Succeeding as an entrepreneur takes hard work and persistence because, unfortunately, there is no business-startup fairy who magically bestows success on small businesses and their owners.
There is already a helluva alot of research available about the ‘perfect entrepreneurial makeup’ but at the end of the day it typically boils down to passion, perseverance and a positive attitude (and probably a little bit of crazy for good measure).
1. Aim big but do small
You need to be able to have goals that inspire – no person wakes up excited to send an email, do a presentation or do some other grunt work needed to accomplish a goal. It is therefore important to have big goals that ignite ‘the hussle’. Often though looking at the big picture and all the phases involved is incredibly daunting.
It’s just like the power of momentum that we see in sports all the time. A thumping tackle here, a forced error there adds up in a game to shift the tide. Aim for victory but focus and celebrate the small tasks performed exceptionally. When you make progress there is something at work that psychologists refer to as goal gradient. It refers to the fact that the closer we get to something, the harder we are willing to work to achieve it.
Related Post: What I wish I knew before starting a business
2. Less is more when it comes to execution
When it comes to execution, frequency is king. Do a little a lot instead of a lot a little (small, daily progress trumps one big time block once a week).
In order to achieve this you need to be able to setup a daily routine that allows you time to perform tasks that progress you towards the business goals you have set. A daily routine can be whatever works for you (‘To Do Lists’, quiet times, task blocks etc). For me, my daily routine has settled into a pattern that allows me to each and every day without fail be in a position to celebrate a victory.
3. Get awesome headphones
One minute distractions are ALWAYS longer than you think! You’ve most likely been in the same situation, someone knocks on your door while you’re in the middle of something and asks you for just a minute. The “minute” turns out to be 5 minutes and now you have forgotten where you were before the ‘interruption’.
Headphones are the office equivalent of a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign. When I need to just focus on a task (which will happen daily during the time slots I have setup to get a certain task done (a proposal, website or whatever), I wack on my headphones and a song that makes me ‘happy’ and get lost in the task – you will see me when it’s done.
And just because I am random like that, my typical ‘happy jams’ are house music and ‘Qom’ music – my favorite at the moment is embedded below.
4. Get some sleep.
You might think you are being super productive by pulling all-nighters, but you’re actually less productive when you’re running on very little sleep. And while all-nighters are needed from time to time they should not be your normal. Insufficient sleep can not only make it difficult to concentrate, but can also cause stress, irritability, and affect your ability to remember even tiny details, which all results in poorer productivity.
The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! And as an entrepreneur this is one of those ‘slam dunks’ when it comes to positive impacts. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it!
5. You’re Going to Fail–and it’s OK
I’m the type of person that believes that if you are going to do something then it must be ‘done right’. I’m going to be brutally honest with you and it’s something I have had to learn the hard way – GET OVER IT! You aren’t perfect and you don’t need to be in order to add value to someones life. The sooner you realize that the sooner you can get your product or service out to market — instead of wasting valuable timing tinkering with something that will never live up to your unrealistic standards.
Yes, you need to maintain certain ‘minimum’ standards. Yes, you should at all times aim to improve on what and how you are doing things. But you don’t need to ‘wait for perfection’ in order to start or make things work. Even if you fail (and in a startup that is a strong possibility) it is often in the midst of failure that your greatest opportunities are found – be willing to look!
Related Post: 4 Myths of self-employment explained
6. Put it in your calendar.
If it’s not in your calendar then it doesn’t get done – simple as that. To-do lists are okay but they actually encourage procrastination. When you use a to-do list, you tend to do the easiest tasks first so you can ‘tick things off’. It doesn’t differentiate between high priority and low priority and doesn’t address the time it takes to complete certain things.
Putting things in your calendar allows you to do two things:
- You don’t have other things encroach on perceived ‘free time’. By blocking time aside for priority tasks (or any tasks for that matter) you are able to ‘create time’.
- You are able to have a gauge around how long tasks actually take so that you are able to set realistic goals that included timelines. To-do lists just assume you can do everything in a day.
These are just things that have helped me become a better entrepreneur now it’s up to you whether you apply this stuff and improve or just hit the back button. It’s time to improve and get better in a world where most people just talk and do little. And if you have your own ‘hacks’ that you want to share then comment below!!
Feel free to hit me up on any of the social media (& other) channels I am on and if things are ‘really tough’ we offer expert advice to entrepreneurs/startups to take their great ideas and turn them into awesome businesses! We might not have all the answers but our intent will definitely be to help you create awesome experiences because that’s what differentiates one great product from another!
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