As a Founding CEO, do your daily habits serve you well? Or, are they default behaviors that detract from your success? Or, are they positive additions to your life, but fall short of the definition of a habit?
You can’t go far these days without hearing about habits. It seems that many have taken the mantle of the late Dr. Stephen Covey and his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” into 2015. There’s Charles Duhigg’s popular book, The Power of Habit. Fast Company recently even compiled a short list of some of the more popular habit books.
But, what about Founding CEOs? What habits help sustain, strengthen, and serve you on your roller coaster journey of entrepreneurship?
A few months ago I began asking this very question to the Founding CEOs on my podcast. It was not initially a question that I incorporated into the show. But, before we hit the record button I often get a chance to just chat with my Founding CEO guests and the topic of habits comes up.
So, I started asking about this during the recorded interview. Here are 10 curious habits of 10 successful Founding CEOs.
Communicate With Others
There is a great deal of advice out there about habits. I found that some of the habits of my podcast guests were a bit curious and contrary to want conventional wisdom and some well known Founder & CEOs say.
This first group of Founding CEO habits revolve around communicating with others.
- Jason Will, CEO of ZipKick, said, “Everyday when I wake up, I reply to all of the tweets that I received over night.”
- Omar Soliman, CEO of College Hunks Hauling Junk, said, “Gratitude…waking up in the morning and being grateful for what you have…getting out and connecting with at least one customer or front line team member everyday…”
- Joshua Dorkin, CEO of BiggerPockets, said he still gets up and knocks out his email.
- Matt Barba, CEO of Placester, said, “I get up at the same time everyday…and clear my email for 30 minutes and then I go running.”
This is really intriguing to me because I often hear conventional wisdom preaching about leaving communication via email, text, phone etc. to a later time in the day, or even just certain days of the week. It reminded me that their consistent focus on communication with others is probably why all four Founding CEOs are extremely successful.
Be Intentional With Your Time
Another habit theme that I found interesting, was the focused intentionality with time. Here is what I heard from four other successful Founding CEOs.
- Andrew Krebs-Smith, CEO of Social Fulcrum, literally puts everything on his calendar.
- Allyson Downey, CEO of weeSpring, identifies three things each day that are her “must-dos.”
- Suzanne Solsona, CEO of MyMayu, said she does one thing she really doesn’t want to do (and that needs to get done) and does it first thing in the morning.
- Laura Roeder, CEO of Edgar, learned to “touch” things only once after she read David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
What they all seem to be saying is that they understand the value of their time. They may not always be perfect about using their time, but they are conscious and purposeful about putting it to good use.
Exercise Your Mind
The third habit theme of these successful Founding CEOs has to do with exercising the mind. I would have assumed most would mention physical exercise (some did, but not as their first response) is an important daily habit. It is, for sure. But, when asked the question about successful daily habits, two Founding CEOs responded about activities that exercise their mind.
- John Bodrodzic, CEO of HomeZada, stays well read and “fresh” by reading from multiple sources of content on a daily basis.
- Mattan Griffel, CEO of One Month, actually writes 750 words a day by using www.750words.com. Then, after this is done, he meditates.
I found it fascinating and a bit curious that communicating with others, being intentional with time, and exercising the mind were the three common themes amongst this group of highly successful Founding CEOs. I’m not sure I would have expected these habit themes.
This is certainly not a conclusive list. And, some of these may not personally help you become a “successful Founding CEO.”
But, I hope it helps you think about your CEO habits – those that are and are not serving you. If you have read Darren Hardy’s book “The Compound Effect,” you would know the power a good daily habit can have on your entire life.
What Founding CEO habits work for you? Please share them below in the comments so we can all learn from each other.