THE BLOG

Three Habits For Every Startup Founder

01/03/2016 12:06 GMT | Updated 01/03/2017 10:12 GMT

Habits help, they give you structure, a routine. They set up the framework and help you to be consistent and persevere. Habits also define who you are. We could even say that we are what we always do. A smoker is someone who has a smoking habit. An Olympic swimming medallist trains in the pool every day. Tell me your habits and I will tell you who you are. Being aware of our habits helps us realise where our true priorities lie. 

Here are 3 habits I live by which help me pursue my goals:

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1) I am the proud co-founder of Pillow. As an entrepreneur, I am managing my time around my startup. I usually spend Friday afternoons organising the week ahead. I didn't intentionally implement this habit but merely realised I was spending the end of the week organising the next one. I take a few hours to review what has been completed and what needs to be done. I check our numbers, review the metrics and set up targets for the week ahead. Realising how I have spent my time and realigning my priorities. Startup targets often fluctuate and priorities change quickly. Something happens and the whole business is shaken; a new press release and followers increase, receiving customer feedback make me rethink our product backlog. Nothing is constant so spending time realigning my priorities is key. 

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2) Have you heard of The Law of Attraction? In a nutshell, you attract what you focus on. For me, it goes hand in hand with gratitude. Being grateful for what you have will help you attract what you want. This is why I spend time every day thinking about what I am grateful for. It allows me to gain perspective and focus on the positive.

Sometimes it's related to my company: a great Skype with my co-founder, a nice product review from customers. It's also about the little things that make life beautiful, a sunny day, a walk in the woods, a free seat in the tube, a song from Typh Barrow, a smile from a stranger. Noticing them make them valuable. And at the end of a long day, I realise that it wasn't that bad after all. 

Looking back at my past problems through the gratitude lens allows me to understand my learnings. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone, this means directly into my learning spot. I don't let them stay as problems, but rather keep them as experiences which forced me to grow.

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3) Another great habit is taking care of myself. My whole self, body but also mind and spirit. 

Fuel yourself with the right stuff and your body will run like a finely-tuned engine. I had the tendency to rush through my morning routine to save time for "important" tasks, thinking that pampering was a waste of time. And that was just wrong. Taking time for yourself will help you on so many different levels. I thought I hadn't enough time to practice sport as often as I wanted. This was also a mistake. I am now finding time to exercise every day and my body thanks me for it. An hour of yoga, some fun on an aerial hoop, or a good sweat at my barre class are my preferred ones. But some days a gentle walk will be just enough. Funnily enough, it's by getting my life back in shape that I unconsciously took more care of my body.

Nourish your mind and your creativity will flow. I give my mind some great food for thought. Meet inspiring people, read great books, open my mind to new experiences and discover new places help stimulate my thought process. This is where I learn, where I find that new ideas pop up and new connections are created.

Energise your spirit and magic will happen. It is very easy to forget this one in our busy lives. But please, don't tell me that it is wasted time! I listen to my favourite music and can feel my mood uplifted. I stopped taking life so seriously, because sometimes a big laugh will do. And why not trying something completely new? 

These are my great habits, the ones I want to cherish and continue to develop. They all serve a purpose and help me be a better version of myself. What are yours?