What’s a day in the life of an entrepreneur like?
Mike runs a construction company, Sarah is creating software that will automate workflow, and Jesse sells branded frisbees on Shopify. While these three work in different industries, they all have one thing in common; they’re entrepreneurs, and their day-to-day activities likely have the same flow.
Each of them wakes up each day with a plan that they execute for themselves without worrying about the conventional 9-5 restrictions. It sounds like the dream, but the truth is, being an entrepreneur is often hard work that will eventually lead you to success.
Things to consider
So, what does a day in the life of an entrepreneur look like? This answer varies from person to person, but the behavior that every entrepreneur shares is how they structure each day. From start to finish, a day in the life of an entrepreneur is focused on utilizing every hour to its fullest capacity. No time is wasted.
The next element that is common in each day in the life of an entrepreneur is that it has a predictable schedule. Having a predictable schedule allows you to know what comes next to avoid downtime. It also allows you to optimize your day to get the most out of it.
Another common practice entrepreneurs use to enhance each day is developing a self-imposed reward system. These rewards can vary between something small like enjoying flavored creamer instead of powdered because you woke up on time or taking your daily walk in a more scenic location instead of the treadmill because you met your goal. This practice stimulates the reward system in the brain, encouraging mimicked behavior the following day.
How it starts
The first part of a day in the life of an entrepreneur is waking up. While that might sound obvious, most entrepreneurs will only sleep five-seven hours each night and typically wake up around 4 AM. This time is commonly viewed as the most productive time of day because it’s filled with the least amount of distractions.
A hotly debated next step in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is what’s done next. A common practice would be to grab your cell phone, check texts, voicemails, and e-mail. Catching up on your business first thing helps put out fires and prevent disaster. This makes sure you’re starting your day out on the right foot.
Some successful entrepreneurs believe checking e-mails right away leads to getting caught up in the whirlwind of work which derails the entire day. To avoid that, they will check the news and pop culture to see if anything is trending regarding their industry. You need to know what’s going on to stay ahead of the game.
After you’re caught up on e-mails, the next step in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is to go to the gym. Grabbing your workout clothes and hitting the treadmill gets the blood flowing and releases endorphins that increase brain performance and prevent mental decline. It’s not uncommon to see pictures of Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg jogging as the sun comes up. If you’re lucky, you might even drive by Arnold Schwarzenegger as he rides his bike through Venice Beach early in the morning.
As you continue through a day in the life of an entrepreneur, the next thing they’ll do is eat breakfast and spend time with the family. This can be done before or after showering. An entrepreneur doesn’t skip breakfast as it will increase concentration and decision-making abilities. What does an entrepreneur eat for breakfast? You can’t just grab a bowl of cereal. Oatmeal with cinnamon, chopped nuts, fruit, and flax will give you the boost you need for the day.
The CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Cheryl Bachelder, believes in eating the same thing every day. When she’s at home, she’ll eat a bowl of steel oatmeal. When she’s away, she’ll always eat scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, and rye toast. While this sounds monotonous, consuming the same thing each day helps build structure and allows you to leave the decision-making for work.
After breakfast, or before, you must shower. When you look at a day in the life of an entrepreneur, you’ll see that personal hygiene is one of the most critical elements. Some of the most successful people, like actor Dwayne Johnson, will shower multiple times per day. A cold shower in the morning, a hot shower after the gym, and another shower after he gets home from work.
Some successful people swear by a cold shower. A cold shower will wake you up and increase circulation, preparing you for the rest of the day. As an entrepreneur, this helps you be more focused and prepared for what’s to come.
After showering, an entrepreneur will get completely ready for the day. This includes all the essential hygiene rituals plus a clean shave or trim beard, clean and lint rolled clothes, and a positive attitude that’s ready to work. They will dress for success.
Dressing for success means something completely different depending on your industry. A woodworker isn’t likely to wear a tie and dress shoes, while a software salesman won’t be caught dead going on a sales call wearing flame-retardant jeans and a t-shirt. It’s more about putting yourself into the mental mindset that’ll encourage you to have the most productive day possible. If you want to be the best, you must emulate the best.
The next step, or the last step, in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is to plan. This varies based on who you’re talking to. If your morning schedule is the same every day, there is no need to plan the night before, but planning the night before removes the unnecessary task at the start of your day. It is up to the discretion of the entrepreneur.
Regardless of what time you choose to plan your day, having a plan is vital. Plotting the course that is a day in the life of an entrepreneur increases productivity and ensures the least amount of downtime possible.
Blocking out hours for specific tasks and deciding what you plan to have happen and at what time, gives you the ability to foresee what may or may not occur throughout the day. Another thing that entrepreneurs are keenly aware of is that plans can and do change, and rolling with the punches is a part of every day in the life of an entrepreneur.
The next part depends on whether you leave for the office or start your business from home. We assume you leave for the office.
Out the door
By this time in a day in the life of an entrepreneur, it is time to officially start working. It should be somewhere between 8 AM to 10 AM. This is when those who skip the morning e-mails will get through the grueling task of answering messages. It should still be early enough to put out any fires from the night before and prevent disasters.
After e-mails, this is the time in a day in the life of an entrepreneur where you communicate. You’ll talk to your staff, clients, business partners, project managers, or future customers. Networking is key to any successful business, and if you’re constantly communicating with those you work with or are in the industry, your business will thrive.
If your work is more independent, your day in the life of an entrepreneur might look a little different. This will be about the time you start to create or provide your service. Instead of connecting with employees, you will fire up the 3D printer and make your products. Instead of connecting with business partners, you will be touching up the photos you took at the wedding the weekend before. This is the time to start working.
Something that is often not considered is that this should be the time an entrepreneur makes most of their decisions. As your business grows and you are not playing an active, hands-on role in product creation, every decision you make is crucial to the continuance of your business. Making decisions earlier in the day allows you to make the best decisions for your company.
After completing the morning tasks, no day in the life of an entrepreneur is complete without lunch. This is another time you should use to connect with employees or network with clients and future customers. Making yourself seem like a human while also viewing your employees like humans will help you be more mindful of your company, thus making better decisions. A positive workplace culture is essential to productivity.
The hours following lunch is another time that entrepreneurs will utilize for communication. They will reach out to clients or potential clients, network with others in their field, or be in the mix of the work being done on the floor to make sure that things are progressing smoothly. A good entrepreneur is a part of every aspect of their company to some extent.
The second most important meal is the next part of a day in the life of an entrepreneur. To avoid an afternoon slump, consuming a healthy afternoon snack gives you the energy to be at the top of your game. It charges the brain so that you’re prepared for the rest of the day’s work.
Then back to work. A day in the life of an entrepreneur is filled with connecting with others and work. This will be when you are filling out paperwork, filing reports, or signing important documents. Or, if you’re more independent, you will be filling out orders for your candles sales or servicing equipment.
After the workday is done, a very overlooked part of a day in the life of an entrepreneur is spending time with family or friends. After all, they are why you’re working so hard. An entrepreneur will make sure that they are devoting adequate time to their spouse and their kids.
This is the time in a day in the life of an entrepreneur that is used to unwind, eat dinner, and soak it all in. Something that is hated by the average 9-5 worker is the idea of doing chores after they come home. This is not the case with the average entrepreneur. It is not uncommon to see them doing dishes after dinner or taking out the day’s trash. They must do things for themselves. It keeps them motivated.
After adequate time is spent with family, the next crucial element in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is self-development. Every entrepreneur focuses some time on improving themselves so that they will be better at what they do. This often takes an hour and is a light task.
Most entrepreneurs will use this time to read a book. The book will often focus on their work or improving their work life. Others will simply read for enjoyment. This stimulates the brain and trains it to be more active. It also slows down the mind and prepares you for a deeper sleep.
Something that most entrepreneurs say must be included in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is journaling. This is something that is just for you to release your thought from the day. This helps get out whatever is going on in your mind and allows you to put together things that happened throughout the day. It’s an effective tool in interpreting the day’s events and preparing for tomorrow.
The last step in a day in the life of an entrepreneur is taking care of last-minute work, and if you didn’t plan in the morning, plan for the next day. This helps prevent issues that may arise and prepares you for the following day.
Then, after a day in the life of an entrepreneur is over, they go to sleep around 12 AM, knowing that they did everything they possibly could to enhance their business. Four-seven hours later, they do it all again.