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STARTUP

How to Be a Happier (and Less Stressed) Entrepreneur

Adopt these five rules to make sure the stress of starting up doesn't get you down.

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As the saying goes, money doesn't buy happiness--but especially when you're an entrepreneur.

Gurbaksh Chahal, the chairman and CEO at RadiumOne, says being financially successful is one thing, and being happy is quite another. "As an entrepreneur, I've been fortunate to see financial success but that has little connection to genuine happiness," he writes in a post on LinkedIn.

He says entrepreneurs need to cultivate happiness by getting out of business mode and balancing their daily lives. "Let passion dictate the 86,400 seconds you share with the world each day," he urges.

Below, read a few rules for happiness Chahal says he lives by.

Unplug.

Starting your own business means that you have to be constantly connected to your smartphone and laptop--hoping that email comes through from a venture capitalist, waiting for an answer from your partner. But the "wired world" is just as important as your "real world," Chahal writes. "Set aside the phone and the laptop and carve out quality time with the people that really matter to you. At the end of the day, they are the only definition of what's real," he writes. "Time is actually our greatest virtue. Cherish each of these real moments."

Continue your education.

Many entrepreneurs, including Chahal, dropped out of high school and ditched college to pursue their dream, but that doesn't mean they stopped learning. Education is a life-long process. "Feeding the brain is a strong component to happiness. Never relax or rest on your laurels; always look for ways to give more than what's expected from you," he writes. "Challenge yourself. Open your mind and keep it open."

Don't over-think it.

You are never going to have all the answers, no matter how hard you think, how many dinners with the family you miss. The key, Chahal says, is to not over-think things. "The answers will come to you when you least expect them. Trust your gut. We are complicated creatures. That inexplicable feeling you get sometimes-well, it tends to be right fairly often," he writes. "Try not to overanalyze it. Some mysterious Inner You is trying to help out by pointing you in the right direction."

Make peace with the past.

Being an entrepreneur means you make a lot of mistakes. Whatever you do, don't let the past "disturb your present," Chahal writes. "Forward movement is the key. You will have bad days, and more than your fair share of failures," he says. "But, it's really about getting back on your feet, dusting yourself off, and getting on with this business of living."

Forgive.

Just as you forgive yourself for past mistakes, you have to forgive those around you. Do not subscribe to the notion of revenge. "Most people believe in revenge, but I've realized that's just negative energy that precludes happiness," Chahal writes. "We all run into people in our lives that test us, use us, hurt us or even disappoint us, but revenge doesn't serve a purpose."

IMAGE: Complot/Shutterstock
Last updated: Nov 22, 2013

WILL YAKOWICZ is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
@WillYakowicz




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