It’s estimated that there are 400 million entrepreneurs in the world and that number is going up, and up, and up.
With so many rival business owners around for you to compete against, it means your life isn’t about to get any more chilled.
This means it’s essential that those moments when you’re away from your business must be used to rest, recharge, and relax – without this, you’ll crash and burn, sending your business up in flames.
I’ve picked four great ways for busy entrepreneurs to relax and I’ll tell you now – I’ve tried them all and they work.
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Learn to play an instrument
There are a few hobbies that are known to make you smarter, and one of these is learning how to play an instrument. As a busy entrepreneur, you need to get value from every activity you undertake (even those on your R&R schedule) and learning an instrument really gives this to you.
Learning an instrument accesses multiple parts of your brain and enhances your cognitive functions – it’s why it’s such a valued form of therapy. Playing an instrument has even been shown to increase your IQ by up to seven points.
I play an instrument myself (guitar) and while the learning process is testing, it’s a skill I really value having – it gives me a creative outlet, provides me with a way of relaxing, makes me more disciplined, and helps to order my thoughts.
But the really great thing about learning an instrument is that it’s a social exercise – learning with a teacher is socialable and playing with and for others is even more so.
Play online poker
Being an entrepreneur is about love – love for the work you’re undertaking, people you’re managing, and imprint you’re leaving on your industry. But we all need to eat and some of us (myself included) like to eat damn well. It’s for this reason that being an entrepreneur is about a love of making money. So, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way of relaxing that also made you money? Friend, there is – playing online poker.
I was introduced to online poker by my best friend. When we lived together our rooms were next to each other (I’m talking two feet away, with the doors parallel). Consequently, we talked a lot while we relaxed and his way of doing so was playing poker – I was intrigued.
My pal explained the principle of the game and I gave it a shot. It was a lot of fun – it’s competitive, fast-paced, and uses a surprising amount of skills (logic, math, reasoning, assertiveness, and humility). I also made some money from it, though, and I’ll make this very clear, the main reason I played was for fun – the money was just an added bonus.
I recommend you start with No-Limit Texas Hold’em. Why because it’s the simplest type of poker to master. Before you play a game, get acquainted with the basics of the game – you can start with this article from Online Casinos and then watch a video from one of the games masters, Doug Polk, to develop your heads-up game:
Go to a life drawing class
Life drawing is something that might not sound too relaxing, especially if you have limited artistic abilities – you’re on a timer to turn your pencil weavings into something resembling a person, and I get that this could be stressful for you. But hear me out – life drawing is pure relaxation and it gives you something tangible at the end.
You need to begin on a simple premise – to hell with your technical skills, just get lost in the moment and be happy you’re trying (and believe me, you’d have to be really bad to be the worst in your class). Once you’ve kicked over this hurdle, the benefits of a life drawing class are clear:
- Challenges and relaxes you
- Gives you something tangible at the end
- It’s an opportunity to meet new people
So, give life drawing a try and don’t worry if your picture sucks, it’s almost certainly not the shabbiest of the bunch.
Watch the Wes Anderson collection
I accept this is a niche method of relaxation, but, hell, you know yourself that being an entrepreneur is all about niche interest – if you don’t have one then your business is destined to make itself indistinguishable from the crowd. Wes Anderson is a filmmaker whose films have a delicate style, employ effortless storytelling, and cut through the stress of life with acerbic wit.
Wes currently has nine feature-length films in his catalog:
- Bottle Rocket
- The Royal Tenenbaums
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- The Darjeeling Limited
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Moonrise Kingdom
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Isle of Dogs
My strong recommendation is that you start from the beginning and watch them in chronological order. This lets you see how an artist develops their craft and it will also offer some subtle lessons that are relevant to your status as an entrepreneur:
- How to find your individual voice
- How to get your message across
- How using the same employees helps build your business
- How to deal with the trappings of success
- How to evolve when you’ve achieved your initial goals
- How to continue giving your audience what they want
One of the best things about Wes’ films is that they’re all under the two-hour mark – with some falling considerably short of this. So you could comfortably watch one an evening during the working week, then complete the set with two apiece on Saturday and Sunday. My personal pick? Rushmore:
You might have your own ways of relaxing and if you do that’s brilliant. But it’s always good to try new methods because you may find they work even better for you. I’ve tried each of the four approached mentioned in this article and confirm that they help me relax. So give them a shot and give yourself the R&R you need.
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