Gary Vaynerchuk and 8 other executives reveal their secrets for building a successful business while living a life you love

Dave Benett/Getty Images for K-SwissGary Vaynerchuk.
  • The Oracles is a networking group of the world’s most prominent entrepreneurs and CEOs.
  • Many aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with balancing their business and maintaining a rewarding personal life.
  • These nine executives have come up against this challenge and figured out how to navigate it.
  • “You’re in such a rush to find, do, or prove something that you don’t take advantage of your biggest asset: time. Be patient, find mentors, and hone your craft every day,” Gary Vaynerchuk said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

These entrepreneurs and Advisors in The Oracles have created what most people only dream of: a profitable business that allows them to live on their terms.

So we asked them for the secret. Here’s what they told us.

1. Start gathering experiences

Courtesy of The OraclesGary Vaynerchuk.

Want to know what’s holding most people back? Someone’s opinion of you mattering more to you than your opinion of yourself. You’re in such a rush to find, do, or prove something that you don’t take advantage of your biggest asset: time. Be patient, find mentors, and hone your craft every day. If you don’t know what that is, make a list of things you might like, then on the side spend six months focusing on one at a time. It’s what you don’t do that will mess you up, so just pick something. Gather as many experiences as possible. Travel. Start that business or band. Take risks. You don’t need to have it all figured out. You have your whole life ahead. What happened yesterday means nothing. Stop judging yourself and start today.

Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO ofVaynerX; five-time New York Times bestselling authorof “Crushing It!

2. Consider the trade-offs

Courtesy of The OraclesDave Asprey.

Building a business requires immense sacrifice and responsibility. The bigger you scale, the more responsibility you have – from your team and their families to those you serve, who directly or indirectly look to you every day. If you accept that responsibility, you agree to give up a level of autonomy. Identifying the value exchange is critical. It’s equally important that those closest to you understand this and support you because you can’t thrive in a vacuum. If you aren’t willing to make the trade-off, go to a nice beach instead where you can have all the autonomy in the world.

– Dave Asprey, entrepreneur, known as the “father of biohacking”; creator of

Bulletproof 360

and New York Times bestselling author of “

Game Changers

“; follow Dave on




3. Do everything with intention

Courtesy of Jessica MeadJessica Mead.

I do everything purposely, investing my all into task completion. Time isn’t wasted because it’s the one thing I can’t get back. It’s managed effectively by not getting caught up in the multitasking craze, which kills productivity and creativity and can be the difference between your current reality and millions.

I’m the architect of my life and my family, which I take seriously. I’m mindful of my actions and interactions and practice generosity without expectations. I serve others and feel strongest when relying on my team. I accept imperfection and celebrate even the small victories. I allow myself time to think and do something I love each day, even just for five minutes. I understand the importance of knowing my numbers and having processes and a plan, without being married to it. I’m willing to reinvent myself and my companies. Flexibility is critical, but I’m also decisive when it counts.

Jessica Mead, founder and CEO of



cofounder of

Mead Holdings Group

, The

Epek Companies

, and

Grayson Pierce Capital

; follow Jessica on


4. Go all in

Courtesy of The OraclesKatrina Ruth.

Burn the ships and back yourself fully and unapologetically. If you have a way out, you’ll probably take it. You are already different than most if you dare to imagine starting a business that lets you live your dreams. But it’s not enough to know you were born for more or that success is available. You must be relentless and decisive – and then show up daily. Accept nothing less than what you know is possible. Skills like communication, marketing, and sales are also critical, but make no mistake: The journey to the top starts and ends within.

-  Katrina Ruth, founder and CEO of “

The Katrina Ruth Show

,” a multimillion-dollar online coaching business for entrepreneurs;

read Katrina’s story

and connect with her on




, and


5. Define your standards (and stick to them)

Courtesy of The OraclesShaun Rawls.

What tasks and people give you the most joy and energy? Who and what give you the greatest return on your time investment? What personal priorities come before work? What will you do with your free time?

The clearer you are on these answers, the better your chances of loving life and work. It’s not complicated, but what is easy to do is even easier not to do. Love, peace, joy, and happiness come from clarity, which helps you say yes to what’s right and no to what isn’t.

Shaun Rawls

, founder and CEO of Rawls Consulting; built The Rawls Group of Keller Williams to over $US4 billion in annual sales; author of the upcoming book “


“; connect with Shaun on




6. Prioritise

Courtesy of The OraclesJonathan Goodman.

A great life requires balancing several competing priorities: health and fitness, sleep, family, socialising, and business. You can have it all, but not all at once. You have to choose which you want to prioritise while simply maintaining the rest.

For example, we’re living in Mexico for a few months, where we have no social commitments, so I’m keeping quite busy focusing on my health, family, and business. Other times, I’ll work less and rest more or be more social. Decide in advance what you want, and then plan accordingly.

– Jonathan Goodman, founder of the

Personal Trainer Development Centre

and the first-ever certification for online fitness training, the

Online Trainer Academy

; connect with Jonathan on




7. Focus on one important task per day

The OraclesMark Divine.

Take time every day to envision what you’re meant to do in life and how. With that insight, craft a business that is aligned with your purpose, passion, and principles. Then build a plan with annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals to bring it to life.

Each morning, identify one important and urgent target that will move you toward your mission. Schedule protected time to complete it and say no to all distractions until it’s done. When you consistently practice these principles, you’ll build a business that lets you live on your terms. It’s challenging, but it’s worth it.

Mark Divine

, retired US Navy SEAL commander, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal

bestselling author

, and founder of

Unbeatable Mind



; follow Unbeatable Mind on




, or


8. Hire the right people

Courtesy of The OraclesDennis Najjar.

Our accounting firm was built on the idea that businesses should focus on their core competency and seek outside experts for everything else. We apply this internally, too. I only hire people who are better than me. I’m not an HR or marketing guru, so I found people who are. My team doesn’t look to me for answers – they come to me with boatloads of them. By putting the right people in the right places, I can focus on doing what I love because I know the business is moving forward.

– Dennis Najjar, cofounder of

, a virtual accounting service for small businesses; connect with Dennis on


9. Take baby steps

Courtesy of The OraclesJudd Rosenblatt.

I run a profitable, bootstrapped business that lets me live my dream. My vision of increasing human agency with technology ties the company together and motivates me daily. If you have a powerful vision, great. But even better, maintain the attitude that you’re doing things just 1% as well as you could be. Then with this growth mindset, take baby steps to improve. You won’t have to reinvent the wheel continually, and as those steps add up over time, you’ll see continuous improvement. That acceleration is powerful.

Judd Rosenblatt

, founder and CEO of

AE Studio

, an agile web development and data science consulting firm with a mission to

increase human agency

with technology;

vote for the charity

they donate to next month

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