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5 Ways to Become a Happier Entrepreneur

| November 7, 2012 | 9 Comments


Over the last several months of traveling I’ve found that the people that are the happiest, are often the people with the least.  What does that say about entrepreneurs who often strive to have it all?

People in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and where I am right now in Indonesia, enjoy drinking out of a coconut under a palm tree just as much as the wealthiest people in the world.  Except, these people most likely have a lot less stress.  It’s like the old adage of the capitalist on vacation who tries to convince a happy local fisherman to start the next big fishing empire with him… all so they can make tons of money, and hopefully one day retire to an island, have a quiet life, and spend their days fishing.  What’s the point?

How does an entrepreneur find something to work on that truly brings them happiness?  While nobody can be sure, here are 5 things that should be part of your plan…

Way 1: Start Something That Matters

You are going to spend your life working.

It might as well be something that makes you money.  It might as well also be something that makes the world a better place. Lastly, if I’m going to work as hard as I do, it might as well be from somewhere amazing.  See Step 1 of my 5 Steps to Going Location Independent: Do Meaningful Work.

When all is said and done, your life’s work can be spent working on small ideas, or it can be spent working on big ideas.  That is up to you.

Way 2: Become Clear on What You Want

Write it down.  Make it your goal.  Visualize it.  It’s not the formula that’s tough, it’s the hard work and execution.  At least make it this far.

When we’re young, it’s important that we get as many experiences as possible. If you’ve never had a crappy job, how are you going to appreciate when you find a good one?  If you were never exposed to the world of entrepreneurship, you would have probably never considered it.  If you’re reading Under30CEO you probably go see the speakers, attend the seminars, read the books, and watch the videos.  You had the exposure to taking an alternative path and learned that striking out on your own was a viable career option.

Now, become 100% clear on what you want out of your life and stick to it.  You’ll be happy you did.

 

Way 3: Get Exposed

While I’d always dreampt of making millions of dollars and traveling abroad, I figured that I would be too busy running my business to have the time to see the world.    Until I read the Four Hour Work Week, I never realized that you could run a business and travel at the same time.  Not to mention, that you didn’t need a lot of money to do it.  Thanks for the exposure Tim.

But until I got a taste of it in Costa Rica this summer, I didn’t realize that this was something that I would actually pursue.  A huge component of becoming a entrepreneur who knows what they want is being exposed to new people and new ideas that will get you on the right track.

Way 4: Increase Your Education

Okay, okay, I’m not talking about an MBA.  An entrepreneur’s education should be something can make them money.

The best entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities and investing in self education.  It’s the reason Mark Cuban reads three hours every day.  If you are looking to start a business, work from paradise, penetrate a new market, or find a new challenge to conquer, you’re going to need to learn from people who can help you make it happen.  When an opportunity arises to learn how to get what you want, the most committed entrepreneurs take it.

Education is what Under30Media is about with Under30CEO, Under30Careers, and Under30Finance.  Now, with our new brand Under30Experiences we’re designing educational experiences for young people to go explore developing markets.  We’re helping make a lot of people happy.

Way 5: Meet Meaningful People

Our education partner for the GREEN Business Tour to Costa Rica Mikhail Naumov was smart enough to build a business that allowed him to spend 7 months in Costa Rica last year, while finishing his degree at Rutgers University.  Their company, the Global Renewable Energy Education Network all started with one trip to Costa Rica…

I saw what Mikhail was doing and thought there must be a way that we can work together on a project that gets me closer to my goal: to find opportunities in amazing places around the world.  If you want to build a business that allows you to live the lifestyle of your dreams, you need to connect with others who are doing it.

The Costa Rican School of Happiness

What amazes me about Mikhail’s story and so many people I’ve come across in Costa Rica, is how grateful they are for what they have.  When I heard Costa Rica is Time Magazine’s Happiest Country, I had to experience it for myself.

Luckily for you, we found a way to pay it forward and have designed our GREEN Business Tour to allow you to do just that:  meet meaningful people, who can increase your education about opportunities in an amazing part of the world.

Our adventure will form lifelong friendships in our community of attendees who are looking to start something that matters.  Costa Rica is a leader in clean technology and alternative energy, they are the first country to pledge to become carbon neutral by 2021 and we’ll be meeting with some of the world’s leaders in sustainability and design.

There are approximately 22,000 American expats living in Costa Rica and so many of them are living completely organic lifestyles, living off the energy grid and investing in real estate at the heart of eco-tourism.  They have become clear on what they want and found a way to make it happen.

To attend the GREEN Business Tour to Costa Rica, December 5-9 2012, email matt (AT) under30ceo.com with a paragraph on why you should be considered.  For information on this trip and our Microfinance Surf Camp in Nicaragua and Startup Iceland Adventure in 2013 sign up at http://under30experiences.com

… and remember without action, these 5 Steps won’t make you any happier.

Author bio: Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and is looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet.

About the Author: Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO. Wilson’s passion for entrepreneurship began after leading Bryant University to becoming the world’s #1 entrepreneurs’ organization. After seven months abroad, Matt's official title became Adventurer in Residence, heading up Under30Media's travel company Under30Experiences. If Matt is around he will be easy to spot as his long luxurious hair is generally flowing freely in the breeze.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://www.rahulvarshneya.com/ Rahul Varshneya

    Good post. Here are my two cents on stress, happiness and entrepreneurship.

    When you’re starting up and moving your venture to the fifth gear, having fun outside of work doesn’t come guilt free. Entrepreneurs are human beings after all and human beings need to play as much as they work, if not more! The ‘play’ not only de-stresses you, but actually helps you in your venture by expanding your network, freeing your mind from mundane issues to focus on the creative; the benefit list goes on.

    No person can focus on end number of things each day. The idea is to increase productivity and solve problems that are most crucial for that day. If you pack in many things in your day, you will end up in a mess and will never be able to give your complete and undivided attention where it is due.

    Each morning when you wake up, chalk out the five most important things that you need to do through the day to call it a successful day at the end of it. These five things must be the essential tasks that you must do, without which, you, your team or your customers could not live without. Work on those five things through the day and when done, move on with your life onto things that you love doing outside of work.

    You need to realize that your time is limited. Everyone’s time is limited. You only have 24 hours in a day, and within those hours, do you want to scramble through the day or would you rather do a few things, but do them damn well? The choice is yours!

  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

    Hey Matt,

    I thought this was a great article. I love reading about lifestyle entrepreneur stuff and enjoyed your tips. I agree that starting something that matters to you and to others is very important. I think it helps so much to be passionate about what you do. I also liked how you mentioned traveling while you run a business. I know it doesn’t work with everyones business types, but if you are the online business without need for a physical location I think it is great to travel as much as you can. Cheers!

  • Pingback: Article: 5 Ways to Become a Happier Entrepreneur - Ian Broadmore Life Coaching

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Rahul, thanks for your thoughts here. No matter what your formula, I think it’s super important to figure out your goals and stick to them, regardless of how you execute.

    Time is our most valuable asset, and we can’t buy it back. I’m going to take full advantage today, because you never know when your time is up…!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Pete, glad to hear you enjoyed. I’ve always pictured entrepreneurship to be a vehicle to do the things that I love. Regardless of what business you are in, I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to do the things that you’re passionate about. Travel isn’t for everyone, but I can’t sit still… it helps me focus, and drives me to be more productive so I can continue this lifestyle.

    Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

    You bet Matt! Yeah, I think it’s awesome you are traveling while working. I’ve tried to become more mobile over the last couple years. My e-commerce store manufactures in-house and so I can’t leave as much as I’d like, however the blog and consulting I do is more the mobile type thing which intrigues me. What’s your business or site? Cheers, Pete

  • http://www.rahulvarshneya.com/ Rahul Varshneya

    Hi Matt… couldn’t agree with you more on that one! :)

  • stefanokhan

    Here is my take on how you can become a happier entrepreneur. Happiness starts with the way you approach your daily routine. You can spend 18 hours working (even on a project you love) but that will drain your batteries no matter what. On the other extreme you can take life easy but that will end up in you never getting things done. So here is my answer, finding balance is what matters the most. My business partner wrote this article http://www.mevvy.com/articles/balancing-work-personal-life/ about balancing work and personal life and I truly believe that an approach along these lines is the way to go!!!

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Hi Matt, to have a clear vision is one of the most important things that is what I believe. If you are clear about the plans and actions then execution becomes very smoother. Great insight, time is very less and there is so much to do so make use of every single second available.