Five top tips on how to be an ultrapreneur

Julian Hall
- Leadership - Jan 26, 2016

Ultrapreneurship suggests that we go beyond the concept of just making money as entrepreneurs and consider all of the factors which directly affect our ability to run a successful company.

It suggests that we simply must create an enabling environment for our businesses from which sustainable growth follows.

The starting point is this; you are the most important part of your business. If you break so will your business. Sounds obvious but I’ve not yet seen a business plan with a section which considers the well-being of its team. These things are assumed rather than planned for, particularly by startups.

Why ultrapreneurship is important

You only have to Google ‘entrepreneur depression’ and you’ll find 1.3 million results – shocking. Yes, the modern, trendy entrepreneur can be seen with a gym bag next to their desk but what about mental health?

The sad truth is that 9/10 entrepreneurs still fail and the startup landscape is littered with failures.

In recent years the entrepreneur community, lead by a US centric idea has embraced the idea that failure is a good thing, a learning experience if you will. However, as much as I wholeheartedly believe this, there’s a difference between your business failing because of your marketing campaign and external influences such as your marriage, mental or physical health and your ability to ‘deal with it all’.

At UltraEducation we teach school children from primary upwards about the importance of taking a balanced approach to business – but many of these lessons are valuable to adults or budding entrepreneurs about to start a business.

The crux of our approach is the concept of entrepreneurship made famous by entrepreneur TV (a la Dragons Den and The Apprentice) is misleading.  If you go into business with a ‘get rich or die trying’ or ‘make a million at any cost’ attitude you are going to put a huge amount of pressure on yourself and are setting yourself up for a fall.

Instead to be a truly successful entrepreneur you need to take a balanced approach and be able to wear many hats. This is at the heart of what it means to be an ultrapreneur and if you can crack it then not only will your business thrive, but you will see improvements in your personal life, relationships, physical health and mental health too.

How to be an ultrapreneur: top five tips

  1. Do what you love – Steve Jobs famously said, “The only way to do great work is to do what you love”. The reasoning behind this is twofold in fact. Firstly doing what you love means you’ll maintain your sanity and keep going when the going gets tough. Secondly and often time overlooked; if you don’t love what you’re doing the product or service in question will never be ‘great’ and you can only get away with selling ‘mediocre’ for so long.
  2. Be passionate not emotional  - You’ve all been told to be passionate about your businesses by now I’m sure. But passion when ill managed can easily lead to negative states of being such as depression and anxiety.  Marc Benioff – CEO of, Russell Simmons – Co Founder of Def Jam Records, Arianna Huffington – President, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post and Orpah Winfrey are all proponents of mediation and mindfulness. Marc Benioff says he enjoys the “clear head” that meditation provides.
  3. Friends and family – When raising investment we’re told the first place we should go to is our family and friends. Ironically, entrepreneurs have mastered the art of disconnecting from friends and family in order to ‘make it’. Trust me I’ve been there!. I remember a time when I was knee deep in my startup and finally decided to take a Saturday night off. Only to find out that I didn’t know who to call and hangout with as it had been so long (sad face).
  4. Start with a team – We all know business is a team sport. You wouldn’t start a football game on your own so why start your business that way? Oh I know, because you can’t afford to pay anyone right? Wrong…Daniel H Pink’s Ted Talk changed the way we think about motivation. We now know that people are motivated more highly by intrinsic factors such as being challenged, having fun, autonomy, doing the right thing and the feeling of accomplishment than extrinsic motivators such as money. Success factors are connected. If you do what you love, truly, others will be motivated, connected and feel compelled to help. I am experiencing that paradigm as we speak. My inbox is full of people willing to be a part of my vision because they believe in it as much as I do.
  5. Know what you don’t know – Getting a mentor is more than having someone credible on your pitch deck. It’s actually about plugging the gaps of your knowledge and experience. Eric Schmidt the now Chairman of Google said the best advise he received was to get a coach / mentor.

​Julian Hall is the author of Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur and the founder of UltraEducation, an organisation that teaches entrepreneurship skills in schools 

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