By Justin Zastrow, CEO of Smart Armor.
After reading yet another article on how taking cold showers and working out every morning are the two things that all millionaires have in common, I decided it was time to give you all some real-life, hard-truth explanations on how to become a millionaire.
I could go on and on with outlandish exaggerations, saying that drinking your morning coffee at room temperature and doing hot yoga at midnight will help you get there. But at the end of the day, there is no magic recipe or ritual other than good old-fashioned hard work. Spoiler alert: Elon Musk isn't successful because of the temperature of his shower water.
Not what you wanted to hear? Well, the truth hurts sometimes. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that a good idea will sell itself. They think that success happens overnight. While waking up early, setting short-term goals and getting in a good gym session are all part of what help makes someone successful personally, having a six-pack won't do much for your business.
I have always found that sticking to what you say you're going to do is more important than making plans. I can assure you that wearing the same shirt every day or only sleeping facing north has never helped me. I'm willing to bet it won't help you either. So here's a short and sweet list of things you can do that will put you on the track to success. It's important to remember that just like everything else, nothing is guaranteed.
Hold yourself accountable.
Being your own boss isn't as fun as it sounds. Sometimes not having anyone to answer to can result in procrastination or lack of motivation. Learn to hold yourself accountable to both your long and short-term goals. I like to share what's on my plate and when I want to have it done with my team. Having other people know what you've got planned helps you stick to your to-dos.
Stay organized and on task.
When you have a to-do list, do it. When you know what you want to accomplish in the long term, it's imperative that you identify all of the in-between tasks that will get you there. Project management is key. If project management isn't in your house of tricks, higher someone. If hiring someone isn't in your budget, use tools like Google Keep or Trello to keep you on task.
The best platforms are the simplest ones to use. You don't need to use an expensive platform with 100 features. Stick to something that you can access from your computer and mobile and that keeps you organized. I personally love Trello because it's free, collaborative and super easy to use.
Believe in work/life balance.
While the hustle mentality is important, you should learn when to clock out. Not taking breaks will negatively impact your personal and professional life. Sometimes, taking a break from an idea will help you reset and refresh, allowing you to put your best ideas forward. I like to take Sundays off. I always make sure to check out. That way I come into work on Monday ready to hit the ground running. Also, if I ever have to travel for work, I always try to take an extra day and explore the city I am in.
Listen to others.
Despite what you may think, you are not always right. You might not be the only one with a vision or direction that will be beneficial for you. It's only lonely at the top if you do it all by yourself. Stay humble and open-minded. I particularly love Medium and Quora for this, especially Quora because you can ask anything and gain really insightful feedback.
So there you have it. No need for cold showers, daily journaling and "getting your pump on" at the gym. Want to be successful? Just get to work.
Justin Zastrow is the CEO of Smart Armor.