7 Personal Habits That Will Benefit Your Business
Plenty of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders have reflected through the years on the habits that may have served them the best during their journeys – what habits or routines had the biggest impact on their achievements?
Being organized not only gives you a better chance to follow through with the daily tasks that need to get done but also gives you time to schedule big picture thinking, including problem-solving and goal-setting.
“Keeping your meetings, deadlines, and business plan on a highly organized schedule, and sticking to it, will be what sets you apart from other small businesses that fumble in disorganization.”
Unstoppable author Craig Ballantyne warns against unstructured days – they can lead to bad time-management decisions and add to your stress.
“Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, seven days a week,” writes Ballantyne.
He recommends reading or listening to something positive to start the day, then get your most important task (MIT) done before even looking at email or social media. “If you focus on other people’s urgent requests or ‘emergencies,’ you will never achieve your own goals,” he says.
And at the end of your productive day, writes Ballantyne, plan your next one.
Starting and running a business is crazy hard and the first thing that typically gets sacrificed is caring for yourself. It’s easy to get out of the habit of self-care when there’s so much work.
But if you don’t make your emotional and physical health a priority, your business will suffer.
“Get grounded in the real world that is your stable, happy place,” writes Darrin Friedman, strategic brand specialist for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty in Pittsburgh, in Realtor magazine.
Take care of your physical and mental health – get enough sleep, exercise, find relaxation time and hone other habits that will help you manage the stress of running a business.
Asking for Help
Successful entrepreneurs are big on this habit – they recommend getting mentors, and some set up advisory board and peer communities to make sure they can get business advice on a regular basis.
It’s important to your business to have a sounding board with like-minded people and be able to turn to people with the expertise you don’t have – such as attorneys, accountants and bankers – or people with different experience in your community or industry.
It’s tough to pull away from day-to-day tasks when you’re running a business but making it a habit to look toward the future is part of being a successful small business owner.
Charles Massimo, CEO of CJM Wealth Management, emphasizes the importance of setting long- and short-term goals.
“They might be unclear, seem insignificant or feel very far away, but writing them down and devising a plan is a step in the right direction toward achieving them,” he writes in an article for Forbes as a New York Forbes Council member.
Plan for the future at least once or twice a year and make it a habit to routinely monitor your progress on achieving your goals.
It’s important to pull away from your computer or phone long enough to interact with people face-to-face once in a while. You never want to become too busy to nurture relationships, professionally and personally.
“The importance of taking time to stay in touch and have thoughtful, generous interactions with clients and professional associates cannot be undervalued,”
Making time for dinner with your family is an often-cited habit of successful entrepreneurs and leaders. President Barrack Obama used to talk about it, and Melinda Gates said (in The Cut) she and Bill Gates have family dinner together as often as possible.
The habit of responding to emails, phone calls and other requests in a timely manner and effectively is another one worth honing. Because the amount of time you take to respond could make the difference between gaining or losing a sale, or even a customer.
“When you respond quickly to clients, customers and employees, you develop a reputation for reliability,” writes Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, in an article for Entrepreneur. “In your workplace, timely and effective communication will create a culture of focused efficiency.”
Acting with Integrity
Another habit that never goes out of style – showing integrity in your interactions with customers, vendors and work associates. Also, that includes how you act in your local community as well.
“Show integrity and provide value by involving yourself and your business in the local community: support schools, charities, and social groups to build your reputation and show that you care about more than just the bottom line,” writes Bob House, president of BizBuySell, in an Inc. article.