The art of creative leisure time is a critical component of success.
Entrepreneurs are a special breed of person. They’re go-getters, risk-takers and dreamers. Yet, even the most driven entrepreneur needs to take a break from time to time. Spending every second of your day on your business is stressful, and you will lose your drive very soon. If you want to stay energetic and ready to take on new challenges at work, hobbies are what you need.
What’s more, hobbies can also help entrepreneurs develop new skills and perspectives that can bring forth new opportunities in their business ventures. If you’re unsure where to start when choosing a hobby, give these five hobbies a go!
Whether exploring new countries or just taking a small getaway, traveling is one of the best ways to broaden your perspective and generate fresh thoughts. When you’re out of your comfort zone and surrounded by new sights, sounds and people, you’re more likely to have those “a-ha” moments that might lead to breakthroughs s in your business.
Manjit Minhas, co-founder & CEO of Minhas Breweries, attributes much of her success to her love of travel in a blog post. “Traveling keeps your mind sharp and, in a new environment, you may find that your creativity really spikes,” she wrote. Exposure to new cultures, foods and environments has inspired many of her beer and spirits products. For example, her trip to her father’s ancestral home in India sparked the idea of bringing back her family’s whiskey recipe.
Koel Thomae, the founder of Noosa Yoghurt, also had a eureka moment while on a trip. In 2004, she took a trip back to her native Australia and tried a new kind of yoghurt there. In 2009, she turned that recipe into Noosa Yoghurt, a brand with US$220 million in sales in 2017.
Apart from stimulating new ideas, traveling also gives you a chance to see how businesses operate in different parts of the world. By observing the way businesses function in other countries, you can gain insights to improve your own business model. Moreover, traveling is a great way to relieve stress and learn more about different cultures, making you a more well-rounded and interesting person.
Learning a new language
Anyone who has attempted to learn a new language knows it is no easy task for even the most intelligent people. In addition to memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules, you also have to learn to think in a new way. So, why would anyone want to put themselves through that trouble? Well, it turns out that there are quite a few benefits to learning a new language, especially for entrepreneurs.
First, being bilingual or multilingual can give entrepreneurs a significant advantage. It can open up new markets and help build relationships with international clients or partners. In addition, learning a new language can help to improve cognitive skills, such as problem-solving and multitasking. Further, it demonstrates that you are willing to make the extra effort to learn something new and challenging. This kind of dedication and perseverance is essential for any successful business owner.
As a result, it’s no surprise that many successful entrepreneurs can speak multiple languages:
- Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group, says learning English is one of his keys to success;
- Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, picks up Mandarin from communicating with his wife;
- Paul Bulcke, the former CEO of Nestlé, can speak Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish fluently; and
- Marissa Mayer, the co-founder of Sunshine Contacts, took up German and Spanish classes at a very young age.
So, if you’ve been meaning to learn another language, don’t wait any longer! It could be the best decision you ever make for your business.
With everyone walking around with a smartphone with a high-quality camera in their pocket these days, it’s easier than ever to get into photography—and it’s an excellent hobby for entrepreneurs. Photography requires you to think outside the box and devise new and innovative ways to capture a scene or subject. This type of thinking is essential for entrepreneurs who need to be able to come up with new ideas and solutions on a daily basis.
Additionally, photography can teach you how to be patient. To take the best picture, you must wait for the right moment and think strategically. You also have to be more observant to notice small details and interesting compositions that others might miss. These all require patience, which is a significant virtue in entrepreneurship. After all, success doesn’t happen overnight, and patience trains you to spot opportunities that others might overlook.
Furthermore, photography will help you to hone your visual storytelling skills. In today’s social media-driven world, being able to tell a compelling story through images is a valuable skill for any entrepreneur.
Playing an instrument
Anyone in a band knows that being a musician is about having excellent listening skills, experimenting, conquering repeated failures, cooperating and compromising. All these are equally essential in a successful business venture.
It’s no wonder many accomplished entrepreneurs are also active performing musicians. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and founder of Silver Lake Partners and Elevation Partners Roger McNamee are some big names rocking both in the business world and the music realm. Allen released his debut blues-rock album Everywhere at Once in 2013 at the age of 50; McNamee was a member of the band Flying Other Brothers from 1997 to 2006 and now plays with another band, Moonalice.
If you’re looking to maximize your entrepreneurial potential, take up a musical instrument and start jamming!
Many people view cooking as a chore. But for some, cooking is a relaxing yet rewarding hobby. Cooking helps instill important qualities, including creativity, innovation and resourcefulness, into entrepreneurs.
At some point in your cooking journey, you will want to create your own dishes or add some personal touch to your favorite recipes. This is a great chance to train your ability to make something unique that you are proud of—much like what’s on an entrepreneur’s mind.
When cooking, you don’t always have what you need on hand when you cook. Hence, you have to be resourceful and use whatever ingredients you have to produce something delicious. Entrepreneurs often face challenges that require making sharp decisions, from giving impromptu responses at a business pitch to dealing with emergencies, like shipping delays. To handle these situations, you have to be quick-witted and come up with solutions on the spot.
Even if you’re not particularly good at cooking now, don’t be discouraged; practice makes perfect (or at least palatable)!
Of course, many other hobbies besides these five can also help entrepreneurs maximize their drive. Any hobby can work wonders if it strikes your fancy and brings you joy. So next time you feel burned out, pick up one of these hobbies and jumpstart your entrepreneurial drive.
- How Entrepreneurs Can Unwind and Get Ready for New Year
- Countering Burnout in the Remote Work Era
- 6 Tips to Make Business Travel Productive
- The Rising Use of Aerial Photography in the Real Estate Industry
Header image courtesy of Freepik