Psychologists have proven, through continuous research, that behaviour can be learned through observation and mirroring. They also purport that it takes 21 days of consistency for an individual to make or break a habit. Why is this important to entrepreneurship? Well, your success as an entrepreneur can lie heavily on the monitoring, observing, and putting into action some of the habits, techniques and practices that are common among entrepreneurs and small business owners who have propelled their careers beyond the confines of “a single start up”. Many entrepreneurs credit their success to modeled behaviour and plans. Consequently, we have compiled a list of some of the habits of successful entrepreneurs to help steer you in the right direction and give you a head start on your return on investment.
Watch the company you keep.
If you want to attain entrepreneurial success, you should find yourself in the company of those who have gone before you and have excelled. You can learn a lot from people who are smarter than you. Don’t let their knowledge dissuade or intimidate you. They, too, once had a startup (in many cases, of humble beginnings). Once you’ve selected the individuals you want in your circle, refrain from suffocating yourself with business and business-related tasks and conversation.
To elaborate, refrain from meeting these “role models” in networking and business settings. Instead, spend time with them at sporting events, barbeques, or even light coffee. If you surround yourself with successful business owners beyond the context of business, you create the opportunity to learn how they live their lives on a day-to-day basis. Conclusively, if you intend on starting an accounting firm, make sure accountants make up a percentage of your “friends group”.
Be intentional about your day-to-day routine.
Successful entrepreneurs rarely complain about lacking enough hours in the day. They recognize that everyone is allotted the same time and it is the use of that time that is transformative. If you are a morning person, wake up early to capitalize on your hours of productivity. That doesn’t mean waking up at 7 a.m. It means really taking advantage of the time you complete your best work. That may translate into a 4:00 a.m. call time. If you want to maximize your daily productivity potential, you must take your body’s cues seriously. Recognize that work is just as important as rest and when there’s an imbalance of these two things, you and your business are bound to suffer. Further, incorporate time for exercise, personal time, and quality time with family and friends. Once you’ve settled on your day-to-day routine, be consistent.
Make use of the short-list.
When you own a business, your to-do list is often eternal. The list itself might discourage you from completing any work at all. In other instances, it can be so demanding that you seldom complete tasks in a reasonable manner. Successful entrepreneurs report condensing tasks to two to three priority items each day. As a result, in the likely event that you do not get through your entire list, your most important tasks are completed daily. This technique keeps you accountable, increases task completion, and provides an overall picture for your efficiency. Additionally, short-lists function as an evaluation tool on how to run and grow your business.
Finally, one of the most common emotional traits that persist among entrepreneurs is doubt. Will this work? What if I fail? Is this the right way? Will they buy it? Should I do this? The second-guessing disease is correlated with goal setting. The more you second-guess yourself, the smaller the goals. Successful entrepreneurs aim high, no matter how unsure they are. Why? Because starting a business is a risk and that’s where the magic happens in many instances. Will the outcome always be favourable? Probably not, but at least you can edit and go back to the drawing board when something does not work out.
It is better to aim high and land somewhere at the top than to aim low and hit the mark.