It has become commonly accepted that entrepreneurs spend more time working after hours than conventional employees. Entrepreneurs are not afraid to put in the extra hours.
However, according to David Morobe, regional general manager at South African risk finance firm Business Partners, while such dedication is somewhat inherent to entrepreneurs, it is important to strike a balance between work and personal time to ensure sustainable success.
“While dedicating large amounts of extra hours to a business can be vital for future success, especially in new businesses, there are also a number of things business owners should be doing after hours that focus on self-development,” Morobe said.
It all comes down to having a good plan and system, with Morobe saying entrepreneurs must strive for an efficient system that frees them up to deal with the unique problems rather than just the mundane issues which invariably arise daily.
Here are his top five after-hours tips for entrepreneurs and their self-development.
Clear your mind
Whether it’s a run or walk before or after the work day, or a session at the gym, Morobe said time spent getting some fresh air or doing some exercise is one of the best remedies for entrepreneurs to maintain balance amid a chaotic business schedule.
“The human body is not designed to remain inactive for hours on end and by keeping a regular exercise regime, both the mind and body are kept healthy, which ensures entrepreneurs continue to perform at the top of their game,” he said.
No man is an island
This is especially true for entrepreneurs. Keeping healthy relationships – both personal and professional – is vital to success.
“Entrepreneurs regularly rely on their networks to build their brand and business and, as such, they need to make a conscious effort to build and maintain these networks – either through social media, regular socialising or professional networking at industry events and talks. There is no limit to the value that networked relationships can bring to the business,” Morobe said.
Stay grounded with family
Family time is often the first thing to be sacrificed when faced with limited available time in a day. Yet Morobe said entrepreneurs must prioritise this time.
“At work, an entrepreneur is always having to be “the boss” and the pressures of this role can be overwhelming at times, whereas at home, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be removed from this role,” he said. “Family can play a vital role in being an entrepreneur’s rock and their consistent honest feedback is often an underrated asset of an entrepreneur.”
Relax, reflect and read
Entrepreneurs can also use these after-work hours to further their self-development, perhaps by committing to read at least one chapter or article on topics outside of their general business interests.
“These can be books, journals or industry publications, new perspectives or marketing approaches, or different skills like how to use a new software that the entrepreneur wishes to learn,” Morobe said.
Plan and systemise
One of the best ways an entrepreneur can strive for efficiency is to systemise the business as much as possible, thereby freeing up time to deal with the unique problems.
“Many entrepreneurs credit their productivity and efficiency in the office to this activity, which to some forms the backbone of their day,” Morobe said.