How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur in NYC (Without Completely Burning Out)
New York City, arguably the capital of the world, is a magnet for entrepreneurs from every imaginable industry. When a city offers so much, how do you know when it's too much?
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A massive amount of business is being conducted on Wall Street every day, while gallons of the finest wines are being poured into crystal glasses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan every night. The high-speed "city that never sleeps" has so much to offer, and it's really challenging to avoid getting soaked in! The result can be burnout, or worse, an addiction to narcotics that can keep you awake for days. If your primary desire is to maintain a focus on your chosen goals and keeping your health in check, despite contact with people and things that could burn you out, read on for helpful tips from someone who's been there.
Don't show up to every single event
Do not go out every night! Attend events, whether business or private parties, only every other day. Otherwise, fatigue will set in fast, and you'll find yourself unable to perform efficiently at any of the events. Studies have shown that focusing on just one thing at a time can increase productivity, resulting in the creation of more income and greater overall satisfaction.
Related: How to Recognize and Beat Burnout
Find a hobby
Find a healthy hobby or area of interest, something that you'll be compelled to stick with, such as learning Japanese or taking art classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York City offers various free classes and courses every day. Instead of hanging out and becoming just another "bar fly," you can develop new and interesting contacts at these classes, which will prove to be a far better investment in your future.
Stay away from toxic people
Avoid toxic people in business and in your personal life. This may sound simple, but with an overpopulated city like New York, these negative people are everywhere. The first step is recognizing the inherent toxicity. If you happen to be having a conversation with someone who won't let you get a word in edgewise, while they spout some sort of hateful rhetoric, excuse yourself, and go get some fresh air. If you engage with sociopaths, or you don't "nip it in the bud," they will always find a way to take advantage of you. The best thing to do is not to get sucked in, but if you already have, it's time to start planning your exit.
Give your body a break
Don't drink alcohol just because it's there. Even if you normally only have one beer or one shot, give your body a well-deserved break. Try saying "No thanks, I'm good" when you're offered a drink on a night out, and instead, make it a point to have a drink later in the week, on a night that you stay at home. This will help you to avoid getting into a habit of drinking alcoholic beverages every time you go out.
Get out of the city for a while
Take a vacation somewhere outside of NYC, even if it's just for 24 hours. Taking a break and getting your mind off your projects and challenges, provides you with the opportunity to take a look at the situation from a distance — and might even inspire new solutions and ideas! I loved renting a cabin in the Catskills with my girls, even if it was only a one-day escape from the busy New York City life!
Pick up healthy habits
Develop healthy eating habits and take supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, a good probiotic, and magnesium before bedtime. If you need an energy boost to reach your highest level of productivity, you need the right foods for your body and your brain, as well as plenty of water. I recommend adapting a plant-based diet, since it is the easiest on your body. Once you've found a balance, you can focus the rest of your energy on socializing and working hard to achieve your goals.
Balance all your hard work with volunteerism, by getting involved with a non-profit or starting your own. Whether it's just something on a local level or a massive global effort to raise awareness about a cause that's close to your heart, such as the environment or climate change, it can help you focus on what's really important. Devoting yourself to something that is bigger than you is often exactly what you need to maintain your mental health.
Use proper business etiquette
Always practice good business etiquette, and remember your manners – it will pay off in the future! Let's say there's an event for which you have RSVP'd and then changed your mind at the last minute; you must always be fair, and respect other people's time, if you want to receive respect in return. Don't just "delete" relationships that might be valuable to your business in the future. What if that person you left hanging could've become a client – perhaps one day there would have been the potential for a big deal, but you'll never close that deal if the person has a bad memory of their previous experience with you. Be genuine and demonstrate empathy when you can.
Conduct your business in the right way and maintain clear lines of communication with clients, vendors, and suppliers alike. Sometimes an uncomfortable conversation needs to happen, such as admitting a mistake when you've missed a deadline. Having this interaction with your boss or colleague is always better than burning bridges. Potential partnerships with future clients can be damaged or destroyed, simply because of a communication breakdown. Always talk through issues, and make it your first rule of business to find a solution that works for both parties.
In New York City, or any other business-centric place on the planet, if you put these ideas into practice, you'll find the results are more rewarding than you ever imagined!