Obstacles aren’t in your path. Obstacles are the path.

Think of the richest man you know. I mean really know as in you’ve had dinner with them at some point of time.

Now, very honestly pick out a personal crisis you had during the course of your day. Ok?

Now, how would that person react to such a crisis that possibly frustrated you or spoiled your morning?

Here’s the thing now; The richest man you picked out must’ve been an entrepreneur and his way of reacting to the problem that drove you nuts must’ve been of indifference.

You know why that is? You don’t and you can’t get to the top without stumbling, bruising, falling and hurting yourself once in a while. It’s just a part of life and success. Successful entrepreneurs have made these occasional storms in their life their best friends.

Successful entrepreneurs know that time is the most valuable resource and there just isn’t enough time to let anything at all adversely affect your peace of mind.

Now, a lot of these guys may not be the most polite or gentle creatures mind you and that is a point of discussion for the next and last part of this series. However, these guys don’t let anything get to them because there’s always something more important to do than to beat yourself about what just happened to you.

I know that it must be hard managing so many different things all at once but the answer to dealing with unseen challenges in your life, believe it or not, lies in perfecting your daily rituals.

How you condition your mind to react to things on a day to day and hour to hour basis has more to do with how you handle life situations than anything else. The solution lies in just doing the things you need to do right.

Successful entrepreneurs spend so much time perfecting their craft that it doesn’t matter to them that things go wrong every now and them. They just DO so much each day that it takes care of all the things that can and do go wrong.

Over time though, you keep doing things until you master the ‘learning curve’ on something and come out on the other side a supremely experienced person.

Here are few examples of top entrepreneurs and their daily routines:

  1. Jack Dorsey, Co founder of Twitter & CEO of Square

To handle the responsibilities in both his roles, Jack Dorsey actually spent a period of time working two full 8 hour work days in both companies!

That’s a 16 hour work day. Here’s his weekly routine:

Monday: Management and running the company
Tuesday: Product
Wednesday: Marketing and communications, growth
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Friday: Company culture and recruiting

To find balance in all this chaos, he made a conscious decision to clear out Saturdays for ‘me time’. Here’s what he had to say about facing interruptions in during the course of his jam packed schedule:

“There is interruption all the time but I can quickly deal with an interruption and then know that it’s Tuesday, I have product meetings and I need to focus on product stuff.”

2. Coco Chanel Fashion Designer, Chanel

The iconic fashion designer was a nocturnal being who would go to bed at 2 am and rise around mid day.

She spent a couple of hours at the beginning of her work day in food and leisure and then go ahead to spend a solid 10 hours between 2 pm and 12 am involved in her work.

3. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO VaynerMedia,

GaryVee as he is fondly called believes that if start-up founders want to make it, they should put in at least 18 hours a day for the first year of their business.

“In launching a business, you have made a decision that does not allow you, in Year One, any time to do anything but build your business. “Every minute — call it 18 hours a day out of 24 — if you want this to be successful, needs to be allocated for your business. I think one of the biggest reasons so many people go out of business in the first year, first two years … is they don’t realize how hard it is and how all-in you have to be,”

4. Elon Musk, CEO Tesla

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”

Elon Musk believes that working hours for entrepreneurs: “Varies per person, but about 80 sustained, peaking above 100 at times. Pain level increases exponentially above 80.”

Here’s a look at how many hours some tech entrepreneurs are working each week:

“I usually work from home from 9 am-10 am, and then at the office from 10 am-7 pm. I’ll go out to dinner and then work from 10 pm-2 am, depending on workload.”

Blaine Vess, CEO & Founder, Study Mode
“During the week, I’ll work 6:30 am-5 pm and 6-10 pm (travel time in between). On the weekends, I’ll check my email here and there, and work during my daughter’s three-hour naps.”

– Len Gauger, Founder and CEO, Message Blocks

“My work days are usually split into two shifts – 11 am-5 pm, then 9 pm-3 am. In between those shifts, I like to hit the Crossfit gym.”

– Justin Zhu, CEO & Co-Founder, Iterable

Sampad Swain, Co-founder & CEO at Instamojo, says his weekly schedule includes 60 hours of work.

For Naiyya Saggi, of BabyChakra, the ideal working hours range around the 80-hour mark. Although, she admitted that she was “trying to get more efficient”.

The thing here is to understand that most of these entrepreneurs aren’t working such long hours because working long hours is a guarantee for success. It is actually more of a necessity and especially early on…a necessity for survival. I speak from experience as an entrepreneur that at this very moment at 2:39 am, I would love to forget everything and just go sleep, like a baby!

However, things never go as planned and that’s what forces you to compensate for the lost time and work more. That’s the point!

Working long hours is just a sure way to ensure that you have compensated for lost time and taken a buffer over unanticipated situations that can come in the way of your projects becoming successful.

The idea is to not stop to cry over how tired you are or how something went wrong and set you back a few weeks but to keep working until you reach a level of security where you can rest in the knowledge that the market won’t edge you out of the game!

But see, that’s the reason I keep highlighting the importance of doing the work you believe in and love. Ultimately as an entrepreneur you realise that working 80-100 hours a week is not a bad deal against working 40 hours a week because in those 80 hours you’re getting the opportunity to create what you believe in.

That’s what matters! Isn’t it? 🙂

Love,

Jay

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