has transpired during those few blissful hours of sleep. But one thing I have learned from building The Agency these past 10 years is the importance of getting your state of mind and physical fitness in check before tackling business items for the day. This process hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had to work on it in order to find my own rhythm and practice, but now I couldn’t imagine starting my day without it. I even make sure I dedicate the time to the process while traveling.
Here are a few of the ways mindfulness has played an important role in the success of my career as an entrepreneur and some of the practices I employ in my daily routine.
Adjusting my routine
When I first started thinking about including mindfulness into my daily routine, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find the time to fit it into my busy schedule. When I started the practice, I was very disciplined. Yet some mornings when my alarm went off I groaned and struggled to get out of bed. As I persevered, I got accustomed to the routine (and yes, I did catch myself more often than not reaching for my cell phone first thing). I started to look forward to it as I tucked in for my night’s sleep. After some time, I would wake up ahead of my alarm and leap out of bed. In fact, now I rarely need to set my alarm as my mind and my body are ready and eager to get the day going.
Looking back, my way of thinking about the concern I had about fitting mindfulness into my schedule was exactly why I needed to do it. Not only has it taught me a lot about prioritization, but it also made me a firm believer that without setting your intentions for the day and focusing on a healthy body, you won’t accomplish as much as you would if you started answering emails before even rolling out of bed.
Beginning each day with an intention and setting a routine is paramount for success. I begin every morning with exercise and meditation. I enjoy clearing my head at the gym and letting go of any of the prior day’s stressors in order to embrace the present day with a positive outlook and intentional mindset. I was recently asked to speak at a conference for real estate agents. My intention for that day was that I wanted to make sure I gave the best speech possible and that everyone would take something away with them that they could use to enrich their business. I thought about it while I worked out in the hotel gym, and when I went back to my room I wrote out a plan for the key takeaways that I wanted to deliver.
Keep tech at arm’s length
One of the most crippling things you can do in the morning is to check your phone right away. When possible, opt for a slower morning, and ease into the workday. I make it a point not to check my work emails until after I’ve had my workout and set my intentions for the day. That way, I can tackle whatever the day throws at me with a positive mindset. I also like to spend time connecting with family when possible, be it working out with my wife, making breakfast together, or taking time to check in with my daughters. Although work is a very important aspect of my life, so too is my family. Having a successful home life and strong family foundation will only spur you on to do bigger and better things in the boardroom. It’s also important to me that my family is there to celebrate all my successes with me — as I’m there to celebrate theirs. After all, this is one of the main reasons entrepreneurs get up and go to work each and every day — to make the very best lives for our families that we possibly can.
Reset throughout the day
Although meditating in the morning and winding down in the evening are so important, it’s also key to reset throughout the day when necessary. The quote “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry” has been variously attributed to Napolean Bonaparte, Don Quixote and Simon Bolivar, but regardless of who said it, it remains one of my favorites. The real estate industry is so fast-paced that one can easily get swept up in the rush and hustle. However, it’s important to create space to stop, pause and reset your mindset throughout the day. This can take many forms. Sometimes it’s lunch with my wife or daughters, or simply dedicating 15 minutes to think, relax and breathe, which helps me refocus for the day. Taking time for yourself to be thoughtful, deliberate and strategic is paramount for success and where I come up with my most creative ideas.
Visualize and manifest
Visualization and manifestation have gone hand-in-hand with my meditation practice. Taking time every day to sit in silence and visualize the prosperity and abundance your life is capable of enables positive outcomes and achievements to flow freely into your life. Energy is infectious, and if you don’t see it and believe it, no one else will.