Entrepreneurs tend to thrive in environments of healthy competition. Without challenges, there is no growth, so it’s within the hotbed of competition that many entrepreneurs truly find their stride and earn their stripes.
We all have 24 hours in a day, so how is it that some competitors stand out while others can’t seem to get ahead? When it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s not about what you’re given, but what you do with what you have that will help you go the distance. How are you going to rise above your competition?
Here is an incredibly simple but extremely powerful tried-and-tested list of the three things you can start doing today to outperform your competition.
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom. — Aristotle
What drives you out of bed in the morning? Is it the alarm clock? Or the knowledge that somewhere out there a competitor is probably already cranking on something? If it’s not the latter, then you may want to consider adjusting your mindset and your alarm clock.
No matter how early you’re getting up, odds are pretty good you could be waking up at least 30 minutes earlier. Doing so gives you a leg up on your competition. If you really want to go for broke, make it an hour earlier, but you can ease into that 30 minutes at a time.
The truth is that waking up early sets you up for success the rest of the day. This is often when you’re going to find the time to exercise, eat a real breakfast and do many of the other morning rituals that ultimately build your success.
Try it. Waking up early will change your life and give you more time in your working, waking day to get a head start on your competition.
2. Exercise seven days a week, no exceptions
To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving. — Jerry Seinfeld
Seinfeld could have been speaking about metaphorical movement or physical movement, but either way, moving your body will change your life. There is no excuse for every entrepreneur not to move every day.
Movement gets your brain going, your blood flowing, the oxygen circulating and the ideas flowing. It keeps your body healthy so your mind can stay healthy. You have to have a strong mind and a healthy body to outperform your competition.
If you’re sick, tired, run down, stressed, filled with anxiety or in any other way impeded by your physical health, you are not going to be able to keep up with competitors. If you follow step number one and start waking up 30 to 60 minutes earlier a day, you can use that time to go for a walk, a jog, a yoga session or the gym.
You choose your movement of choice, but no matter the weather or how hectic the workday, choose to build exercise and movement into your routine daily to outperform your competition.
3. Give back every day
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others? — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If you want a powerful, foolproof method for jumping out of bed in the morning instead of reaching for the snooze button, ask yourself this one question by Dr. King: What can I do for others today?
Often, we as human beings try to make this question mean something so big that we let our egos cop out of answering the question. If you can’t change the world today, is there any action worth taking? The answer is yes and it starts much smaller.
Ask who you can help today when you get out of bed (30 minutes earlier, of course) then notice how that tees up your perspective all day. You can unload the dishwasher, you can give the guy on the corner a few dollars as you pass, you can spend a few minutes writing an email connecting two people that would benefit from the introduction — there’s a long list of limitless options to help.
While you might think this has nothing to do with outperforming your competition, it does. Not only will it improve your life, but you’ll be simultaneously building a network and reputation based on improving other lives. That can only benefit you in the long game.