13 Critical habits to cultivate as an Entrepreneur
1. Listen to your body and take care of it!
Find the time to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and spend at least 10-20 minutes each day in fresh air. A good practice I have found is to set the time and after every two hours spent working, take a 5-10 minutes break to get a glass of clean water, stretch a bit and get some fresh air. I guarantee that you’ll be much more productive throughout the day if you stick to this simple routine.
2. Do things regularly that de-stress you and make you feel good
In a recent research conducted on what people regret most before they die, the number one regret was working too hard and not finding the time for other things important in life. Your well-being is undoubtedly the most important of all! As an entrepreneur, you are always on the run and can’t avoid spending a lot of time dealing with the unexpected. You might find that a massage once a week, or a dancing class, catching up with your friends, listening to your favourite music or reading a great book is what gives you the energy you need to keep on going. Therefore, keeping the activities that energises you is crucial. No more excuses and putting it off! Book your weekly massage appointments or call your best friend now. As precious as your company is to you, there is much more to life than business!
3. Break big goals into smaller, more specific tasks
Running a company on your own can be overwhelming at times. It is important to have a big vision and goal to work towards, but you can’t bypass taking those little steps to get there. Breaking the bigger tasks into more manageable, smaller tasks will give you the chance to complete them with more ease and will give you the confidence and motivation to move on to the next one. One by one, step by step, day by day.
4. Keep a to do list and learn about time management
How many times have you promised to yourself to start writing things down and prioritize all the things you need to do? How many times have you forgotten something important and regretted not taking the time to have a ‘to do’ list? I suggest you get over your laziness and start it today! The longer you put it off and as your business grows, the harder it will be to keep track of all the things that need to be done. On the other hand, forgetting something you have promised to someone can cost your reputation which can be fatal in business.
5. Find mentors and mentees
Surrounding yourself with more experienced, helpful and wise people can really help your business grow. In return of course, you should help and advise those who reach out to you for help. Keep in mind, there is always someone out there, who can benefit from your uniqueness and experience. Be open and you will find, that if you start helping and empowering others to be successful, more people will help you too.
6. Limit/control the time spent on social media and answering emails
Do you have a fear of missing out on something? Have you ever had the feeling that if you get off Facebook or Twitter for even one minute, the world will crash and burn? On the same note, do you feel you are not getting as much work done as you should because of the constant “checking your social media pages”? Well, let’s put it this way: social media is unavoidable if you want to be successful in business these days, however, unfortunately there are other tasks as well that requires your attention just as much, unless your name is Mark Zuckerberg of course. Set aside a few timeslots in your day that you’ll use for social media and emails, and turn them off outside these timeslots. Stick to it, you’ll get so much more done, and hopefully not miss out on anything overly important.
7. Know the time you work best
All of us can name a specific part of the day when we are the most productive. Try to allocate that time of day to do the work that is the most important to your business and you are the best at. Do the type of work when you need your most creative and best self, and refuse to be distracted with other, less important things.
8. Ask for help
Everybody needs a helping hand sometimes. Try to be helpful to others, and start asking for help when you need it! The things to keep in mind: be polite and be prepared before you ask for help, and get to the point quickly, so you don’t waste the time of others. If you ask for help nicely and get rejected, at least you can say that you have done everything you could, and move on! There is nothing worse than wondering about what if…
If you try to do everything, your business might be great but it will be unable to grow. Only do the things you enjoy doing and you are the best at doing. Outsource the things you don’t like doing, and can be easily done by others. You’ll be surprised how much more time and joy you’ll find in your day, and how quickly your business will grow.
10. Be visible, be a good leader
We are living in an era when the person behind and within the business is just as important as the business itself. Don’t hide, show your true self, share your passion and you’ll attract the right people. Be proud of being an entrepreneur, all the experiences you’ve had and how far you’ve come. After all, it is all about the journey, not the destination.
11. Plan your entire work day in advance
Motivating yourself and getting things done can be challenging to some entrepreneurs who are working for themselves. Planning your month/week/day in advance on a sheet will help you stay on track, follow your progress and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
12. Keep an “ideas” file and stay focussed
If you are entrepreneurial, chances are that great ideas come and go in your head all the time, even when you are focussed on one particular task. To avoid distraction and stay focussed, create an “ideas” file and take the time to record all your ideas when you have them. This way, you will remain focussed, and won’t be spending half a day wondering what that million dollar idea was. Consider the ideas once you are finished with the task you had set for yourself.
13. Be community focused – give back
It’s simple. Without money, there is no business, without people, there is no money. People are the driving force behind any business; they are our costumers, our suppliers, the stakeholders, our competitors. If you and your business stand for the people, support those in need and operate in an environmentally conscious manner, people will stand behind you and your business will thrive.