6 Lessons from Jack Dorsey On Hard Work and Startups 101

jack dorsey - life lessons

You may be familiar with Jack Dorsey and his work, or he may just be another face of the entrepreneurial tech world for you. Whatever the case is, there’s a lot we can learn from him.

He started as a programmer, and is now best known as the creator, co-founder and chairman of Twitter (now you may feel like you know him) and the CEO of Square (a company for mobile payments).
‘Innovator of the Year Award’ for technology was given to him by The Wall Street Journal. He’s also one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.

Another thing he does differently is that he works hard. And by hard I mean 8 hours in the first company, followed by an 8-hour shift in the second. Daily.

Also, he creates billion dollar companies, but still takes the bus or bikes to work.

So clearly he knows what he’s doing, both in life and in business, but also shows an interesting personality. And we can learn from his words and actions.

Here are some life lessons:

1. Look out for ideas.

“Ideas can come from anyone and they can come anytime. We all have various directions that we want to take the company and sometimes those ideas come during a shower, sometimes they come when we’re walking, sometimes they come when we’re talking with other employees at the coffee store.”

If you’re complaining about not having any ideas to work on and use it as an excuse not to have hobbies or build businesses, then you’re destined to fail.

Ideas are everywhere around us, just like inspiration can be found in daily life. You just need to be open to them, to notice them and to actually take action once that happens.

2. It all starts with passion.

“Twitter has been my life’s work in many senses. It started with a fascination with cities and how they work, and what’s going on in them right now.”

Jack Dorsey has been coding since he was 14. And he combined it with his biggest passion – maps.

He was in love with big cities and enjoyed wandering through them – New York and San Francisco, for example. And he was obsessed with maps.
But paper ones were dead already, and the Internet was just starting to thrive, so he started programming to play with them. He drew maps and made dots around. Soon he implemented the same techniques in the businesses he created.

You can hear him talk about that, how he started Twitter, and much more, in the very first episode of The Foundation podcast:

3. Use routines for discipline and productivity.

The shocking number of hours he works daily would be impossible if he wasn’t using an interesting technique – theme days.

He plans out his week in advance and focuses on one thing each day, in both companies. That helps him stay concentrated, get things done and move forward in a certain area every single day.

Here’s what he shares in an interview for Fast Company:

“All my days are themed. Monday is management. At Square we have a directional meeting, at Twitter we have our opcomm [operating committee] meeting. Tuesday is product, engineering, and design. Wednesday is marketing, growth, and communications. Thursday is partnership and developers. Friday is company and culture. It works in 24-hour blocks. On days beginning with T, I start at Twitter in the morning, then go to Square in the afternoon. Sundays are for strategy, and I do a lot of job interviews. Saturday is a day off.”

4. Embrace simplicity.

“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”

In life and in business those who choose less over more succeed in the long term. And Twitter is one of the greatest modern proofs of that.

In just 140 characters you have to say the most important things about yourself. Which means there’s no room for anything unnecessary, or even slightly important.

Also, all your messages have to be short. So no fluff, repetitions or complex sentences. Just simple thoughts.

5. Take action upon your ideas.

One of the things Jack talks about in the video above is new ideas. He says that we should all get them out of our head as soon as we have them, to write them down, to go show them to someone, to even start coding them and create something to present them.

He advises everyone to put their idea on the shelf as soon as possible. And – most importantly – to be okay if it doesn’t work out and to quickly move onto the next.

6. Use data.

He shares that in Square they have a metric that shows how many times users look at their dashboards which shows how much they care about that.
And if you’re a fan of startups, or have some kind of a digital business, you know that’s not the typical metric.

So the lesson here is: build your own system that’s according to the results you get from data.

“You need to have an understanding of the momentum of what you’re doing and where you’re going. And you can only get that from data.”

So that’s how you become a successful tech startup founder. You have to be purpose-driven, find what works and do more of it, be passionate about the work you do and willing to hustle more than the average person. But you also need to get out there and do some things differently.
And if you can’t think of anything, there’s already so much powerful advice you can follow from those who are where you’re heading.

So what do you like the most about Jack Dorsey? And what else can you learn from him?

Image by JD Lasica @Flickr

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10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning 15

10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.

So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.

Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?

You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.

In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.

So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.

Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?

What The Most Successful Do in The Morning

1. Spend Time with the Partner.


As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.

Take Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan as an example. They are both crazy successful, and they are definitely happy to have each other.

Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.

2. Mindfulness.

Yes; mindfulness is a habit.

Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.

Researchers from The University of Sydney found that mindfulness reduces work-related stress and improves the mood at work. That’s why successful people always seem ready to deal with any situation.

So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?

Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.

3. Plan the Day.

A good plan will set you on the right track.

Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.

If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.

4. Exercise.

I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.

Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happierWhen you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.

Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!

5. Practice Patience.

Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.

You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.

6. Juice Up.

How to Win The 9-to-5 Battle by Staying Healthy at Work letsreachsuccess.com

It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.

Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.

7. Eat Breakfast.

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.

Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!

8. Hydrate.

Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.

9. Be With the Right People.

In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.

The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.

10. Celebrate Achievements.

When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.

Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track.

When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?

However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.   

Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.