Understanding How Sleep Impacts Entrepreneurs

Sleep Cycle Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week in order to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. It’s a crazy bargain, but entrepreneurs do gain more freedom and control over their destiny in life.

Sleep Cycle Entrepreneur

So, if you’re working 80+ hours a week – dealing with stress as an entrepreneur – how does sleep impact you?

Quite frankly, I chose this topic because my sleep cycle has been all over the place the past few weeks. Working as a freelance writer gives me the freedom to work during the hours I feel most productive. And, as a natural night owl, that means writing until the first glimmers of morning sun hit my desk.

But the demands of life change. Missing morning and afternoon messages from clients can be a challenge. Being awake while friends and family are sleeping also hurts your ability to achieve some semblance of work/life balance. So, I find myself in a constant push and pull between working late and waking up early. Only one can win in the end.

Night Owls vs. Early Birds – Who wins the battle for increased productivity?

If you interview Fortune 500 CEOs, you’ll have a hard time finding one that isn’t up at the crack of dawn. Sir Richard Branson, for example, has an infamous sleep regimen. He prioritizes healthy sleeping habits that allow him to reliably get 5-6 hours of rest. What’s interesting is that he utilizes a strict nighttime and morning routine.

He argues that having a consistent pattern at the start and end of everyday allows for him to be most productive. He also emphasizes the importance of making dinner an opportunity to gather with thought-leaders and toss around ideas for improving how Virgin operates.

Since he’s up at 5am, that places him in the early-bird category. But that doesn’t mean you have to be an early riser in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Are night owls more intelligent?

There is some evidence to suggest that your natural sleep cycle could have something to do with your intelligence. The London School of Economics commissioned a study to better understand the link between intelligence and your sleep cycle.

The study involved more than 20,000 adolescents from a variety of schools across the United Kingdom. They were given an IQ test at a young age. Then, five years later, they were interviewed regarding their sleeping habits.

Even when you factor in demographical variances, the night owls consistently scored higher on IQ tests.

Anecdotally, I’ve found that the vast majority of full-time freelancers that I’ve worked with are night owls. And the vast majority of corporate clients are early risers.

But you need more than intelligence as an entrepreneur. A hard-working, driven entrepreneur will outperform a smarter entrepreneur with poor work-ethic every day of the week.

Embrace your natural sleep cycle whenever you can.

I think a fair conclusion is that we adapt to what we need to accomplish. For a corporate executive at a Fortune 500, you’re going to finely tune your sleep cycle to allow you to be awake when the rest of your team is operating. Being the first in and the last out of your office is one way to differentiate yourself from your peers and improve your chances of being recognized, promoted and better compensated.

I’ve worked in retail sales. I could push for shifts later in the day, but if I was on the schedule, I was on the schedule.

One of the reasons I’ve embraced the freelance, digital nomad lifestyle is that I’m free to work when I choose to. I’m able to stay up until I’m tired, and sleep in until I feel well-rested.

This means my sleep cycle is constantly shifting. But it also means that I’m better able to listen to my body’s needs.

I think the jury is still out on whether it’s best to be a night owl or an early bird. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs that like to work into the early morning hours and sleep into the early afternoon. And there are endless Fortune 500 CEOs that treat their sleep cycle as a fundamental building-block for maximizing personal effectiveness in their management of complex organizations.

The key is to find what works best for you. Every job is different. If you can embrace a career that supports your natural sleep cycle, I think you’ll be happier and more productive. But I can only offer that opinion on the basis of personal experience.

Social Grow is How Big Brands Generate Digital Relationships with Consumers

Social Grow

Social Grow is a trendy marketing term thrown around by hip marketing executives in the boardroom. Social Growth is so two-thousand and late. Social Grow is rising in popularity because it encapsulates the constantly evolving world of social media marketing – it sounds more like an action than a boring analytical term.

Are you looking for a way to boost your brand’s social grow? Do you need to connect with consumers in the same way that influencers build digital relationships with their audience? You’re in the right place. Let’s dive deeper.

Social Grow – The Platform

I’d briefly like to point out the Instagram marketing agency that has built a brand around Social Grow. They offer monthly packages and promise to help you become instafamous. I have not personally used their service, but they have more than a few verifiable testimonials and offer a money-back guarantee.

From the outside looking in, it appears that they use their algorithms to promote your Instagram account to real users that follow Instagram profiles that are similar to yours. Although their pricing seems really, really low for a “24/7 managed” service. So, if you do give them a try, you do so at your own risk.

They aren’t the focus of this article, but I wanted to acknowledge that some of you reading this might be looking for information about them. So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into some strategies you can deploy to grow your social media audience.

Social Grow Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Let’s start with the basics. At minimum, your brand should have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Leverage your logo to create custom-sized profile icons that fit the requirements for each social media site. Don’t just upload generically sized icons. It’ll look sloppy.

Here are the recommended icons sizes for each social media platform:

  • Facebook Icon Size: Square 720px by 720px or 960px by 960px
  • Facebook Cover Photo Dimensions: 851px by 315px
  • Instagram Image Size: 1080 px by 566 to 1350 px
  • LinkedIn Image Size: 522px by 368px
  • Twitter Image Size: 506px by 253px

Social Grow is a Way of Life for Successful Digital Brands

Social media is a medium that is evolving and shifting 24 hours a day. As a result of the constant barrage of digital content hitting our screens, the modern human has an attention span of just eight secondswe’re being outdone by goldfish.

If you want to connect with an audience on social media, you have to make it part of your daily life. You can’t post three to five times a week and leave everything else on autopilot. It’s probably a good idea to assign the role of Social Media Manager to someone in your organization. Stretched too thin? Hire a Social Media Manager.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that we’ll see 22,900 new Public Relations Specialists between 2016 and 2026. A significant chunk of these new jobs will involve managing the social media presence of domestic and international brands.

A Social Media Manager is responsible for delivering social media grow for your brand by:

  1. Crafting a comprehensive social media calendar that outlines which topics will be discussed and when. This creates a timeline for digital collateral to be produced to support your social media initiatives.
  2. Engaging with consumers that engage with your posts and send direct / private messages to your social media accounts. Your ability to appear in your target audience’s news feed is tied, in part, to how quickly you respond to inbound messages on social media.
  3. Monitoring your competition for opportunities to outperform them on social media.

Leverage Personalization and an Authentic Connection to Boost Social Grow

For entrepreneurs, building a company from scratch can feel like a reenactment of David vs. Goliath. You’re competing for consumer attention with Fortune 500s, other startups and current events. The way that you punch through the noise is by offering a personal connection between your brand and your audience.

Forget the stuffy, corporate marketing campaigns of yesterday. You need to put yourself out there. Nine out of the top ten Twitter accounts represent individuals. On social media, authenticity outshines corporate spin everyday of the week.

Social media giants like Facebook know this. That’s why Facebook, in response to a string of scandals, is shifting attention to the personal connections between friends and families on their network. [Video Below]

Need help getting your social grow mojo on? Here are some tips for leveraging a personal, authentic connection to grow your social media properties:

  1. Clearly share your vision for the future of your brand. Who are you? Why should someone else care? How are you going to achieve your vision? Answer these questions in a quick video that you post across your social media profiles.
  2. Engage with commenters. Ask them for their opinions and thoughts.
  3. Document your journey with at least a post or two each week covering your progress towards your goals. This should be in addition to the other posts your Social Media Manager is posting, in accordance with your social media calendar.
  4. Find ways to highlight your customers. If you’re an early-stage startup, this is super important. Encourage your early customers to send in videos of them using your product. Offer discounts on future purchases in return for their submissions.

If you can find a way to turn your customer base into a tribe of loyal social media followers, you’ve made a ton of progress towards building an authentic social media presence.

You can leverage the fact that you’re a small team of dedicated enthusiasts in the early days of your launch. Showcase your enthusiasm. It might be scary to let down the stuffy, corporate curtain. But your social grow depends on it.