Everyone knows that business owners end up wearing a lot of hats. A day in the life of an entrepreneur might include sales calls, marketing meetings, client lunches, press interviews and dozens of other things that advance the progress of the business.

But entrepreneurship isn’t all about big, forward-thinking strategic moves. There are a lot of smaller tasks that startup founders take on, and whether or not they expected to be doing them, all of them are necessary to keep the business going. Nine entrepreneurs shared the most surprising items they include on their daily to-do lists.

Take brainstorming walks.

One of the habits that has served me well over the years is taking long walks [during] lunch with an employee every day. I find that talking in the same direction together connects people. It is less intimidating, and is a casual yet effective way to brainstorm. Many of our creative ideas came out of these talks. It’s also good for our health!”

Dress for success.

We have always been told that you need to dress for success. We did not realize how tedious that task would be on a daily basis. You always have to make sure your shoes are shined, your shirt is pressed and that you are ready for anything, because you never know who you are going to meet or where you are going to be. We are constantly networking and meeting amazing new people, and consequently, we always put our best feet forward, literally.

Look backward to move forward.

Most of the time we thought that being an entrepreneurial CEO meant focusing on the future and planning for tomorrow. However, it just as important to look backwards at what worked, or what didn’t work yesterday, last week and last month. Looking back yields benchmark data so you can set accurate goals and forecasts, as well as learn how to do it better, faster and more profitably.

Wash the dishes.

An entrepreneur means you are proactive. At the beginning you are CEO, sales representative, operations and dishwasher. Every task is an important task, Everything you do has value.

Watch the budget.

We didn’t expect to be as deeply immersed in all of the minutia involved in operating a business — as many as 20 different daily tasks. In particular, we didn’t anticipate watching our marketing budget every single day, measuring how each channel is performing and adjusting funds accordingly.

Engage in employee management and problem solving. 

Sometimes, we did not envision that we would spend the better part of each day meeting with co-workers and solving problems. Surprisingly, this is what we might do best and really enjoy.

Find your balance in the juggling act.

Coming from the corporate world, we have to strike the right balance between aspiration, ideation and execution every single day. It’s like you’re an improved performer in a one-man show, where you write, direct, produce and perform. When the day ends, you prepare yourself to start over and do it all again tomorrow.

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