Dec 5
entrepreneur success


Introverts version of the achieving entrepreneur success: “Working all day (and night), guzzling coffee and not speaking to anyone is the way to succeed.”

Extrovert version of the story: “Go talk to everyone, try to sell everything/ anything and attend all events”.

There’s a time for talking and a time for doing. The key to entrepreneur success is to make both as productive as possible. From extensive research, painful personal trial and almost comical errors – here’s an actionable checklist of things to do:

Firstly, and crucially, your ideal day actually starts the night before:

  1. Tidy up all your notes from the day (move action points to Wunderlist and set an action date and attach information needed).
  2. Select 5 actions for the next day that if you achieved, that would be a good day – everything else on your list is. your MUST AVOID DOING at all costs list… a Warren Buffett strategy.
  3. Select the most important task and put that in your Next Action list as the only task in Wunderlist – good way to get your subconscious mind to start working on it whilst you sleep.

In the morning:

  1. Do gentle stretches and movements to wake up.
  2. Prepare a herbal tea or hot water with lemon – great for your system.
  3. Get your notebook and write following:
    1. 1 thing you’re grateful for.
    2. Your 1 focus for today (the 1 to do from Wunderlist > Next Action list).
    3. 1 sentence on the type of person you want to be (e.g. “I’m someone who get’s things done and easily wins new clients as people like working with me”).
  4. Choice to either intermittent fast, have a juice (nutribullet), bullet proof coffee or breakfast (e.g. smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and avocado).
  5. If not having breakfast, take 2 Cilteps – those help you focus like nothing else. You can add to your stack with smart caffeine and dopamine for a turbo boost. Krill oil and Curcumin are also great for all round optimisation.
  6. DO NOT HAVE ANY CONNECTION until c. 11:00 and focus on your 1 thing/ key focus task – aim to complete it before moving to #10 below.
  7. Your emails are blocked until 11:00 (use Batched inbox), and now you can delve into emails for a bit, don’t get sucked into them too long, just check key actions (using the Email Game is a great way to gamify responding quickly to things). Any emails needing long focus can become a task in Wunderlist and choose when to focus on it.
  8. 11:30 to 12:00 is a great time to catch up through scrum calls with your key reports/ colleagues. Either do a focused group call with agenda (what done yesterday, what doing today, any blockers) or do focused 1:1 calls.

In the afternoon:

  1. Use next hour to knock off some other tasks and grab some food (e.g. big fat salad – eat consciously)
  2. From 13:00 hit the gym and if you want to maximise time either listen to podcasts like Tim Ferris or Optimal Performance Podcast, or use Instapaper to listen to articles you saved (slightly robotic voice reading but listen at 1.5x speed to crunch through articles/ info).
  3. You’ve set aside 2hrs for calls with clients/ partners/ interviews/ etc. getting people to book through your Calendly link to save time on arranging (20 mins call with 10 mins notes and preparation for next call). You can use Skype, WhatsApp, Slack or conference call like UberConference to make those.
  4. Come 16:00, write and prioritise action points from the calls and go through some additional tasks on your list
  5. Clock off at 18:00 and go do something else – for me it’s kids bedtime to have at least 1 hr quality time with them (on top of quality time in the morning).

In the evening:

  1. You have 1 life so make sure you enjoy it. Using this strategy you’ll have achieved a lot more and will not feel guilty about having fun. The key is to not drink too much or stay out too late and impacting your next day.
  2. At the end of your day – make sure you do points #1-3 again from this list so you’re set for tomorrow…


Small note on choosing where to work:

I personally do not believe in offices – especially open plan ones, they were created by some evil talkative boss who never had to focus on anything!

Yes we have them for some of our team but everyone has opportunity to be VERY location independent. Being at a desk from 09:00 to 17:00 does not make you productive or equate to entrepreneur success.

However, choosing what environment you work in for specific tasks is a great way to unlock productivity. This means, if you need to read some information for example, go and sit in a quiet coffee shop or library. If you need to write a presentation, wait until you’re on a 1 hr train ride for that focus and definite deadline. Making calls in the garden? Why not, you can walk around and be in nature (barefooted ideally to connect with the world…)

What did your most productive day look like? What strategies do you have to get in the zone when needed?