How Effective Entrepreneurs Sharpen the Saw Every Single Day to be More Effective
Those who are entrepreneurs love the lifestyle: freedom, the ability to make your own decisions, and unlimited income.
With the creativity that entrepreneurs are gifted with, entrepreneurs get to create their own opportunities and destiny. Furthermore, entrepreneurs may develop and sell products and services you love, solve problems and make a difference in your process, be your own boss, and stand up for what you believe in.
Through the process of making a living, you get to personally affect change with those you work with and the partners that you have.
Along with the awesome lifestyle and freedom of an entrepreneur, one must be disciplined around some of the challenges of entrepreneurship. Running your own business requires balancing a myriad of tasks, large and small: organizational deadlines, endless decisions to make, cash management, employee relations, time-management, delegation, strategy, capital, and much more!
This article addresses the self-management of an entrepreneur. With so many issues that arise on a daily basis, there are a number of things that effective, smart entrepreneurs deal with that allow them to be productive. This article addresses the 10 most important traits that every smart, effective, productive entrepreneur possesses.
The 10 highly effective habits practice behind the successful social manager and entrepreneurs are the following:
- Big picture (Vision)
- Measurable Goals
- Follow through
- Show up
1. Clarity of Vision
Effective entrepreneurs are driven by vision. Those who have a larger picture in play are able to see the entirety of the puzzle and therefore are driven by the destination of where they would like to go. Having a vision solidified means that one is not only able to listen to their higher calling, but understand it thoroughly in order to follow through with a plan from point A, where they are currently, to point B which is where they want to end up.
Vision allows the entrepreneur to see the big picture, connecting day-to-day tasks to the end result. A strong vision sustains the entrepreneur to the finish line, as they integrate the reason for why they have the vision in the first place to dealing with the day-to-day nuances that come up.
Rather than feeling completely defeated if something goes wrong, the vision is able to carry the business or the entrepreneur onto the next day and the next challenge.
2. Measurable Goals
Goal setting is another smart habit practiced by effective entrepreneurs. Productive entrepreneurs either outwardly look at and review their goals or internalize their goals. Goals are important for motivation. They allow us to understand what is quantifiable and when the project at hand needs to be completed.
Goals should be simple and clear so that it is easy to follow. Goals provide us with the means to establish a way to measure progress toward a path of completion. Measurements will help you stay on track reach targets such as dates and numbers. When met, one gets to celebrate the achievement of reaching fulfilling the desired result.
Goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results focused, and time bound to create better results. Goals, achieved and strung together, provide a path of fulfilling mission and vision.
Staying focus can be one of the toughest things to do or any entrepreneur. Running your own company subjects you to a constant stream of interruptions: clients, a million and one things to do, phone calls, emails, deadlines demanding your attention! With a constant flow of distractions, an entrepreneur, you may be budding up to his or her brain's capacity for focus and productivity.
To better focus here are three tips to become more productive.
- Engage the right brain 1st. Do the creative stuff at the beginning of the day. Save the mindless stuff for later. The beginning of the day when you have the most energy, do all the things that require the most brain power: writing an article, strategizing, and intentionally engaging in the most rewarding work that results in 80% of your productivity.
- Segment your day and allocate your time with intention. Help you focus to realize that your brain can truly focus only on an average of six hours per week. Studies have shown that 90% of people do their best thinking outside the office. As you go about your day notice when and where you focus best, then allow yourself to do your most challenging work during this time.
- Practice focusing. Focus, like meditation, like exercise, can be developed. When you multitask, focus becomes an issue. Rather than hiking in on a specific task, you are engaged with a myriad of things to do all at once. Stop doing this. Train your mind and muscle memory to focus on one thing at a time. Get the task completed. Then, move onto the next task.
4. Follow Through
The ability to follow through is a function of focus. Actions from the beginning of a thought to the end of a process - requires follow through. This process permeates every area of life: from losing 20 pounds to writing a book to learning how to sing. When one is serious about completing a call, follow through is a must.
An effective entrepreneur must possess the ability to follow through despite the many distractions on the entrepreneurial journey: limited time in the day, setting priorities, and determining what is most important as short or long term goals.
Actually, follow-through does not mean that the entrepreneur needs to do everything himself, or herself. Follow-through can be delegated which brings us to our next point.
Any smart and effective manager needs to be able to delegate. The ability to delegate is a function of trust. It is trust in oneself, for choosing the correct person to transfer responsibility, and also the abilities of the person you have chosen.
When you delegate a task, responsibility is assigned to another person. When delegation is implemented, much more can be completed and the entrepreneur becomes the manager of a project rather than executing on every single task that needs to be done for completion. Rather than micro managing, when one releases responsibility to another human being, he or she is freed up - body, mind, spirit, and energy to focus on another task. When we are good at delegating, we become good at completing our projects and therefore staying on task, focused, so we can meet our goals.
From the literal time you begin work to the time you cease working, consistency adds stability in the life of an entrepreneur. Being consistent, be it around time parameters, project quality, or attitude, is an advantageous habit. Consistency sets boundaries that help disciplined entrepreneurs run their life. Consistency marries well with point # 3: focus. Both focus and consistency are major challenges for creative entrepreneurial minds. Like a muscle, consistency can improve through daily mindful practice. Awareness is the beginning of change for any endeavor. If you are aware that consistency in your professional (or personal) life can improve your quality of life, or reduce your stress levels, makes plans to deliberately cultivate consistent action.
Something as simple as a list of what needs to be done every day, posted right next to your computer screen can do wonders. You can also decide to accomplish the items on your check list before doing anything else to ensure follow through (point # 4).
Consistent posting on social media, for example, benefits your company so that it will show up on social news feeds. Similarly, consistent SEO optimized blogging will generate content, leads and eventually sales. A consistent level of service, of course, delivers on your brand promise.
7. Showing Up
Athletes train before competing. Despite the weather, or how they might feel for the day, training is on schedule and on track. Athletes push themselves to show up, regardless of the situation or circumstance, whether they feel like it, or not. Same goes for the discipline of running a business.
Productive entrepreneurs know that showing up is 60% to effectiveness. Those who run their own shows knows that when you do something, you get something. Similarly, when you do nothing, you get nothing. As independent business owners, when must be able to regulate our time and projects to a critical point of balance: when to work, when to rest and when to play. When we show up for ourselves and our business consistently, we will organically decipher what is okay to miss and what we are committed that we absolutely need to be present for.
Healthy entrepreneurs are balanced, moderating work, with family and play. Too much of anything becomes unhealthy, and moderation is key to wholeness. Be sure to integrate work that involves business infrastructure and organization with bringing in sales. It is really important, in today’s marketplace to provide value, as a resource to your customers. However, without sales generation, a business is not sustainable. Likewise, without inventory (or content for the infopreneur), there would be nothing to sell.
With content posting, we must balance salesmanship with stewardship. Using the 80/20 rule works well for online businesses. This rule means that we apply 80% of our efforts in marketing to providing value, authority, and advice to win what we post 20% of the time: promotion about the actual business side of our business. Balancing this formula means to have a servant leadership position: providing insight and expertise and, at the same time, serving your end customer.
Related: The Buyer’s Journey: Understanding What Your Target Audience Needs
Productive, effective managers constantly review and assess where they are. Taking each task as it comes and knocking off items on the checklist is important, but the effective manager also knows exactly where they are on the journey. A periodic review that is appropriate for your business might mean reviewing what you set aside time 5 minutes at the end of the day to review and assess what you have accomplished for the day. Or, it might mean a weekly review or a monthly review. Whatever the period of review might be, the review itself provides a means to measure and calculate whether what you have set out to do is completed.
Based on your own guidelines for success, you may wish to continue doing what you’ve been doing, reprioritize, bringing additional help or renegotiate the original plan. Successful entrepreneurs take the time review every so often because, without a look-see and assessment, there would be no clarity as to what is working, or not.
At least once a month, take time to adjust your plan. Determine what is working, and what isn’t and make changes as needed. Perhaps you may need to spend more time writing, or marketing, which means that you will need to adjust the amount of time you take on another task. Whatever it is, develop malleability in your routine so that you can easily adjust and adapt to the changing environment.
Adjustment is a state of mind. Adjusting your work flow, or your schedule requires a flexible mindset and a determination that will allow you to go with the flow. Being able to adjust easily means to be in a constant practice of non-attachment. It also requires discernment as to what needs to be adjusted, versus what needs more time to develop.
Over time, practice and implementation of these 10 highly effective habits of getting it together provide entrepreneurs the mental, emotional and habitual muscle to self-motivate, and accomplish goals beyond what we’ve imagined!
Those who are entrepreneurs love the lifestyle: freedom, the ability to make your own decisions, and unlimited income. Self-management becomes mastery as we get better and better at managing and balancing our entrepreneurial journey. Not only will be able to make a fortuitous living as motivated business owners, we will also be happy, well-adjusted contributing members of society.