We have heard and read a lot of stories about how remarkably successful people became famous and affluent. But, have you ever wondered what they love to do outside of business hours?
A big misconception seems to be that successful entrepreneurs are married to their work, hardly ever devoting enough time to their personal lives or interests. Turns out, entrepreneurial success is not just about what you do when you’re working but just as much about what you do when you are not.
Here is what some of the most successful entrepreneurs, who find the time to pursue pleasures despite their impossibly busy schedules, do in their free time:
One of the most inspirational entrepreneurs of our time, the man behind Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity, daydreamed as a child in an almost trance-like manner and coded his own video games.
Musk said that he loves reading. He used to read about 10 hours a day when he was in grade school. When asked how he learned to build rockets and where he managed to get all the ideas from, he answered, “I read books”.
In addition to brainstorming even more big ideas, Musk makes time for fatherhood (he’s a father to six kids), playing video games, and Hollywood. In 2015, Musk made a cameo on the Big Bang Theory show in an episode called “The Platonic Permutation”, in the scene that takes place in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, featuring him washing dishes.
In 2013, he purchased the Lotus Esprit submarine car from the 007 film “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977).
While he prefers to be called plain old Richard, he is actually “Sir” Richard Branson. Awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire for his services to entrepreneurship, Richard, besides being the founder of the Virgin Group (which comprises more than 4000 companies!), proudly holds seven Guinness World Records.
Richard has had his fair share of world record attempts, from his balloon adventures with Steve Fossett to kitesurfing across the channel with his son Sam. While his record-breaking attempts have mainly included sporting and adventure endeavors – kiteboarding, ballooning and boating – his Virgin Media Business achieved the Guinness World Records title for the longest business pitch marathon.
A fun fact: He lived on a houseboat during the 80’s and started his first business, Virgin Records, at the age of 15 – pretty impressive for someone not just so young, but who also has dyslexia!
Richard says he wakes up as early as 5am to kick start his day, stays active with kite surfing, rock jumping, paddle boarding and boat racing, and loves spending time with his family, as well as reading.
Buffet, one of the top three richest men in the world, said that he spends about 5 to 6 hours every day reading. Also, he loves playing ukulele.
Jeffrey Preston Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, and the owner of the Washington Post newspaper, recently named no. 5 on Forbes’ Richest People on the Planet.
Bezos believes sleep is the best counter to stress and overworking, and makes sure to get a solid eight hours of shut-eye every night. There are even stories of him bringing a sleeping bag into the office, and getting quick naps during the extra challenging days. He doesn’t like to use the alarm clock, and regimented morning routines are not for him – he is a strong supporter of letting the morning come naturally. He doesn’t schedule early-morning meetings and prefers to spend time with his loved ones. During a typical day, Bezos prioritizes his family (he has four adopted kids) and health over his business. But, he told the Economic Club of Washington, DC, “I do my high-IQ meetings before lunch”.
Bezos has a very unique and elite hobby – when given the opportunity, he spends time combing the oceans for discarded NASA rocket ships. Most of the rocket ship detaches from space shuttles mid-flight, discarding the rocket boosters over the ocean as a safe place. Bezos works with teams in submarines to retrieve these historic relics, and sometimes brings along his family – once spending three weeks on a single underwater rocket hunt.
Bezos is a Trekkie, and even made a surprise cameo in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond.”
Another unique hobby of his: building a huge mechanical “Clock of the Long Now,” which will tell time for the next 10,000 years, ticks once per year and chimes once per millennium. It is being built as a symbol of long-term thinking.
He is also very passionate about books and reading.
Mark Cuban is a businessman, a Shark Tank investor, film producer, author, television personality, philanthropist, and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
He had many side-hustles on his way to the top, including selling baseball cards, stamps and coins, and selling sets of garbage bags at age of 12.
Cuban loves his private jets; he has recalled many times where the jet saved him precious hours that allowed him to spend more time with his family.
He spends about 3 hours reading every day and he attributed his early career success in life to reading.
And, he says that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is not a shy guy when it comes to the camera, and lets his personality shine through. In 2015, he took this to a new level, appearing in a cameo on a music video by rapper Lil Dicky. He also played the President of the United States in the action-adventure movie Sharknado 3.
Cuban loves to dance, which he proved on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. While paying his own tuition in college, he made money by teaching dancing lessons and hosting disco parties, and the show uncovered that he really is a pretty good dancer.
He is a pro wrestling fan and has made plenty of appearances on the WWE programming.
Mark is a down-to-earth father of three kids. He and his wife enjoy quality family time on the weekends.
Oprah Winfrey, best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, also a producer, actress, Emmy award winner (39 times) and philanthropist, was born into poverty.
As many other highly successful people, she recognizes the importance of shifting into a relaxing and rejuvenating mindset. Oprah swears by meditation.
Oprah loves to read, and often refers to reading as her “path to freedom” due to the tough start in her life, and said that books widen her imagination to see the world beyond the front porch of her grandmother’s shotgun house. What’s more, she spends a lot of her time curating her “Oprah Book Club,” effectively helping others become more involved with books.
Referred to as the “Queen of all media” for her incredible media success, she is said to receive over 12,000 emails every week from people all over the world. Oprah is also known for throwing fundraisers. Her most recent philanthropy was giving grants to the cities she’s called home, including Baltimore, through her $12 million coronavirus relief fund.
And, something that all successful entrepreneurs seem to have in common, is that they all make the time to connect with people – through fundraising events, business lunches, conferences, and other networking events with other like-minded individuals.
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