In our last management meeting for Alumnify, one of the team bonding exercises we did was to each say what animal we would be and why. My response was a lion, and when asked to explain, I argued that many entrepreneurs share similarities with these giant cats. Lions stay focused when hunting, use rest and diet to keep themselves the kings of the jungle, and rely on a team to catch prey. Here are three ways you can become a lion in business and in your personal life:
1. Have Laser Focus by Eliminating Distractions
When a lion is hunting a zebra, it uses all its senses to accomplish the task at hand. You need to be the same way when working on your business. The best way to do this is to start eliminating your distractions.
First, get rid of the TV. It's one of the worst time killers. Second, make a list of all the people you hang out with on a regular basis. Then ask yourself which of those people are helping you become the person you want to be. If they don't make the cut, remove them from your life. It may sound harsh, but if you don't move on without them, they're going to bring you down. This is especially true for people who criticize your goals. No one builds statues for critics, and you don't have time for haters.
Finally, start meditating. Ten minutes of mediation right when you wake up will clear your mind and help you focus on what needs to get done for the day. Over time, it will also help you spend less time caring about what others think of you. Tywin Lannister said it best: "A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of a sheep."
2. Take Care of Yourself
Lions sleep 20 hours a day. While you don't need to go that far, you need to make time to rest. Stop depriving yourself of sleep. For some reason, entrepreneurs like to brag about sleeping only four to five hours a night. But this sleep schedule will not only cause you to lose concentration and gain weight but also make it look as though you don't trust your team.
Understand people will judge you on results. Begin by making a list of tasks that you're responsible for getting done every day. When you find yourself unable to complete tasks, delegate them to a team member or plan a few extra hours on the weekend for work. Work on your schedule until you can get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
After that's accomplished, start hitting the gym. Too many people sacrifice getting in shape for being an entrepreneur because they overthink how to get started. The key is to first develop one healthy habit. Then, adding more habits becomes easier over time. Next week, force yourself to go to the gym Monday through Friday before you start work. Wake up early, or tell your team you'll be arriving at the office a half an hour later because you're getting in shape. They'll understand. Whatever you do, try to aim to hit as close to the same time every day as possible. Once you do this without fail for about a month, incorporating other healthy habits will become much easier.
3. Work With a Pack of Lions
Lions are the only social cats, especially when catching and eating their prey. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to recruit entrepreneurial-minded people to work with. Allow and encourage your team members to make their own decisions and take on new challenges. Take the time to look for ways to help people in your company grow.
As the leader, your ultimate goal is to be the dumbest person in the company. Be wary of people on your team who can't think for themselves or are not interested in taking on new tasks. If these people exist in your organization, you must remove them from the pack. Installing a focus on self-improvement is the best way to encourage your team to take risks, work harder, and love the company. When you have people who don't give into that vision, they'll bring the rest of the organization down. As Steve Jobs once said, "A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players."