Aside from your ability to persevere, environment is the most important factor to success. Your potential and emotional well-being is determined by who you work with and where you work. What many entrepreneurs overlook as a remedial decision — the location of where they get down to business (i.e. their office space and whom they let join) — is critical.

4 Ways to Improve Your Workspace

Remove the pessimists: Some people just like to find problems. But what pisses me off, and can really mess with your entrepreneurial mojo, is when they just like to identify problems without suggesting potential solutions. These types of people (I see it frequently among academics) are like a productivity cancer. Get rid of them as fast as you can. If you need them for your line of work, tell them to bring forward solutions immediately after identifying problems. Make it a rule. I worked with a gentleman like this once (great guy away from work), and literally changed my work location to the other end of the building in order to avoid him. Initially, he and I shared a large office space, but after about two months of working with him I could feel the energy being sucked out of me. I put an end to that.

Beautify your workspace: Love going to work. Embrace the space. Some people like the old industrial look, others like posh Victorian decor. Whatever makes you feel like a success while energizing you at work, do it. Spend the money on your office/workspace. Invest in a great chair. Buy nice art for the walls, pay a little extra for that expensive computer. Get the right tools for the job and make the ambiance as inspiring as possible. There is no bad investment when it comes to upgrading your workspace. Click here to read more about energizing your office space.

Create different areas to work within your space: If you’re like me, and your day requires being on the phone or behind a computer a lot, subtle changes in where you work throughout the day makes a big difference. My office has three places where I can sit and work. One spot is a small desk that sits right in front of the window, which looks out at trees (great for writing). Another is my beefy, long wood desk where I spend most of the day – it also has a Varidesk on top of it so if I want to stand and work I can. And the last is a boardroom that’s either filled with other people as we brainstorm or perfectly quiet – the ideal spot for conference calls and thinking. Although all three locations are no more than 30 ft. apart, just by moving work areas throughout the day keeps me energized.

Disconnect whenever possible: I’m a slave to my phone many days; sometimes it’s unavoidable but oftentimes it’s within my control. If you want to be productive, remove distractions. In today’s world, nothing distracts people more than their cell phones. To be consistently productive, you can’t be readily available for anyone who wants to text or chat on a whim. Make a time period, ideally two hours, where your phone and email are off. Focus on one thing, and watch the quality of your work improve exponentially. I’ll warn you though, it’s extremely hard to do. I’ve been trying to go two hours a day without my phone and I’ve been successful maybe 20% of the time – basically once per week. But I’ll tell you, that 20% is my most creative, productive and inspiring work period of the week. I’m zoned in.


Grinding in our office 12 hours a day, we give it our all as entrepreneurs, often missing out on dinner with the family, time with friends and other extracurriculars. So, given the time commitment in your workspace, you’d be wise to customize and optimize it with the intent of motivating. Keep the downers out of your workspace, and remove all distractions whenever possible. This is your sanctuary.

Stay hungry,

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Aaron

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