An a business owner it is important to take time to relax. However, it is hard for the entrepreneurial mind to turn off. Believe me, I know. This may help; your hobbies can teach you how to run a better business or be a better business person.
Below I have aggregated 10 different hobbies that would allow you to enjoy yourself, relax and keep your mind occupied in a creative way. I have put these together from several studies, research and articles found online. Take a look at them and let us know if there is a hobby you have that is not here and you think can be of great benefit to entrepreneurship.
1. Wine making
Michael Papay, co-founder of employee-feedback tool Waggl, discovered both rest and wisdom while pursuing a wine-making hobby. After being tipped off to the idea by his barber, he found it to be an ideal hobby for entrepreneurs. Wine making is mostly a waiting game and caters to time-strapped professionals. Meanwhile, checking in on the wine helps you feel productive about your hobby, and the finished product is fun and easy to share with others. Papay says the biggest lesson has been patience, which also pays off in spades in his business ventures.
Let’s start with the obvious: It’s important to be prepared. If your chute isn’t packed right, and you don’t have the right training, you’re going to have a very bad experience.
You are also forced to face your fears every single time you jump out of an airplane regardless of how many jumps you’ve already taken. you learn to accept coaching from your instructors to become better. All of these valuable lessons from the open door of an airplane have made me a more successful entrepreneur.
3. Playing an instrument
Music is a unique way to express yourself, and often relaxes your mind after a day of hard work. Warren Buffett plays and teaches the ukulele, and several of his instruments have become collector’s items. It may seem frivolous for a billionaire to tinker with a ukulele, but Buffett gets to blow off steam and recharge before taking the helm at his corporation.
Certain types of hunting can land business owners in hot water with the public, but Mark Zuckerberg likes to hunt and prepare his own food. He spent a year eating only meat that he hunted himself to better understand where his food came from and the efforts that go into consuming it. Hunting for sustenance may seem like an odd hobby, but can make a big impact on how you run your business and life. It helps you embrace a new mindset to question what you’ve always done and be more deliberate with your choices.
5. Helping Children’s Organizations
Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, was a well-known supporter of the Boy Scouts. At one event, he sat by a campfire and chatted with the scouts and their leaders about a range of topics. Despite his standing as an international scout commissioner, Watson was just “one of the boys” for that particular event. Taking the time to help out with young people not only helps you stay young at heart, it gives you a different perspective on issues you face. Suddenly you see the world and your own problems with new eyes.
6. Running Marathons
Michael Quinn, president of Yellow Bridge Interactive, swears bymarathon running and the lessons his favorite hobby has taught him about business. Running requires discipline and hard work with measurable results by what you put into it. Quinn points out that you can’t fake 26.2 miles — you’re either ready for it or not. He uses the mental challenges and intense preparation required to run marathons as inspiration in his business challenges. Taking up distance running helps you learn what you’re truly capable of, push through adversity and persevere no matter the obstacles.
7. Playing Poker
Taking calculated action is often required despite the lack of complete information about your situation. You may understand the odds, but ultimately every move is a gamble.
You face the same uncertainty and thrills in business. You don’t really know your competitors’ plans or what your customers will do next, but do the best you can with the information available. Perhaps most importantly, you learn to see when your competition is bluffing and when it’s time for you to fold and come up with a new plan of action.
Hobbies are a fun and effective way to relax your mind and carve out time to do something different than business building. Hobbies can also make you a better entrepreneur through the lessons learned while pursuing them. What will your next hobby be?
Chess has taught me to look four, five, or six moves down the road. Always know the long-term strategy, but be flexible enough to adapt when an unexpected opportunity or challenge arises.
9. Scuba Diving
Training to be a Dive Master taught me the value of communicating information clearly to a team prior to kicking off any project. A good Dive Master needs to assess the situation before the dive, knowing who may need close attention and who does not. Engaging with each diver allows you to get fair idea of their level of comfort, competence and set expectations for the dive.
Similar to business, winning a competitive fleet race is often not about doing things right, but rather about making as few mistakes as possible. The best sailors minimize errors and are consistent on the race course. If you strive to be consistent and learn from your mistakes, you’re better off than most other entrepreneurs in the world.