3 Historical Habits That Improve Modern Entrepreneurs The best lessons are learned from history. Here are three practices that will still make you epic today.

By Matthew Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most entrepreneurs are all about tech. Gadgets, gear and advances in technology make you faster, more productive and better performing than ever before in history.

Yet, moving at the speed of today's fast-paced world can have other effects, too. Poor sleep, constant connectivity and other modern-day realities are often the unintended consequences of a rapidly changing world.

While some cultural movements, such as the hipster sipping his artisan whiskey by his vinyl record player or the boho chic woman and her inner-flower-child style, might have seeped back into the popular consciousness, there are some more intriguing, shall we say, "vintage" practices that can enhance your life and skills today as an entrepreneur.

Related: 14 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read in '14

Here are three habits that haven't changed much over centuries that will positively affect you as an entrepreneur today.

1. Read books. Reading permeates every aspect of the entrepreneur's existence. Reading is the foundation for every business practice you'll need to be successful as an entrepreneur: web copy, hiring, vocabulary, writing, legal documents -- every aspect of your life depends on reading.

Reading opens doors to conversations with others that create opportunities and relationships. Reading expands your mind and helps you learn. Reading teaches you an expanded vocabulary and increases your capacity for knowledge.

If you don't have a reading practice, get one. It doesn't have to be all business books either. In fact, it shouldn't be. Any reading will help improve your life overall. Develop a reading habit and watch your entrepreneurial skills increase.

Related: 8 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

2. Patron the arts. Without the Medici's, there would likely never have been Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Without Peggy Guggenheim, there likely wouldn't be so many splattered Pollock masterpieces in museums. Music, dance, painting and all forms of art need your protection and patronage.

You don't have to be a powerful philanthropist to patron the arts, but you can still support them. Join your local museums or theater guilds. Go to the symphony, opera, live theater or ballet. Your purchase of event tickets, memberships and even small donations can make a huge difference in the lives of artists.

Don't be mistaken: we need their art. Art of all forms makes you better as an entrepreneur. It makes your community better, your country better and the world better. Celebrate the arts, even if you don't practice them yourself and improve the lives of everyone.

3. Champion causes. Much like the arts, causes need champions, too. You don't have to be at the Bill and Melinda Gates level and start your own foundation to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Your small contribution of time, money or materials to a local cause in your community could create a very powerful change. Every entrepreneur's vision should include some form of giving and sharing, so start now by getting involved with causes you care about and feel passionate toward.

You don't have to do it all to still be able to do something. Start where you are and do what you can to support the causes you love.

Related: The 3 Surprising Ways to Weave Social Good Into a Startup's DNA

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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