The Importance of Mindfulness in an Entrepreneur's Life
As soon as everything is top priority, multitasking is second nature, and sleep becomes counterproductive, you can safely say you’ve become an entrepreneur. Learning to be mindful of what this implies for you and your team can be a key factor for your success.
Entrepreneurs do whatever is necessary so that they can continue pushing their company’s growth. Ask any aspiring business leader to show you their to-do list and you’ll understand why that’s the case. You’ll also begin to understand why these individuals are more prone to a state of constant mental pressure...and that’s not always positive, neither for them nor for their business.
Don’t get me wrong - temporary anxiety and stress are both healthy and necessary reactions to the challenges that come with trying to succeed when the odds are against you. That may explain why, for many entrepreneurs, working themselves to their limits seems like the only way to see light at the end of the tunnel. In reality though, this magnitude of dedication is more likely to result in psychological and physical complications than in a tactic to help their business flourish.
This fact has been the underlying driving force behind the movement towards mindfulness, or “a state of active, open attention on the present”, as defined by Psychology Today. The benefits of mindfulness include lower degrees of stress, increased energy levels, and improved physical health, amongst many others. It’s no surprise therefore that businesses all over the world, including industrial giants, have begun to pick up on it and incorporate it into their workplace.
Still, when basic necessities such as sleep and food are no longer a priority, one can imagine that for an under-pressure entrepreneur, incorporating mindfulness into a teeming routine isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially if they aren’t aware of the results this practice can bring.
With that in mind, we selected three key qualities of any successful entrepreneur, and why mindfulness is significant for their development:
Call it motivation, passion, determination - the energy that fuels founders through the ups and downs of creating and growing their company is the spark and flame of any business. Developing the desire for success is the first step, but the key to reaching that success is keeping that energy focused. Mindfulness has been found to improve focus and keep distractions out of the way of what is actually important for the positive growth of a business. Here are four ways mindfulness reached through meditation can help increase your focus.
Being a good leader is more than just ensuring the company runs smoothly. Within the high-pressure environment of the startup and business world, it is just as important for employees to have a leader who makes them feel safe and capable as it is for them to be led by someone who makes sure tasks are completed. This implies an individual with qualities such as active listening and the ability to empower individuals and teams, both of which are traits unique to someone who immerses themselves in the present moment. Considering leaders face a unique kind of stress that employees may never have to experience, it is vital that every entrepreneur is especially mindful of how they lead their team. Interested in learning how to get started? Forbes has a great article with some simple techniques that you can start using to implement mindful meditation to lead your team more effectively.
Many traits are important to build a successful business, but of all of them, vision is the quality that separates good entrepreneurs from industrial pioneers. As far as vision goes, Steve Jobs was decades ahead of his time.
As a dedicated practitioner of zen meditation, Jobs used mindfulness techniques to clear his mind and enhance his creativity, which in turn allowed him to see further than anyone else. In his words:
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.
Do you think mindfulness is an important quality to have as an entrepreneur? How do you practice being more mindful?