Being an entrepreneur comes with many perks. It allows us to build a business we’re passionate about, and in doing so, it allows us the potential to live the life we want. On the flip side, although no one can fire us, we’re also the creators of our success, and owning that responsibility comes with great discipline.
1. Double down on your strengths, hire for your weaknesses
You need to understand what your strengths are and what you excel at when it comes to running your business. If you can, make that what you focus on most. Be self-aware and realize what tasks or parts of running the business you aren’t good at and seek out someone who is. I’m a huge believer in surrounding myself with people smarter than me in all my areas of weakness. It’s a challenge to think about delegating and may be hard to let go of your control, especially when you’re in the building phases. You may fear that no one will care as much as you do. However, what I’ve learned is the only way to scale is to get help… the right help. Take the time to be careful about who you choose and make sure they are a good fit. Planning to bring someone in to help you needs to be done in advance and ‘just’ before you need them. The sooner you realize this, the easier it will be to find the right fit to fill the gaps in your business rather than hiring in desperation.
2. Be mindful of wasting time
Being a boss means no one is telling you when to show up and get work done. You’re on your own. It’s essential to be mindful of what kind of “working” you are doing. Is it productive, money making time OR is it ‘fake work’- activities that make you FEEL like you are working and being busy? Are you procrastinating on your priorities and doing menial tasks that could be delegated or aren’t urgent? Sometimes we do this because it’s easy; it’s not uncomfortable and makes us feel good. But that is not how we grow, get more clients, and MAKE MORE MONEY! You need to be stronger than your strongest excuse. Had that phone call on your to-do list for too long? Stop what you are doing and call right now.
By being mindful of how you spend your time, you will be able to prioritize your action items so that you can continue to move your business forward and quit procrastinating, feeling like we are doing SO much but not ever getting anywhere. I’ve found time blocking to be an excellent method to help with productivity.
3. Take breaks
I learned this the hard way. I never took breaks because I thought I had to work 14 hours straight, or I would be a failure. What I learned is a quick break or even weekend vacation refreshed my brain, and I was more productive by working fewer hours. I don’t care if it’s a non-negotiable 45 minutes a day, you need to stop and recharge your batteries. If you don’t take some time to breathe and rejuvenate, you will be less productive, and you run the risk of burning out.
Longer hours just had me working less efficiently because I was more tired or less energized than I wanted to admit.
4. Be an active student of the game
You don’t know everything. It’s important to stay humble and continue to learn. If you aren’t always learning about how to be better at your craft, how to stay competitive, and studying trends, you are setting yourself up for stagnation or, worse, not creating a sustainable business model. You always need to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable and be a sponge for new information. I always say coaches need coaches, and maybe you need to hire someone to keep pushing you to learn more? We need to remain engaged and always put the best foot forward to improve. This can come in forms of self-development and personal growth as much as business! Look for podcasts, speakers, books, or mentors that you can continue to learn and grow from. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need to.