Great business owners and entrepreneurs are an eclectic bunch, but their habits and routines often share common traits.
Here we look at some of the habits great business people share.
They prepare, plan and execute
Alexander Graham Bell said: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
All successful entrepreneurs believe in preparation and planning. They might create diligent to-do lists at the start of each day, or make goals and objectives they intend to deliver over a longer period of time.
The key to success is to look forward and set a goal that you want to achieve within a certain timeframe. Then, working backwards, plan the steps you’ll need to complete to take you there. Once the plan is formalised, all you’ve got to do is execute the required steps.
This is simple to understand but hard to master. Journaling can help you to set goals and structure your routine in order to achieve them.
Bill Gates said: “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.”
The daily urge to procrastinate, and our willingness to give in to it, is one of the major obstructions standing between you and success. If we can focus on the task at hand, tasks set through diligent planning and preparation, we will execute far more efficiently and effectively.
Focus isn’t just about blocking out the urge to browse Facebook or Internet shop. It’s also about prioritising what matters from day to day. We’re all busy, with full to-do lists, but success will come to you and your business when you focus on completing the day’s most important tasks.
They are constantly learning
Henry Ford said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”
This is an important one. Learning - usually via an enormous appetite for reading - seems to be a binding imperative for all successful entrepreneurs and business founders, who tend to be voracious in their desire to improve and learn every day.
It’s likely that a sense of curiosity got you into business in the first place. And it is this burning desire to learn and improve that will push you, your team and your business to new heights.
Tip: Read. Read. Read.
They build a network of inspirational peers
Jim Rohn said: “You’re the average of the five people you spend most time with.”
You spend up to 10 or 12 hours in the office each day, so you need to be careful about who you’re working alongside, because the effect that these people have upon your own success is enormous. This is a lesson that should be reflected by how and who you hire.
Surrounding yourself with honest, hard working and inspirational people is a sure fire way to get ahead in business. You’ll learn from and be inspired by your team, they’ll learn from and be inspired by you, and together you’ll grow and win.
They embrace frustration and failure
Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Failure is fashionable. But even though it might be in the headlines as something current and cool, the willingness to take risks, battle through hard times and come out the other side still fighting is one of the oldest and most important business lessons of all.
The willingness to try things that might fail is what sets great business leaders and entrepreneurs apart. Negating risk is important, but pushing into uncharted territories, inherent with danger and risk, is the only way to grow out of your own and your business’ comfort zone. Embrace frustration and struggle and, if it happens, embrace and learn from failure, too.
They reflect and learn from their past
Winston Churchill said: “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”
Failure and success are entirely useless unless you learn from them. At every turn, carefully reflect on what it was that made something go wrong or right. Be sure to make reflection and learning part of your routine.
Over time, if you take a diligent approach to unpicking the journey of your business life, you’ll come up with rules to live and work by, and these will guide you towards future achievements.
They look after themselves through exercise and rest
Virgil said: “The greatest wealth is health.”
Like learning, this is another non-negotiable that binds almost all of the great business minds. If you neglect your mind and body, your productivity, efficiency and success will slide.
On the flip side, even when you’re busy, it’s not hard to take good take care of yourself. Regular exercise, quality sleep, meditation, restorative holidays… these simple elements add up to a better outlook on life and business, and will give you a far higher chance of achieving success.
Taking up all of these habits is not a sure fire way of achieving success. But if you manage to only focus on just a few of them, it’s likely you will see a net benefit in your own life and in the prospects for your business.
Give a few of them a go, and we’d love to hear how you get on. Get in touch with your experiences here.