Article by Malte Kramer
In the past year, my real estate tech startup, Luxury Presence, has grown from nine employees to a staff of 38 and more than 800 clients, including some of the biggest agents and brokerages in the industry.
To tell you the truth, it has not been an easy experience. The responsibility of managing a large team and sustaining hypergrowth while delivering results for every client can be a pretty intense and demanding experience.
But I’ve also learned something — something I can focus on when things get tough: the importance of showing up fully every morning, no matter how I might feel that day.
The Power of Consistency
The underlying discipline and motivation required to be fully present every day are things I developed years ago, during my time as a college athlete and professional basketball player.
Playing sports as I grew up, I encountered a lot of successes and failures. I’ve always been a competitive person, so every loss felt devastating. However, I eventually became very good at harvesting each defeat and using it as fuel. Failure drove me to work harder the next day, to develop more ambition, and to cultivate a stronger sense of determination.
Most importantly, I learned just how much consistency matters. As an athlete, you have to do whatever it takes to bring your best effort — no matter how you feel on a particular day. You develop a strong sense of loyalty to your team, and accountability follows. The same is true of leading a business: You have to bring it every day.
4 Ways to Feel Joyful Every Morning
In business, people value when you show up consistently every day. Adopting the mindset necessary to do that is no small feat, but there are a few things you can do to motivate yourself through the ups and downs every business faces:
1. Find Joy in Daily Challenges
There are two main reasons I feel excited to show up at the office every day. One is the passion of the people I work with. It’s really energizing to be around other people who are willing to work so hard to make our company grow.
The second reason is that every day brings something new. That is exciting. Life (and especially work) is a series of problems in need of solutions. I try to focus on finding joy in that process rather than focusing too much on the outcome of any particular problem.
2. Move to Improve Your Mental Health
Most people focus on the physical benefits of an active lifestyle, but a trip to the gym or a walk around the lake can also be crucial to mental maintenance. Researchers suggest getting 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week to reap those brain benefits.
I try to wake up around 6:30 a.m. so I have enough time to go for a run before work. I’m fortunate to live in Santa Monica, California, where I can run to the ocean and back, but any sort of exercise should provide the same benefits. Next, I do a 10-minute guided meditation with Sam Harris’s Waking Up app.
If meditation isn’t your thing, just sit for a moment and think, or read a couple of articles by people you respect or admire. The goal here is to put yourself in a positive headspace to prepare for the intensity of the workday.
3. Build Your Community
I’m more of an introvert than most people realize, so my first instinct under pressure is to retreat to figure things out on my own. This tendency is something I actively strive to counteract. As I discovered during my basketball days, it doesn’t matter how well I play if my team isn’t good or we’re not playing together.
I can’t overstate the importance of community to well-being and performance. The best ideas don’t happen in isolation, and the hardest problems are rarely solved in silos. Furthermore, having a strong community outside of work helps me get away from the all-consuming founder lifestyle when I need to.
4. Keep Out of Your Inbox
For the longest time, I’d check email when I first woke up. I felt like it gave me an adrenaline rush, but all it actually did was make me anxious first thing in the morning. Studies show that always being on is bad for your mental health and can actually make you less productive.
Now, I try to limit my screen time for the first hour of the day — until I’m ready to start my workday. Putting off your inbox until later in the day ensures that emails won’t become your to-do list, and it allows you to be proactive rather than reactive about how you spend your time.
I get truly excited to wake up every morning and head into the office to begin my day. You, too, can learn to feel genuine joy about work. All you need to do is change your mindset.
A version of this article originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.
Malte Kramer, MBA, is the founder and CEO of Luxury Presence, a company that’s building the next generation of real estate software. Malte is also the author of Play for Something, a book that provides student athletes with the inspiration, strategies, and know-how they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.