When I first started building my entrepreneurial career, I worked non-stop, day and night, glued to the screen. Fueled by anxiety and junk food, I was desperate to do whatever it took to make money and see success.
Those were the days of checking my phone every minute, of saying yes to everything offered to me even when I knew in my gut I didn’t want to do it.
Nowadays I approach my business in a different way that the younger me wouldn’t have understood. When we start out we sometimes focus on getting things done more than how we want to feel and who we want to be.
Here are eight things you can do to be sure you are getting the lifestyle you want first, and building your business around it. Because your happiness should be your number-one priority. Because ‘I wish I had worked more’ is not one of the top regrets of the dying.
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1. Establish your vision
Without a map, you go in circles. Your vision is that map. When you write it down, visualise yourself inside of it. Feel it, smell it, sense it.
You may wonder how you are going to know what you will want 10 years from now, but your vision is a living, breathing document. It changes as you change. The important thing is to let it guide you every day.
2. Set lifestyle goals
We tend to focus only on goal setting when it comes to business. But what about your life? Some of my lifestyle goals are to salsa dance weekly, to continue my pursuit of being in the Olympics and to visit Africa this year.
3. Cultivate meaning
A purpose-filled life is the key to happiness. Each day as I meet people and interact, I plan to spread positivity and brighten the day for others.
4. Give back
I give as much as I can to many favorite charities, but I have a special love for Pencils of Promise. I am working on building my third school with them.
Giving back is your unique way of adding value in the world. When we give, it multiplies. You are guaranteed to generate more prosperity than you could imagine by giving selflessly.
Call it karma. Call it cause and effect. Whatever you call it, it is the simple truth.
5. Strive for balance
There are plenty of nights when I am up later than I should be and times when I have spent more hours in a plane than I would like. I balance these times with eating healthy, relaxing with friends and connecting with family and loved ones.
I say strive for balance because there will be times when you are pushing hard for a deadline, or for a championship game, or a launch, and you will be outside the comfort zone for maybe longer than you wish. Set up some down time after big pushes to recharge for the next big thing.
If you are playing big in life, there is always the next big thing, so balance isn’t necessarily about slowing down but being in touch with what recharges you and doing that when you first feel the need to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
6. Don’t forget to play
I am committed to add an element of play to everything I do. I live life with passion: dancing, laughing, playing my guitar, listening to music. I am always encouraging my friends, clients, or strangers to do the same.
I am blessed to have been to many amazing places around the world like Guatemala, New Zealand, Hawaii, Argentina, Spain and more. Travel keeps life in perspective and pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenging me to expand my understanding of the world.
8. Say ‘I love you’
Gratitude and love are the keys to fulfillment. I tell my family, friends, and employees how much I appreciate them as often as I can. There is no point in withholding, because you can’t take it with you. Your love is your wealth, so spend away.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.