Career 26 December 2016
Before successful boss ladies go to bed, they have a routine to tackle what goes on after hours. They do activities that relax and inspires them, but that also refresh the passion they have for their business and day-to-day life. So if you ever wondered what exactly are those things (and want to try them), here are the seven things that outstanding leaders do before they go to sleep.
1. Write about the day.
Journal your three favorite things from the day. People don't frown about any failures but learn from it. Reflect on what worked and what did not work, focus on the positive things you did, and use any missed targets as the bar for success in the future – the next day (see number 3).
2. Get inspired.
Read quotes from ladypreneurs that you find inspiring or made you smile, passages from the Bible, or lines by Shakespeare (“Heavy lies the head that wears the crown.”); they are simple antidotes to live by.
This is also a great time to read industry news or longer articles that you saved during the day. As you read, write down ideas and notes of things that inspired you.
3. Visualize the next day.
Do a quick review of what you’ll do the next day. Take a few minutes to think about what are the most urgent and important tasks, write them down and envision how you are going to accomplish them. This technique helps you go to bed with a clear mind and will give you a head start when you wake up in the morning.
4. Read a good book.
Many successful women such as Arianna Huffington opt to read an actual book before dozing off into a restful slumber. Keep a stack of books by your nightstand and set a goal to read at least one page before bed to create a habit. Read books that don’t relate to work like novels, poetry, history books, philosophy, biographies – anything. Among the most popular: The Great Gatsby, Atlas Shrugged, Moby Dick, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
5. Get enough sleep.
Set your alarm so you stay on a regular schedule. People who stick to the same sleep schedule often have more energy to get through their day. Use apps like sleepyti.me to find out when to wake up. Another option is using the app Sleep Cycle that helps with tracking sleep and wakes up naturally.
6. Workout, meditate and eat healthy snacks.
Exercise is a great way to get your body ready for sleep. Either workout at the gym before bed, do some light yoga poses or even a nightcap can help get your body ready for bed. If you already did your workout for the day, another option is to take a few minutes before bed to meditate. It’s a great way to relax your body and quiet your mind. There is also the concern of getting hungry before going to bed. If you go to bed hungry, it could interfere with your sleep schedule. Carefully plan for doing exercise and having a healthy snack before bed. Some great before-bed snacks are a tablespoon of almond butter on a slice of whole wheat toast, a few crackers with cheese and half cup of Greek yogurt.
7. Spend time with friends and family.
Success starts from within. Spending quality time with family and friends is important because it keeps you grounded to your roots and to what really matters. That’s the connection you have with your loved ones. Plan out fun things to do like meeting them for a drink, cooking together or seeing a movie on a weekday. It's vital to make some time to chat with your partner or spouse, talk to your kids, or even play with your dog.
5 Min Read
Organic growth has made all the difference for my company. Since its start in 2010, Fresh n' Lean has delivered more than 7.2 million organic meals that are free of pesticides, hormones, GMOs, and other additives. The business itself has grown organically, too, without the help of any outside capital. Over the past decade, Fresh n' Lean's bootstrapped operation has grown into a 220-employee company with nine-figure revenue.
Here's how I've been able to successfully build my business without taking on a penny of outside funding.
1. A Hard Decision
The decision of whether or not to take on outside capital is a difficult one.
I was lucky— I relied on personal savings to fund Fresh n' Lean at the company's onset. I thought Fresh n' Lean was a meaningful endeavor, and I believed in myself and my vision.
Not every business owner would be financially able to make the same decision I did. Either way, it's important that your company's growth happens gradually and naturally.
2. Start Small
I was an 18-year-old college student when I launched Fresh n' Lean.
I would regularly work upwards of 20 hours a day— cooking dishes, arranging the meals in tupperware containers, handwriting the labels, and personally delivering them to some of our earliest customers.
Pretty soon we were shipping meals nationally, and I began renting a commercial kitchen space.
We generated a ton of enthusiasm from our customers, and that support prooved that we were on to something. But the early days featured lots of trial and error. We made mistakes and learned from them before scaling the business.
3. Rely On Your Network
Fresh n' Lean started with a team of five people. My friends and relatives chipped in, and my brother Thomas joined Fresh n' Lean as co-CEO.
Relying on those close colleagues was so meaningful in helping me get the company off the ground. I often look at Fresh n' Lean's employees as a family, and that mentality was especially true in those early days.
As I ramped up the hiring, my experiences with every aspect of our operation made me sharp at understanding the company's needs— and helped me to hire employees with the right skill set and mentality to drive the company forward.
4. Hold Firm
Fresh n' Lean embodies a lifestyle choice, a chance for everyone in the United States to have access to nourishing meals amid their busy lives.
We probably could have driven more sales by offering non-organic meal options, but I wanted the company to remain true to my mission.
A decade later, I'm so proud to see the impact Fresh n' Lean has made in redefining fast food.
5. Capitalize On Industry Trends
We live in a society of instant gratification— we want everything now, and our world is completely focused on convenience.
When Fresh n' Lean was launched, the idea of receiving ready-to-eat meals on your doorstep was a strange concept. But a decade later, we're used to having everything delivered to our homes. Recognizing and capitalizing on those changing consumer habits was a big part of our growth.
6. Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
For years, I wanted to open our own kitchen facility— it was a top priority.
But building the space was a difficult and extensive process that could have financially devastated us if we attempted it too soon. In those early years, the project would have left the company too vulnerable.
Instead of moving forward with the project, we waited. In the meantime, we continued renting commercial kitchen space. One day a week turned into two, and then three and four, and eventually we were renting the space five days a week.
In time, we had no other options but to build our own kitchen facility— and our restraint before moving forward with that project was crucial, even if it was frustrating for the short-term.
7. Focus On You
As you build your company, it's easy to try to compare it to the growth other companies experience.
But headlines and press releases don't reveal the full story, and outside funding can mask structural and foundational problems. One example is the online ordering and meal delivery service Munchery, which secured more than $125 million from lenders before closing in early 2019.
Every company's story is unique! You can't judge your company's success based on the ups and downs of others. Focus on making your company the best you can.
8. One Thing At A Time
Our meal offerings have expanded through deliberate, strategic planning and extensive customer feedback.
Building the recipes takes time— we want to be sure to get it right. And our customer feedback ensures that there's built-in interest before rolling out new meal options.
9. Be Resourceful
Building the company without outside capital forced me to be more resourceful. I couldn't throw money at everything I wanted to change— I had to be patient and find alternative solutions.
It's similar, in a way, to cooking a dish without having every ingredient listed in the recipe. You must have the key ingredients! Our executive chef was one of our earliest hires.
But you can adjust and improvise on some of the secondary ingredients, using whatever alternatives you have available and relying on tried-and-true methods to fill in the gaps.
Who knows? Through experimentation, you just might find a better way to cook your dish or guide your company forward.