The companies in this article were included in the Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index. This article originally published January 9, 2016.
For most entrepreneurs, startup life usually involves strong lattes and hours of being glued to your laptop. That’s why it’s important to unwind.
Whether it’s through vigorous exercise or conditioning your mental strength, keep reading to see how the founders featured in the Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index indulge when they’re not working.
1. Find a physical activity you enjoy.
“I love to run and surf. In both cases, you are fully focused on the exercise at hand, which gives you a break and mental relief from running your business all day and other sources of stress.”
— Olga Vidisheva, founder and CEO of Shoptiques, an ecommerce destination that sells goods from local boutiques
2. Keep things in perspective.
“I remind myself that the journey ahead is long and bumpy and no matter how bad a situation may seem at first, it’s never as bad as my imagination makes it seem.”
— Gautam Gupta, co-founder and CEO of NatureBox, a monthly subscription service that delivers healthy snacks
3. Be sure to take time off.
“I make time for friends and family. Burnout is real and affects everyone. Taking time off can be difficult as CEO, especially when you’re growing fast, but I find it pays back large dividends. After spending time with those I care about most, I always return more productive than ever. Plus, the company follows the CEO’s lead, and it’s important to model balance. That’s what sustains growth in the long run.”
— Matt Straz, founder and CEO of Namely, a cloud-based platform that helps businesses manage payroll, benefits and other HR needs
4. Find ways to turn off your work brain.
“You can’t think about work all the time or you’ll go nuts, so you’ve got to find a way to turn off sometimes. I’m a big fan of documentaries and basketball.”
— Joe Coleman, co-founder and CEO of Contently, a software business that helps companies build audiences by managing the workflow of marketing content
5. Hit the streets.
“Go for a run. It’s like a reset button for the mind.”
— Jamie Siminoff, CEO and chief inventor of Ring, the maker of the Ring Video Doorbell, which allows users to answer the door from anywhere via smartphone
6. Take a break when you need it.
“Don’t let frustration completely take over you. In moments of high stress, take five minutes to get away from your work. Come back to your desk with a new perspective. Also, music has always been a way to help spark inspiration in me when creating art. The key is finding that thing — whether it be music, art or just taking a walk — that gets your creative juices flowing.”
— Aaron Firestein, co-founder and chief artist of BucketFeet, an online retailer that collaborates with artists to design and create footwear
7. Stick to a healthy routine.
“I always try to create and stick to a routine that accommodates exercise and enough sleep. I always try to remind myself to focus on only stuff that really matters.”
— Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that focuses on user privacy and doesn’t track searches
8. Team up to take on challenges.
“Take on growth challenges one step at a time. As our business matures and the fear of not making payroll diminishes, we took situations we usually perceived as stressful — like rolling out health insurance or opening in a new market — and went to work putting together the pieces. Collaborating with our team and reaching out to friends and mentors, we usually figure out how to solve the problem. Now we look forward to the challenges that in the past scared us to death.”
— Jayson Rapaport, co-founder and co-owner of Birds Barbershop, a brand of salons that markets affordable, high-quality cuts and color services. The company recently launched a line of hair-care products.
9. Spend time with your loved ones.
“We emphasize to our employees to put family and relationships first. If you need time with your people to re-energize you, we take that very seriously and it is always top priority. You might have one of the most interesting jobs on the planet, but without perspective on what that work is for, you’ll eventually burn out.”
— David Simnick, co-founder and CEO of SoapBox Soaps, a maker of all-natural, handmade soaps that donates soap products to children in need
10. Push your body.
“Exercise. Physical exertion is the best way to turn your brain off.”
— Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter, which lets employers post jobs to hundreds of job boards with one submission and sends job seekers postings via tailored email alerts.