Appearing on Forbe’s first-ever list of Most Influential Women in the world, Arianna Huffington has truly proven to be a force to reckon with in the entrepreneurial world. As at 2011, Arianna had a record of successfully creating 200+ jobs and raising $35 million in capital. Driven by the need to dedicate time in building her startup, Thrive Global, in 2016, she stepped down as the President and Editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, having sold it to AOL in 2011 for $315 million.
However, Arianna’s climb to the top didn’t leave her without enough battle scars to last her a lifetime. In 2005, she had a life-altering experience started with her collapsing in her office due to sleep deprivation, burn out, and exhaustion. This made her redefine her notion of sleep and in an open letter to Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla, she writes:
‘Working 120-hour weeks doesn’t leverage your unique qualities, it wastes them. You can’t simply power through – that’s just not how our bodies and brains work. Nobody knows better than you that we can’t get to Mars by ignoring the laws of Physics. Nor can we get where we want to go by ignoring scientific laws in our daily lives’.
– Source: Entrepreneur
Now committed to helping people rekindle their romance with sleep and living the best of their lives, Arianna shares deep insights on what she considers to be The Sleep Revolution. Here are some lessons that you will find invaluable as you continue on your entrepreneurial journey:
Sleep deprivation is not a hallmark of success or productivity
Arguing against a work culture that equates sleep deprivation and work burn out with success, Arianna says:
‘Being burnt out is not necessarily a prize of success. We must recognize that to make better decisions we need to take care of ourselves, be healthier and avoid illness… Your business is never going to be a perfect journey. We are all works in progress. But I think we are becoming much more aware when we are running on empty’.
– Source: Entrepreneur
Your success as an entrepreneur is very much dependent on how well you protect and nurture human capital.
In an interview on her book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Arianna stresses the need for entrepreneurs to surround themselves with the right people, have the right definition of success, and be willing to invest in their employees. Address entrepreneurs, she says:
‘… Building and looking after our financial capital is not enough. We need to do everything we can to protect and nurture our human capital as well… There is growing evidence that the long-term health of a company’s bottom line and the health of its employees are, in fact, very much aligned, and that when we treat them as separate, we pay a heavy price, both personally and collectively’.
Failure is not the opposite of success, Failure is the stepping stone to success
No stranger to failure, Arianna believes that having a positive view to failure is really what defines successful entrepreneurs. Though Acknowledging that entrepreneurs have the right to experience their own versions of fear, she advises that entrepreneurs who are afraid of failing have no business being entrepreneurs. In her own words, she says:
‘The difference between success and failure is perseverance… If we become so dependent on things always being a success, then we’re in a very vulnerable position because we are not in control of how the world is going to receive something’.
-Source: Huffington Post