It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. From crazy work weeks, discovering unforeseen challenges, hiring and firing employees, and even just staying sane and healthy, there are many obstacles. It’s even more challenging when you’re a young entrepreneur without years of experience and domain expertise.
But there are also advantages. Young entrepreneurs are agile, creative, and often find unique productivity hacks to get stuff done. To get some insight on what makes young entrepreneurs flourish, I reached out to 15 high-performing entrepreneurs under 30. Here’s what they said:
Use online productivity tools like Podio.
“An amazing client introduced me to Podio. It’s the best project management and CRM tool I’ve used. It’s free to start, which is great for entrepreneurs who are very cautious of their overhead. It only begins billing when you’ve added more than 5 employees and 5 clients/contractors. It’s how we manage workflow, create calendar reminders and have helped remove the need for internal chain emails. I can’t say enough good things about Podio.”
Nora Miller, 29, Co-Founder of Anderson Miller PR
Stay on top of projects with Boomerang.
“Boomerang for Gmail is one of my favorite apps for productivity. As an entrepreneur, deadlines are constantly looming and things just have to get done. Boomerang automatically sends me reminders for emails that still need a response or require follow up. It’s the perfect tool to help entrepreneurs improve their execution and complete projects on time!”
Joseph Hirschhorn Howard, 25, Founder of WordPress Buffs
Manage relationships on LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn is a valuable way to manage both past, present, and future relationships. Before meeting with anyone I make sure to Link in with them. Even if someone does not immediately accept my request they do look at my profile. This ensures that they have a general understanding of my background, what I’m working on at Nineteenth Amendment, and connections that we have in common. I am also gathering this information before hand so that when we do meet we save time on introductions and we can dive into a more focused conversation.”
Amanda Curtis, 27, Co-founder of Nineteenth Amendment
Relax and select airplane mode.
“Become best friends with Airplane mode on your phone. Unless you’re a surgeon, there’s no reason you can’t go 25 minutes without responding to a phone call. During your focus period, hit that airplane icon and enjoy a life without rings, dings and other intrusive notifications.”
Alexander Schultz, 28, CEO of Complete
Prepare your mind daily.
“The key for me is to prepare my mind each day for quality thinking. I do this with a rake, a shovel, and an axe, among other tools. I wake up early to do yard work. I live on a wooded/meadowy multi-acre lot, and there’s always plenty to do. My goal is less about getting the grass mowed or the felled logs split. It’s more about clearing my mind through the rhythm of sweat and technique. Take mowing the lawn, for example. Once you make your first line, all subsequent lines are just “repeat.” This requires very little mental bandwidth, which frees my mind to dwell and reflect the day’s upcoming questions.”
Jon Colgan, 29, Founder of CellBreaker.com
Prioritize your list.
“Each morning I take my very long to do list and pick out the key tasks that need to be done today. This should only consist of 3 or 4 items (choose no more than five) that if they do not get done today it will be detrimental to progress. Out of those items I block off time to do half (1-2 tasks) in morning and the other half (1-2 tasks) in the afternoon. The rest of my day can they be spent tackling fires or road blocks as they pop up, which they always inevitably do!”
Kim Kaupe, 29,Co-founder of ZinePak