Yesterday, I was on a coaching and consultation call with another entrepreneur, discussing his social media plans and visual brand direction for his business. It was a really good session and at the end of the call, he was all pumped up to get going and start creating better visual content for his business. From posting content once a week, he was ready to do it 3-4 times a week.
I was excited for him too, but I encouraged him to take baby steps so he doesn’t lose steam over time. As an entrepreneur, when an idea pops into our head, or when we feel motivated to do something, we might feel as if we can conquer the world. The ideas keep coming but if you are a solo entrepreneur running your business, soon, the task list can feel very daunting. From servicing clients, to running operations, looking at accounts, posting social media content and even sometimes being a courier person, you can easily burn out within the first 1-2 years of operation.
So how do you keep going and going?
In a recent conversation with a national athlete friend, she told me about the discipline athletes need on a daily basis so they can reach their goal. Training pretty much every day for many hours, eating the right foods…. doing the same routines daily so they can push themselves towards perfection. Their minds are so focused on the end goal, that the discomforts of discipline outweigh it all.
Similarly, as entrepreneurs, there are daily habits we need to cultivate so that we can have the energy to keep on going and going. Being motivated is important, but we cannot rely on our feelings alone, we need self-control to say no to the things that do not help us and yes to the things that will. Whatever your task is today, set your mind on your end goal. You can certainly do this!
What habits would you need to cultivate to make your business a success?
I’d like to share some of my daily habits and mindsets, so that hopefully, it will spark some ideas in you on cultivating a disciplined life at work.
- Finding space to think and reflect
This is one area that is so crucial for me. My day goes so much better when I spend at least 15-30 minutes in self-reflection and prayer in the morning. I gain better perspective about my world after I reflect on the challenges I have been facing, my dreams and my feelings about it. I can then create better action steps after that.
- Important over urgent
When there are a million of things I need to do, I choose to focus on the important items first, especially when it is an important task that I dread doing. Naturally, there are days when the absolutely urgent tasks need to be done first, but if there’s something urgent that can wait just a few more hours, I’ll do that. If I work on my important tasks first, I won’t feel dragged down thinking about it the whole day, stressing over completing it.
- Overcome procrastination
Totally related to the point above – Gosh, it’s tempting to procrastinate doing things that you know need to be done. Setting deadlines and reminders help me a lot. Sometimes I allow the daily non-essential distractions (like checking Facebook or Instagram feeds) to steal my time. It’s totally counter-productive, yet I allow it to happen. When I finally work on that task that I procrastinated on, I celebrate! This gives me energy to keep moving.
- Outsource tasks that drain you
I understand my own strengths and weaknesses. I am certainly not an analytical person that enjoys looking at accounts, so that is one area I am certainly not willing to take on as a daily task. I love dealing with people, thinking of ideas on how to creatively brand and promote my business and creating content. When I put my energy into my strengths, I find the journey is much more pleasant.
- Find accountability partners
There are days when the journey will be tough and we’ll need more encouragement to keep going. This is where having someone walking behind or beside you helps a lot. This person may not be in the business, but is someone who cares for you. We need resilience to keep going the distance. Self-willpower alone can get you so far, but an accountability partner pushes you to be responsible for your own promises to yourself.
As Sherrie Campbell says in her article, “The most successful people in life are disciplined. Succeeding is so difficult for many people because life can be frustrating. Frustration can provoke many to give up too soon. Each challenge we face offers us the opportunity to grow, to improve upon our skillset, to test our edges and to learn new ways to solve problems. Those who are disciplined make their lives easier as their skill sets increase.” I recommend you to read her article to find out the qualities that mark the life of a disciplined entrepreneur.
I am celebrating your success as you walk through this journey with a disciplined life and mindset!