Entrepreneurs are bombarded with tips about success and strategy non-stop. There's always a new platform or gadget fighting for your attention. But one of the major keys to success consistently gets lost in the noise of the latest developments. We're pulling the curtain back and exposing the essential part of your success that you may be overlooking.
Energy is a valuable part of our lives. We need it in order to fully experience all that life has to offer. Without it, we walk around tired and sluggish, eager to go back to bed instead of staying awake to participate in our daily activities. There are even sections in grocery stores and gas stations devoted to energy drinks and bars. And when you’re feeling less than phenomenal, it’s tempting to look for quick fixes for a short-lived boost of energy to get you through the day. The truth is that we create energy. It comes from the foods we eat, the amount of water we drink, the rest we give our body, and the exercise we perform. The good news is that we are in control of our energy levels. We don’t have to accept feeling tired and sluggish our whole lives. We can actually do something about it.
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But what does energy have to do with being a successful entrepreneur? Energy is one of the most important aspects of success. You cannot be successful if you don’t have energy. It takes stamina and drive to be a business owner. You must be able to fully take advantage of your days by being disciplined to do the vital behaviors of your business. It takes energy to keep the engine of your business running by maintaining your network, building connections, and promoting yourself. Take a close look at successful people and you will notice that they appear vibrant and charismatic because they have energy. They understand that high levels of success will require high maintenance. As your business grows, you may find that it demands more from you. And you’ve got to be sure that you can handle those business activities without feeling burnt out.
How can you make your dreams a reality if you are running on empty? There is a very damaging concept of “hustling nonstop” circulating among aspiring online business owners. It’s true that building a business from nothing takes grit, persistence, dedication, and endurance, but you can’t run on level 10 nonstop in your business. That is a surefire way to reach a burnt out state. You can’t focus, or develop your best ideas when you’re fatigued. It’s hard to take a step back and rest when you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, but it has to be done. You don’t want to risk getting so burnt out that the anxiety, depression, fear, and other schemes of the enemy render you both stagnant and drained.
Kleneice and I had to leave our nursing jobs for multiple reasons, but one of those reasons was a complete lack of energy. We worked the overnight shift from 8pm-8am and every day was a struggle. We’re naturally morning people, and unfortunately our bodies never adjusted to the constant back and forth between staying awake all night at work and then trying to be normal again on our off days. It felt like we were living in a fog all the time, which made focusing on our first blog tough. We thought that we could just devote time to the blog on our off days, which seemed to work fine for a while until our off days became desperate attempts to catch up on rest, maintain what social life we had left, and run errands for the week. We never had much energy to begin with, but month after month of stretching ourselves thin resulted in such severe burnout that we distanced ourselves from the blog and our friends and family.
We know that you may have millions of ideas for your business that you want to act on and it may seem like every day your to-do list is exploding with tasks. We know what that feels like, and honestly we still struggle with overworking ourselves sometimes. But we don’t want you to suffer as you build your business. This should be an exciting time in your life as you work unto the Lord. The enemy will try to convince you that there is never enough work being done. He will try to encourage you to do just one more thing that turns into another, and then another. He wants you to be so busy that you push off your time with God and idolize your purpose as you run on empty. We want you to know that you don’t have to build your business that way. Sure, it will take some sacrifice to do what the Lord has called you to do, but it won’t involve sacrificing your own time with the Lord.
This is why energy is so important. When you are properly energized, you will be able to wake up early to take full advantage of your day. You won’t lose precious time to fatigue, battling headaches and feeling downright awful. When you have energy you not only complete tasks quicker, but you’re truly able to be productive and focus on your priorities.
You have to be intentional to create energy. Oftentimes, energy won’t be created as a result of convenience. You are going to have to plan for it. Kleneice and I realized this when a week after leaving our jobs, we barely felt any different because our habits didn’t change. We finally created the energy we needed when we started paying attention to how much rest we were getting, increasing our water consumption, eating healthier, and exercising.
In order to make sure you have enough energy to follow God’s purpose for you, you’ll need to do some experimenting. Identify what makes you feel ready and capable of conquering the day. Can you thrive on 5-6 hours of sleep or do you fare better with 7-8? How do you feel exercising in the morning as opposed to waiting until the afternoon? Do you feel better eating 5-6 small meals per day or 3 larger meals? Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Focus on one aspect of your energy this week and attack it in baby steps.
Energy is so critical for success. It may take time for you to develop the habits you need to change your energy levels and that is ok. Be patient and give yourself grace! If you aren’t sure where to begin, remember you can always ask God to show you. He is so faithful. He will help you take better care of yourself so that you can go after what He has called you to do.
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