30 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Here are 30 habits that billionaires, high profile investors, and high growth startup founders have in common.
1. Try one new thing each day.
Force yourself every day to do something that is out of your comfort zone.
2. Don’t do bad days.
Remember that running a business is extremely hard, and every day is different than the day before, but having a bad day is a choice.
3. Stay informed about what’s trending.
Spend an hour or two every day, keeping up with industry news on Twitter. It’s not good to obsess over what other people are doing, but staying informed is undoubtedly essential. Tweetdeck and Google Trends are great tools to track what’s trending.
4. Accept invitations to as many meetings and events as possible.
Join GACN's Entrepreneur Community and make meaningful connections. You can also find local or virtual events on Eventbrite. From Virtual Happy Hours to Speed Networking, there is something for everyone. You never know who you will meet or the advice you’ll receive.
5. Experiment constantly.
Always try new things and change how you work. Businesses can vary pretty significantly as they grow. By experimenting with new habits and processes regularly, you’ll be able to discover better ways to run your business and teams that make sense for growth.
6. Never be afraid to email someone who is “too big.”
Most people are accommodating and open, as long as you are clear about your needs and what you have to offer.
7. Make punctuality a priority.
Be on time for every appointment, every day, without exception. Punctuality may seem like a no-brainer in the business world, but you would be surprised how many people still don’t make this a priority. It’s mind-boggling. If a leader is consistently late, it tells others that he or she is unreliable or has no respect for them. If he or she is on time, the opposite is true.
8. Never ask somebody to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.
No matter how exciting your business or the problems that you are solving are, there will always be day-to-day tasks that are utterly boring. Showing that you are willing to roll up your sleeves when the going gets tough will be a positive example for your team. You will be amazed at how this reverberates.
9. Fight brain blocks with building blocks.
Whenever you are stuck on an idea, play a game to give your brain a breather. Then, get back to the drawing board. Just like any muscle, your mind needs a recovery session after a tough workout. Wordscapes is the perfect game for fighting brain block. Download the app today on Google Play or the App Store.
10. Watch YouTube and learn from other great leaders.
Spend time at the end of every night watching interviews, speeches, and panels of other leaders you admire. If you haven’t tried TED Talks, you should give it a try. You’ll find numerous short, compelling videos full of exciting ideas.
11. Listen to self-improvement books in the car.
While driving, spend that time listening to business books and self-improvement books. You can find great Audiobooks on Amazon for the incredible insight into how to run a business, which will sharpen your skills. You can complete a new book in a few days, versus reading a book, which could take a month or two.
12. Start each day with an infectiously positive attitude.
Wake up every day thinking about the things that you are grateful for, such as –family, friends, your business, and more. Nothing good ever comes easy. Hard work and dedication always pays off. Starting every day with a robust and positive thought is the best way to kick off each day. Download a Gratitude Journal app to help you record positive feelings, which is key to overcoming all obstacles. Just as negativity is infectious–think: one rotten apple at the bottom of a barrel ultimately will ruin them all–so is positivity. Choose to be positive. Be mindful of your attitude and how it affects others.
13. Exercise and meditate.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening is the perfect complement to daily exercise, whether it’s a trip to the gym or a run on the beach. Mindfulness will give you mental clarity and improve your focus.
14. Make time for everyone on your team, no matter where they are.
Connect with your team every day, whether virtually or in person. Staying connected is part of the business and ensuring your team knows that they are valued and getting things done.
15. Make the most of the drive time.
Schedule calls during your morning drive. While it can be frustrating at times, if you have a long commute, you might find this time very useful for scheduling calls that are uninterrupted.
16. Make every meeting the second meeting.
Always have papers before a meeting, read them, and never just do a page-turn. That way, every meeting is really the second meeting.
17. Find your inner yogi.
Yoga can help you in so many areas of your life. It forces you to unplug from whatever issues you’re dealing with. You get to spend time as a student and focus on being present in the moment. Practicing Yoga can make you a better leader, and keep you sharp mentally and physically.
19. Surround yourself with people whose skills complement your own.
As a leader, it’s easy to feel like you need to know or do it all, but you will never be the best at everything. Great leaders focus on their strengths and team up with talented people for the rest. The old saying of ‘it takes a village’ is true in so many parts of life, and embracing it makes you a stronger, healthier person.
20. Walk before bed.
Every evening, take a 30-minute walk alone without music. Walking before bed is the perfect time to clear your head and calm down from daily business activities.
21. Make time in your life for fiction.
Fiction emboldens imagination, gives your mind respite, and arms you with tactics on creating motivating, inspiring messaging. Don’t be afraid to take time out to free your mind.
22. Focus on nutrition and appreciation.
While enjoying a nutritious breakfast in the morning, recite three things that you’re most appreciative of having. Think about the things that are most important in your life.
22. Leave your work out of the bedroom.
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary. Leave the TV, electronics, and work outside. By creating a work-free zone, you can reduce stress levels and, in turn, make the working time far more efficient.
23. Use pictorial language to help people “see” the future.
When describing the future, you can’t use facts and figures. You don’t have statistics to prove your points. You must primarily rely on your imagination. And to convincingly bring your audience into the future, you must unlock their imaginations, helping them envision a different world. We all know, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ So it shouldn’t be a surprise that images, and other visuals such as metaphors and analogies, are of vital importance in bridging the gap between the cerebral and the imaginative.
24. Exercise every day.
Exercise can play a critical role in your daily attitude, work potential, and outlook on life. If you don’t enjoy exercising, download 5- 15-minute workouts on Pinterest to help you start taking small steps to an exercise routine.
25. Don’t panic and don’t run.
Teams look to their leaders to set the tone for how the business is operated. It’s okay to create a sense of urgency, but it’s also important to balance it with control of critical situations. Make time to speak with frustrated customers and meet with unhappy employees to stay close to the issues impacting your business. From these conversations, you will learn more than you could ever learn from all the things that go according to plan.
26. Use the 70/30 approach to professional life.
Cultivate good judgment by learning to be comfortable, making 100 percent of a decision with 70 percent of the data. This approach forces you to weigh what is important and to understand the remainder of the data isn’t worth the time it takes to collect. Over time, you will make more good decisions and accomplish more then less confident and more risk-averse. You will also be more competitive because you will accomplish more. Target being right 70 percent of the time with everything you do. Any extra time you spend on being right means, you will miss opportunities, both personally and professionally.
27. Make lists.
In addition to making a list of the top three things, you must get done each day, make a list of the three things that must be achieved each month and each week to ensure the company stays on track. Download a Task List app and give it a try.
28. Always encourage questions.
Provide an opportunity for at least one employee to ask you questions about whatever they have on their mind every day. It is imperative to make employees feel like no question is out of limits. Q&A sessions with regular cadence make it easy for anyone in the organization to ask questions. It is often these sessions that can help you get the pulse of the company. It also becomes a forum for sharing ideas and discovering new ways of thinking or solving problems. But these opportunities to ask questions must be presented in all sorts of settings–large groups, small groups, one-on-ones, and a mix of formal and casual settings.”
29. Talk to at least one customer every day.
It’s by far the most efficient and productive way to gather feedback on [the company] and to understand the business more deeply.
30. Start your day with a clean inbox.
To start the day completely organized, get your inbox to zero at the end or beginning of each day. Anything that can be answered with a short note or delegated to a team lead should get out of the way immediately. Other items can be prioritized for later sit down. This way, you can be indeed focused during the day.