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by Matt Shealy | June 08, 2021

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Consistent entrepreneurial success rarely happens by accident. The most successful founders have cultivated habits that help them become more effective, work smarter, and make better use of their time. Here are just a few of those habits.

They read

To become masters in their fields, successful founders adopt the attitude of a continuous learner. Reading is one thing that most successful founders do more than anyone else. They have an insatiable appetite for books. It seems like the more successful people get, the more time they dedicate to reading every day.

Most of these people do not read solely for entertainment; their favorite books seem to be educational in nature, whether they are biographies, self-help, or history books.

It can’t be a coincidence that successful people invest heavily in learning. Reading is a habit that is worth making time for. Try to make it a vital part of your routine, and if that does not seem to work for you, consider other ways of consuming educational content, such as podcasts, and audiobooks.

They schedule

Scheduling helps successful founders plan their activities so that they can achieve their goals and accomplish the most important tasks in time.

If done correctly, scheduling can help you understand what you can achieve in a day without burning out or mismanaging valuable time. It also helps ensure that you create enough time for the most important tasks that move your business forward--as well as important time for family and friends.

Time is one of our most valuable resources and since we can’t buy it, we have to make the best use of what we have. Successful founders do this by creating schedules and routines that work for them.

They start their day early

There's a reason the old adage, "the early bird catches the worm", is so tried and true. Successful people often go to bed early and rise up early to tackle their most important tasks.

In his best-selling book “Change Your Habits Change Your Life” Tom Corley explains that 50% of the successful people he interviewed wake up at least 3 hours before the beginning of their workday. Most of them use this extra time to exercise, plan their days and get a head start on some of the day's most important tasks.

Doing their most important work early allows founders a quiet, distraction-free environment since the early hours of the morning are often the quietest. It also frees up some of their days so that they have time to engage with their teams and colleagues.

They get enough Sleep

Getting quality sleep is one of the most vital habits of successful founders. This is because successful people understand the critical role sleep plays in assisting our minds and bodies to rejuvenate and recover.

Research has proven that sleep contributes to improvements in learning and helps promote functions such as behavioral and emotional control. Sleep also:

  • Increases neural connections
  • Improves your ability to learn new things and create new memories
  • Improves emotional control, social interactions, and decision making

With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that well-rested founders are more productive and better decision-makers. If you want to join the list of successful founders, carve out enough time in your schedule for at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep. There are a number of habits and new technology that can aid in getting better rest, such as:

  • Stop looking at your devices and TV at least 30 minutes before bed. 
  • Use blackout shades, which have been shown to block over 90% of light to give you the right conditions for your best night’s sleep.
  • New mattress tech that gives you the support you desire with the support your body needs.
  • White noise machines help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer by blocking out exterior noise. 

They make exercise a priority

Studies show that regular exercise clears your mind, helps you feel more motivated, and helps build self-discipline.

Successful founders know this and they set aside at least 30 minutes every day for physical exercise. Richard Branson, for example, wakes up at 5 am every day to bike or play tennis. He believes that this morning routine has doubled his productivity.

If you want to be a successful founder, make daily exercise a routine. Schedule it as you would a meeting and show up every day. You don’t have to master the most complicated yoga poses or look like an Instagram influencer to be successful in business, even a simple workout like walking counts.


Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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