3 life tips for digital entrepreneurs

Short and sweet:

  1. Limit your time in front of glowing screens. And if you have to be in front of glowing screens—especially at night—use F.lux and low screen brightness levels. You’ll help your eyes, and make screen time more productive.

  2. Read more. Read business books, biographies, fantasy novels, hard-boiled crime thrillers. Read how-to guides, political dramas, sports stories. Reading makes you think in ways that can help you break through creative blocks, discover new business ideas, and improve your mental acuity. (And if you’re an eBook person, like me, I can’t recommend ePaper highly enough.)

  3. Be active. That doesn’t have to mean daily runs or workout sessions (bonus points if you do though… and I am intensely jealous of your dedication); getting outside to walk a few times a day is enough. It’ll give you an opportunity to observe the world around you, counteract all your sitting, and work through tough problems.

Motivation is a rare commodity

One of the things that people don’t tell you when you start your business is that motivation is a rare commodity.

It’s like gold: everyone wants it, and people sure talk about it a lot, but they gloss over the part that mentions that very few people actually have it consistently, and in useful quantities.

The startup founder who works 16 hour days is considered an aspirational myth in our day and age. It’s very rarely mentioned how unhealthy and unsustainable that is, and yet startup founders brag about their ‘personal uptime’ in entrepreneurship communities around the web on a daily basis.

In the real world, motivation ain’t easy. If you’re anything like me, you spend plenty of time lying in bed or sitting in your office chair, paralysed by your to-do list. You think about all the things you need to finish for that big client meeting, or so you can convert a lead.

After a while, it gets pretty overwhelming. There’s no easy answer, for better or worse. The only thing that works is to jump in and start doing. Just do. The motivation will work its way in later.

No Greater Love Than This

Cover design of No Greater Love Than This by Joel KellyIt’s not often that I shill for friends, because I want you to know that when I do, I really mean it. That’s why I’m writing today about No Greater Love Than This, the short story my good friend Joel Kelly is releasing tomorrow, Tuesday March 11th.

I should point out that Joel, who you may better know as my co-host over at Not a Real Job, didn’t ask me to do this (and I suspect it may be a bit of a surprise… mission accomplished) but Joel’s short stories have had such an impact on my life that I want to make sure my readers here get in on the action too. His stories are direct, hauntingly spare, and cut you to pieces. I haven’t read No Greater Love Than This yet (I’m waiting until tomorrow just like everyone else) but from the excerpt on Joel’s site I know it’ll be just as good as the rest of his stories, if not better because it comes directly from Joel’s own experiences.

The story is about Joel’s upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness, and his journey away from the church. Joel’s Jehovah background was something I have been tangentially aware of for some time, but I also knew that Joel was an open atheist. This story goes into the background of Joel’s path to reconcile those opposing ideas (or not), and shows the inevitable fallout.

To top it all off, you’ll also get a free audio version of the story, just for purchasing the ebook. And, oh yeah, 20% of the proceeds are going to Because I Am A Girl, a Canadian charity that focuses on empowering women.

A short story, audio book, and a donation to a great charity for $3.99? What are you waiting for?! Go preörder your copy of No Greater Love Than This right now. I promise you won’t regret it.

The Long Haul

Did you know half of all small businesses close within five years?

It’s easy to be invested in the short term. The flurry of excitement surrounding the launch of a new business is energising and inspiring. For a while, it’s fun and easy.

But if you want to build a mature, lasting business—one that survives the five year fall—you need to care about the long haul. Stop just thinking about what’s tomorrow: start thinking about where your business could be in a year. In two years. In ten years.

When you start thinking about the future, you become invested in it. And when the “new business buzz” dies down, your passion for business won’t die with it.