By Mike Baird
I recently came across an interesting quote that got me thinking. According to Scott McNealy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, “As a leader, you’re not allowed to go out and have beers on Friday night and break character.” Now, as a real estate entrepreneur, you may not be starting the next Fortune 500 business, but you do have a reputation to uphold. People in the real estate business want to do business with people that they can trust to show up on time, get the job done, and make the sale.
That got me thinking about how I blow off steam and deal with stress in my daily life and how my reputation as an investor affects my behavior. Getting drunk on Friday nights can be bad for your reputation and isn’t the best way to deal with stress. Here are some of the best ways to de-stress that work better than alcohol and won’t leave your reputation bruised or broken on Monday morning.
Consciously Practice Gratitude
First of all, top entrepreneurs and businesspeople around the world agree that gratitude is a strong tool for dealing with stress, being more productive, and generally having a better outlook on your work. Oprah Winfrey is a big proponent of actively practicing gratitude each day. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, says that you should focus on making your employees happy and they’ll make your customers happy for you.
Essentially, if you’re feeling stressed, take a minute to focus on what’s going well in your life and with your business. Then actively show your gratitude to the people who make those things possible. You’ll instantly feel some of that stress fall away. The more you do this, the less stressed you’ll feel.
Make Time for Yourself and Your Family
CEO of Cloudera, Mike Olson, advises stressed entrepreneurs to “find ways to enjoy your family. Eat well. Get some exercise. And leave the office at the office.” As a real estate entrepreneur, that last part might be a little bit difficult. After all, you have to do a lot of your work when you’re on the road, at home, and on construction sites. How do you leave all that at “the office”?
My secret to leaving my work at the office is to schedule time for myself and my family. It’s not very spontaneous, but it lets me make room for the things that matter. Plus, when I know that I’m going to be taking my wife and kid out for a fun afternoon, my whole morning seems less stressful, no matter what I have to get done.
Focus on How Far You’ve Come, Not How Far You Have to Go
Finally, you’ve probably heard that old saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Well, it applies to your rehab projects, your deals, and your whole real estate business. If you focus on all of your imperfections and how far you have to go to “make it” as a real estate entrepreneur, all your hair’s going to turn gray and fall out. Let go of that perspective and look at how far you’ve come already, and you’ll be on the road to feeling less stressed every day.
Whether you’ve only done a few flip deals or you’re starting to take on more and more projects at once, if you know how to de-stress in a positive, healthy way, you won’t struggle with stress, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed nearly as much.