Look at any CEO running a profitable company and you’ll find someone who has figured a few things out. One trait many of these leaders have in common: consistency. Check out these quotes from 30 successful CEOs regarding the daily habits that help them get ahead in business and life.
“Every day, I force myself to do something that is out of my comfort zone. If I hadn’t left my comfort zone back in 2008 to buy that one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, I never would have met my business partner, Aaron Firestein, and BucketFeet would never exist.”
–Raaja Nemani, co-founder and CEO of BucketFeet, a footwear brand that was founded in 2011 after a chance meeting between two travelers. It has grown from one hand-decorated pair of shoes to a brand that has collaborated with over 20,000 artists in more than 100 countries.
“I am a huge fan of Mike Bloomberg and recently saw him speak in a conversation with Alan Patricof at an event. At one point, he turned to Patricof and said something to the effect of, ‘Alan, I’m 73 years old, I don’t do doubt and I don’t do bad days.’ That really stuck with me. Running a company is really hard, and every day is different, but having a bad day is a choice.”
–Dan Teran, co-founder and CEO of Managed by Q, an office cleaning, management, and maintenance platform that recently expanded to San Francisco, following New York City and Chicago.
“[I spend] an hour or two every day keeping up with tech news on Twitter. It’s not good to obsess over what other people are doing, but staying informed is certainly important.”
–Michael Bruch, founder and CEO of Willow, a new social platform focused on personality and conversation and aligned with how friendships and partnerships are naturally formed offline.
“You never know who you will meet or the advice you’ll receive.”
–Liat Zakay, founder and CEO of Donde Fashion, a visual search engine that allows users to shop from more than 6,000 brands and over 1 million products.
“I’m always trying new things and changing how I work. As we’ve grown from a team of four to a team of 28, my job has changed pretty significantly, and by experimenting with new habits and processes regularly, I am always discovering better ways to run my team that make sense as we grow.”
–Zach Supalla, co-founder and CEO of Particle, an “Internet of Things” startup that raised more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter and $4.9 million in series A funding.
“There are footballs, golf balls, softballs, chessboards, Legos–everything a curious kid could dream of–covering our office space. Whenever I’m stuck on an idea, I play a quick game of catch or build a Lego house to give my brain a breather. Then it’s back to the drawing board. I encourage my team to do the same thing, too. Just like any muscle, your brain needs a recovery session after a tough workout.”
–Dan Hogan founder and CEO of Medalogix, a health care technology company that provides analytics, workflows, and business intelligence solutions to home health and hospice providers.
“Most people are accommodating and open, as long as you are clear about your needs and what you have to offer.”
–Kegan Schouwenburg, CEO of SOLS, a 3D-printing technology company.
“I strive to be on time for every appointment, every day, without exception. This may seem like a no-brainer in the business world, but you would be surprised how many people still don’t make this a priority. It’s mind-boggling. If a leader is consistently late, it tells others that he or she is unreliable or has no respect for the time of the individuals he or she works with. If he or she is on time, the opposite is true.”
–Andy Bailey, founder of Petra, a business-coaching firm serving 58 businesses in 17 states.
“No matter how exciting your company or the problems that you are solving are, there will always be day-to-day tasks that are simply boring. Showing that you are willing to roll up your sleeves when the going gets tough will be a positive example for your team. You will be amazed at how this reverberates.”
–Herbert Moore, co-founder and CEO of WiseBanyan, a free financial adviser that minimizes fees and helps people start investing sooner.
“I spend time at the end of every night watching interviews, speeches, and panels of other leaders I admire. Through a bit of YouTube stalking, I’ve gotten great lessons on culture from Brian Chesky, brand building from Neil Blumenthal, and leadership from Esther Dyson.”
–Lydia Gilbert, co-founder and COO of Dia&Co, an online personal styling service for women sizes 14 to 32.
“Transcendental meditation for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening is the perfect complement to daily exercise, whether it’s a trip to the gym or a run across the bridge. Since I’ve started this routine, I’ve found my mental clarity and focus have increased enormously.”
–Elliot Tomaeno, founder and CEO of ASTRSK, a PR agency which has grown from five employees to 16 employees over the past year.
“I spend about 45 minutes driving to and from work each day. I can spend that time listening to music or talk radio, but I choose to spend it listening to business books and self-improvement books. Over the last two and a half years, I have listened to nearly 40 audiobooks. These books have given me incredible insight into how to run my business and sharpen my skills. I can listen to a new book in a few days, versus reading a book, which would take me at least a month or two, if not longer, because with two little kids at home, I can never find the time.”
–George Zlatin, co-founder and director of operations at Digital Third Coast, a full-service digital marketing agency that serves clients nationwide.
“I wake up and start every day with one initial thought: being thankful for the abundance in my life–family, friends, company, and more. Nothing good ever comes easy. Hard work and dedication always pays off. Starting every day with a strong, positive thought is the best way to kickoff each day. I believe that a positive mindset is key to overcoming all obstacles, and I radiate this to my team. Just as negativity is infectious–think: one rotten apple at the bottom of a barrel ultimately will ruin them all–so is positivity. Choose to be positive. Be mindful of your attitude and how it affects others.”
–Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall, a counterveillance security company with more than 30 international partners.
“We are based in the U.S., but also have teams and customers on the ground in Asia, South America, and Europe. Connecting with them every day is incredibly important for staying connected to that part of the business, making sure they know they’re valued and getting things done. It’s a big time commitment, and sometimes it feels like we have multiple jobs–in the morning in Europe, during the day in the Americas, and at night when the Asia teams are busy. But in the end, it’s always worth it to be available and have live discussions when they matter the most.”
–Mike Sands, CEO of Signal, a cross-channel marketing technology company used by thousands of brands and digital agencies around the world.