In business, as in life, if we want to be successful, then we need to build successful lives. Are you aware of the many ways that your habits are hampering your success? These are the top 9 things you do that are keeping you from succeeding.
It is impossible to control every single thing that happens in your life, in your competition, or in your market. A popular phrase lately to describe the wonderful process of letting go of what you can’t control is “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
There are many things in your business that you can control. Your own interactions, your staffing, your brand, your interactions with customers. You can’t control how your employees behave, you can only set them up for success. Understand what is inside your control, and what is not, and proceed from there.
Multitasking is the bane of anyone seeking true productivity. I’m not talking here about people who need to have music playing to be able to concentrate—many people find that background noise which they aren’t particularly paying attention to helps them to focus on the task at hand—but trying to do more than one task which requires attention. Checking your email in a meeting, for example, or trying to work on a project while having a conversation. You decrease your productivity and efficiency by “code switching” between too many things. Instead, focus in on one project at a time, commit to getting it done, and then move on to the next project.
How many times in your life do you say “Oh, I’ll get to that tomorrow.” Here’s a hint: successful people, entrepreneurs or otherwise, don’t. They prioritize their to-do lists, choose an appropriate number of tasks to assign to a particular day, and assign deadlines to tasks to avoid last minute rushing. Sure, last minute emergencies happen, but if you’re spending all day on social media and not getting your work done…
Focusing on past performance
Looking at what you and your company have done before is an important component of self-analysis and making sure that you’re improving over time and that your brand is moving in the right direction. But if all your meetings are about what your company did last week, and all your strategy planning is about either avoiding or re-creating yesterday’s situation, you’re moving in the wrong direction. If you are only reacting to the past, you can’t create the future.
Seeing the trees instead of the forest
When a tiny business is in a startup phase, its CEO can look at each and every piece of the company on a daily basis. As the company grows, however, this becomes impossible. It’s important then to have trusted experts in each area of the company who can report in on how things are going, and take advice for future directions. As many businesses grow from hectic to more manageable as a rhythm develops, entrepreneurs sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to the change in workload. As the company succeeds, you may become more of an idea-person, focusing on the bigger picture.
It’s worth noting that not all entrepreneurs enjoy this part of business. Some “serial entrepreneurs” love the process of starting a company, growing it to this stage, and then selling it to someone who is more interested in seeing it expand over time.
Don’t bog down in negativity
It’s somehow a truism of life that when you approach a situation with courage and confidence, those around you feel compelled to remind you of all the things that might go wrong. They may call it playing Devil’s Advocate, or wanting to make sure you’re staying grounded, but all too often, they’re just spewing a sort of negativity that keeps you from accomplishing what you need to do. Don’t engage with it, and don’t welcome it into your life.
Waiting for The Right Time
In entrepreneurial circles, there’s this myth of the “right time” to launch a business, a new product line, or relaunch your brand. The truth is that entrepreneurs make the right time through hard work and dedication. Looking back, it may seem to outsiders that the company hit it lucky, but for most companies, if you hold off on launch while waiting for lightning to strike, you’re going to miss your window. After all, if you have a functioning business, it’s much easier to react to those occasional, surprising turns of fate, rather than if you just have a really good idea.
Make your own right time.
Seeking others’ approval
As an entrepreneur, you need the approval of your customers and your employees. If either of these two groups are discontented, you need to be concerned.
No one else matters.
Blaming external conditions
Very, very rarely, businesses fail because of uncontrollable and unforeseen events. More often, businesses fail because they have failed to plan ahead, because their cash flow is poorly managed, because their brand is inconsistent, or because they have failed to scale properly.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know what’s your fault, and what isn’t. Things that happen to your business may not be your fault, but how your business reacts is your responsibility.
What other habits have you needed to drop from your life in order to find ongoing success?