Contrary to popular belief, lasting success is built overnight. All your entrepreneurial dreams are possible when you make getting adequate rest a priority. Some of the benefits that correspond with sleep include an uplift in mood, increased creativity, enhanced productivity and more positive professional and personal relationships.
I entered the scary and exciting realm called entrepreneurialism in 2011. Over the course of seven years, my business evolved from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company, and in that time, I have belonged to several professional networks. One of the entrepreneurial communities I joined supported slogans such as “sleep is for suckers.” Members advocated for working more and sleeping less.
While browsing the recommendations for my Audible account in 2015, I found CEO Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder. Listening to her story where she discusses the damage to her health by sacrificing sleep with the intention to build her company, I found the courage to leave the organization that emphasized sacrificing sleep for the potential of profit. After reading her book, I realized that destroying my health for wealth was a recipe for failure in my business and personal life.
Whether you are an entrepreneur who has not sold your first product or someone who is earning millions of dollars in revenue every month, I want you to reframe sleep as if it is your fiancée. As you continue in business, order yourself daily to close your eyes at a specific time and meet your partner on your pillow. Through your marriage with rest, an abundance of resources to enable business success will be born from your union. Creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial life that understands the importance of sleep will not be easy, but amazing things can happen when we believe anything is possible and decide to commit. Divorcing from sleep is not an option.
I share this insight with you as a business owner, father of three young children and a partner to a fantastic woman. Sleep is integral to every role you assume in your professional and private life. According to a recent study, people who only get 4.5 hours of sleep at night are often more irritable and make poorer decisions than others who possess the discipline to get the required sleep for their body. In the multiple roles I occupy, and as someone who continues to struggle with turning off work to get rest at night, I know it is impossible to realize your full potential when neglecting the fundamental need for adequate self-care in the form of sleep.
The amount of sleep that each of us needs will be different. If you’re building a business, now is the appropriate time to figure out how much sleep you need to produce your best work. Seasoned entrepreneurs should also take a moment from their busy schedules and assess what is necessary for them. I work best in the early morning hours and need between six to seven hours of sleep each night. My sleep schedule often determines I am in bed by 8:30 9 p.m.. No, this early bedtime isn't sexy, but I make progress every day toward achieving my business goals and strengthening my relationships.
Getting enough sleep at night is critical to establishing long-term financial and other intangible forms of success. Maintaining your optimal health through adequate rest could propel your company into new markets with unparalleled returns on your past business victories. Keeping a consistent bedtime can enable you to create more valuable products and services because it enhances your ability to think clearly.
I share all this with you, not because I am perfect and get the necessary sleep I need every night. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation often comes with the territory of building an enterprise through activities aligned with your passion and callings in life. My point is to bring more awareness to this topic in the hope that it might inspire small incremental changes over time, similar to the necessary actions for building and maintaining a business.
This week, begin with committing to one night of the recommended hours of sleep that corresponds with your age range. Next week, add a second night. Keep going until most nights of the week you are getting in the bed at the best time to wake at an hour conducive to realizing your full leadership potential in all areas of your life.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors