11 Epic Life Hacks From Crazy Successful Entrepreneurs
We all have 24 hours in the day, but the difference between mediocrity and massive success lies in how we use those hours. We asked 11 entrepreneurs who have achieved massive results in their lives to share their best life hacks to help you crush your goals faster, easier and better.
1. Hack people.
Everybody thinks that scale is technology. But scale also comes in people; it’s a version that has been tried and true long before the internet came along. Most of us are grossly underestimating the impact of another human being on what they’re trying to accomplish and what you can be doing for them. We’re all looking for the algorithm and big data and the tech and the app that’s going to scale it. There’s nothing that scales the tried and true. The human part of it is an absolute must. If you’re doing everything yourself, you’re dead. When other people are doing it, a lot more can be done.
2. Take business meditation road trips.
It’s scientifically proven that traveling 150 to 200 miles from your home at least once a month triggers creativity. Rotate the locations, stay in a cheap hotel or Airbnb, bring a stack of books and a notepad. Catch up on reading and strategize your life like an army general. Even if you can only be away for two days because of other obligations, that’s enough time to impact the direction of your life.
3. Pounce on opportunity and figure out the details later.
I could only scrape together $10,000 to put a deposit down on a multimillion-dollar bank-owned abandoned shopping center, but it was too good of a deal to pass up. I knew there had to be something I could leverage to get an extension of escrow, giving me the time I needed to obtain good financing. I uncovered some structural issues, which led the bank to do major improvements that took nine months. I was able to pull together the financing. I invested less than $150,000 total and made a million dollars profit. You don’t have to always have the money up front; if it’s a killer deal, take the chance and buy time to make it work.
—Manny Khoshbin, president of The Khoshbin Company and author of Contrarian PlayBook; arrived in America at 14, nearly homeless and now has a nine-figure net worth. Follow Manny’s incredible adventures on Instagram.
4. Post reminders everywhere.
I use sticky notes and paste them everywhere to remind me to get things done. Managing multiple companies and investments, I sometimes forget to do the simple things. Try this for one week: Write important reminders on sticky notes and paste them everywhere. Watch your productivity and results skyrocket.
This has single-handedly transformed my business and relationships: I clearly ask for exactly what I want. You’re thinking, That’s what I do. But we don’t. We don’t ask for what we want; we ask for what we think is possible. We ask for what we feel we deserve. We ask for what we believe the market will bear. We’re afraid that if we ask for what we want and don’t get it, that it means that we aren’t enough—so we settle. You are surrounded by people who genuinely want to help you but they don’t know how. Help them help you.
—Chris Plough, entrepreneur advisor and serial entrepreneur
6. Wear blue light-blocking glasses.
Experts are increasingly telling us that poor sleep leads to obesity and poor general health. Overwhelming medical research shows that exposure to artificial light from electronics such as smartphones, tablets, computers and TVs disrupts sleep and causes sore eyes, headaches, fatigue and even blurred vision. I wear Swannies blue light-blocking glasses—which filter out harmful artificial light from digital devices—an hour before bed so I can use my phone, tablet and computer freely without them disrupting my sleep.
7. Block out time to work on a single task.
I block out two to four hours every day to work on the most important thing. I put it on my calendar and let my team know to not disturb me unless it’s super important. My email is closed, my phone is off and I do not deviate from working on the one task at hand. When I do this, not only is the quality of work much better because I’m staying focused, but the quantity of work improves as well because distractions are limited and I manage to get more done faster.
8. Hire a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant can handle a huge number tasks for you, personally and professionally. You can look on Upwork.com and find hundreds of virtual assistants with reviews. If you don’t find the right one for you on the first hire, don’t give up. I found my perfect assistant on my seventh try. In order to train a virtual assistant, start by being very detailed about what you want them to do. I’ve found putting it in writing works best so they can refer back to it. I also often ask them to repeat what I am requesting to ensure we are on the same page.
9. Schedule every item in your day as a calendar event.
Before you go to sleep, take five minutes to list everything you need to do the next day, then open your calendar and create specific calendar events for those items. This allows you to quickly see if you’re taking on too much, and if you need to delegate, how much time it should take someone else. I do this every single evening and it almost always allows me to get my to-do list completed.
10. Get others to do what you’re bad at.
Use leverage. You need to get people to do the stuff that you’re not good at. The quicker you get away from doing what you’re not good at, the quicker you start earning serious money. Focus on what you like to do and get others to the rest.
11. Hack your sleep.
I go through four- to six-month periods of what’s called a “biphasic siesta” sleep schedule, which consists of five hours of sleep at night and a 25-minute nap in the early afternoon. You get a couple more hours in the day without sacrificing fatigue and the short nap increases alertness and productivity during evening hours.