We know entrepreneurs need to be smart, driven, and work-focused to succeed in their professional lives, but what do they do in their downtime? On the surface, it can seem as though the most business-focused among us never make time for themselves.
Yet when you dig a little deeper, it seems that almost all of the biggest successes have passions beyond their careers. These are some of the pastimes that seem to appeal the most to big-time business people.
Guy Laliberté Loves Poker
It should come as no surprise that many successful entrepreneurs enjoy poker as a pastime. This game could almost have been designed for the kind of brains that thrive as entrepreneurs. Sharp thinking, quick decision making, discipline, focus, and concentration, as well as emotional control, are all skills that help us to succeed in business, and also in poker. These benefits to the brain that poker provides are well documented. It could be that strategic games can actually help entrepreneurs develop useful business skills.
Guy Laliberté is best known for founding Cirque de Soleil, an incredible acrobatics show which has seen his worth explode to more than a billion dollars. When he’s not at the circus though, Guy is quite the poker player. He’s finished fourth in a World Poker Tour event, which is certainly nothing to be sniffed at! There are almost too many other entrepreneurs/poker players to name, but if you want a brain work out, it looks like this could be the pastime for you.
Sandy Lerner Loves Giving Something Back
When you’ve had a good fortune that Sandy Lerner has had, it’s natural to want to give something back to those less fortunate than yourself. Charitable pastimes are hugely popular among successful entrepreneurs who believe it’s best to share the wealth. The co-founder of Cisco has put much of her time and energy into founding a humane, organic farm. Ayrshire farm insists on only the best care for their animals, who are given room to roam and live more natural lives.
Dovetailing neatly with this passion project is Sandy’s love of horses. She’s always enjoyed horseback riding, but until fairly recently hadn’t ventured into the more unusual side of her hobby – jousting. If you’re thinking of knights on horseback with terrifying lances, then you’re thinking correctly. Perhaps the adrenaline of a great new business deal isn’t always enough for Sandy?
Bill Gates is Always Learning
Some entrepreneurs, try hard as they might, just can’t switch off. If you think of the two big ones, the chances are most people would come up with Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Surprise surprise, these two love nothing more than learning. Gates enjoys touring unusual places in order to find out all about them. Whether it’s a garbage dump or a power plant, this man’s thirst for knowledge seems truly unquenchable. When he can’t get out of the house he takes part in online learning courses and reads… a lot.
Branson is a fan of chess and bridge, much like many of the entrepreneurs on this list. He enjoys games that require tactics, bravery, risk-taking, and planning. To us, it sounds an awful lot like hard work, but Branson believes that the best pastimes enable him to use his brain and have a cup of tea and a chat all at the same time. Perhaps some people are just born to be multi-taskers.
Marissa Mayer is a Baker
Creating something is a favorite pastime for many of us. It could be painting, sculpting, writing, or in Marissa Mayer’s case, baking. The former CEO of Yahoo has a real knack for conjuring up sweet treats. Marissa says that her success in the kitchen is down to her impeccable attention to detail. She rigorously studies cookbooks, looks for trends in recipes, and tests things out multiple times before she’s happy with the result. Marissa even admits that she’s made more than a couple of spreadsheets in order to mathematically determine the optimum ratio of cake to frosting.
Although not everybody gets quite as technical in the kitchen as Marissa Mayer does, cooking up a storm is certainly a popular way to wind down among many entrepreneurs. Cooking is a key part of our lives. We need to cook to survive, or at least we did until Deliveroo and Uber came around. Getting back to our roots and creating something delicious and nourishing is not only a good way to wind down, but sharing our creations helps us to connect with our loved ones. Perhaps this a pastime that we all ought to enjoy a little more.