Summer is over and entrepreneurs are cranking up for the fourth quarter, hoping to finish the year big. Now is clearly not the time to let your energy level slip. Even if your passion for work is no longer enough to drive you, you can't afford to disengage even for a second. Sustained energy and razor sharp focus come from within, not from a caffeinated beverage or other external stimulants.
Here are six ways to help you develop a core base of energy:
1. Get a good night's sleep. I hear about people who sleep only four hours a night, but I don't recommend it. Those who don't get enough sleep may get away with it for a while, but without the proper amount, you won't be as productive, creative or resilient over the long run. The body and mind need rest to recharge. I try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and still be the first up in the morning. For me, that means going to bed at 9 p.m. and rising around 4 a.m.
2. Write down your goals twice a day. Make a list of your goals when you wake up in the morning and again before you go to bed. This will help you stay focused on what you want and why you want it. I'm not talking about your to-do list; I mean the much bigger goals in life you are trying to accomplish: why you are going to work and what you are trying to achieve. Concentrating on these major goals will help fuel your passion and energy.
3. Exercise daily. A regular physical workout will energize you and give you a sense of direction, control and power. A good cardio or strength workout in the morning can increase your belief in yourself, get the adrenaline flowing and increase your stamina for the rest of the day. During my workouts, I try to include some inspirational or learning time so I am working my mind while working my body.
4. Dress for success. Dressing sharp will change the way you view yourself and the way others view you. Dress in a manner that suggests that you are proud, prepared and confident of success. People appreciate it when you make the effort to look professional. Their admiration can provide the kind of positive energy needed to sustain you through a challenging day.
5. Surround yourself with supportive people. You might join organizations or clubs where you are all doing something you're excited about. Also, try to get your family on the same page with you. If your spouse, children, parents and siblings celebrate your wins with you, it will go a long way toward keeping you motivated and energetic. My wife will break out in the Running Man dance when I report a closed deal or other exciting news.
6. Create a "no negativity" policy at home and work. The people who work around me know they will get their heads handed to them if they ever are negative around me. That doesn't mean I don't want information that may be foreboding. But negative talk like, "We can't do that" or "That's not possible," is not allowed. My companies all have "no negativity" as an operating policy because that kind of thinking does nothing to energize people and motivate them to find solutions.
Remember, you will always face obstacles and challenges, but maintaining a high energy level will enable you to power through the rough patches that forge the greatest entrepreneurs.