The world’s most successful businesses are run by entrepreneurs who harbor the right habits to ensure their longevity and staying power in the marketplace. The truth is that so much of our behavior comes from the habits that we employ on a daily basis, effectively determining our potential to excel in any line of work.
In fact, habits are an undeniably powerful part of life in general, governing much of our behavior. From the way we think, to the way we feel and the way we act, the habits that we employ have a massive impact on our potential for success. Some habits that are the best to have in life, others are the best to have in business.
Any business owner who’s committed to achieving financial success needs to ensure that they’re employing the right habits in business. Clearly, in business, bad habits can quickly ruin you, destroy your reputation and wipe out any chances for eventual success. On the other hand, good habits, when persistently applied, can ultimately create monumental success.
What are the best habits to have in business?
Considering that eight out of 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months of operations and only 4 percent of businesses make it to the 10-year mark, the habits you employ in business can quite literally make or break you. This isn’t some subjective list. Rather, it’s based on empirical data from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
If you focus on building up a large majority of these 28 best habits to have in business, you’ll all-but guarantee your long-term success. But don’t expect to achieve financial freedom overnight. It will take time. But as long as you persistently apply these habits, success will eventually come.
How many of the following habits are you employing right now in your life? Take an audit of them and see which ones you can easily incorporate into your daily routine in an effort to achieve long-term business success.
1. Wake Up Early
Success in business requires true effort and grit, along with steadfast concentration. Considering that most of us are usually so caught up and chaotic during the day, we need those early morning hours to really focus our minds on the day ahead. There’s no better habit for achieving your goals, whether personal or professional, than waking up early.
How much earlier you ask? At least two hours earlier than you are right now. In fact, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs wake up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. every single day without fail. But if you’re not a morning person, you might find some difficulty with instilling this habit.
If you’re serious about waking up early and you want to make this behavior habitual, use the micro-changes approach. Set your clock back gradually every single week by 15 minutes so that you slowly move towards your time goal. This is far more effective than attempting to wake up two or three hours earlier instantly within a day or so.
2. Hour of power
Anthony Robbins refers to the initial part of the day as being the most important, when all of the so-called magic happens. It’s a time for pure focus and clarity. But once you achieve the habit of waking up early, you need time to yourself in order to get your health, wellness and mind in sync.
Take the time to interweave a powerful early morning routine into your day where you can focus your efforts on the tasks ahead and enact some kind of exercise and incantation routine. Start with just 10 minutes per day with this habit and allow it to grow and morph into your hour of power over time.
Keep in mind that it takes 18 to 254 days for habits to solidify in the mind, and you can’t expect to go from zero to hero overnight. Take the long term micro-changes approach to any habit, including your hour of power, if you want to ensure that you see things through and don’t get frustrated with the difficulties that might ensue by trying to do too much too fast.
3. Stay inspired
Considering the difficulties involved with building a notable business, it’s important to stay inspired. Find something that inspires you every single day, whether it’s an audiobook, a TED Talk, or a blog post that will help you keep all pistons firing at full steam.
For most people, it helps to find someone who’s achieved the success that they’re after, and model after them. They search for any material they can find from that person, in an effort to keep them focused on the proverbial prize. Find your source of inspiration. Seek it out every single morning. And stay focused on your dreams.
The truth is that some of the most famous people who’ve failed in business, have also been the most successful. They stayed inspired. They kept the dream alive in their minds. Without that daily source of inspiration, success wouldn’t have been possible.
4. Set daily business goals.
Anyone who’s serious about achieving monumental success in business needs to set business goals. But not just long-term business goals. They need to set goals for their business every single day. These act like markers or milestones on the way to the bigger, and more out-of-reach goals that seem so far off.
Setting daily goals for your business should be done early in the morning when your mind is fresh. Come up with a metric that you can measure and ensure that you work towards that end every single day. Break down your longer-term goals into daily goals so that you can have a short-term target towards accomplishing your dreams.
5. Achieve inbox zero.
Studies confirm that clutter results in a loss of focus. Not just physical clutter. Today, it’s also the virtual clutter in our lives that helps to decrease our ability to focus. And, more often than not, our email inboxes are a complete disaster, cluttered with a million things that range from spam all the way up to important items that require our attention.
Make it a habit to sort, organize and discard emails as soon they come in. Setup filters and rules if you have to and take advantage of automation that exists through some of the largest email providers. Even if you don’t have all that automation, you should make it a priority to keep your inbox empty nearly at all times.
6. Manage your time.
One of the best habits to have in business by far is the effective management of your time. How you use your time says a lot about how successful you are. Do you waste your time and squander it on activities that you could easily cut out of your life such as endlessly surfing the internet or binge watching television series?
Considering that we all have the same amount of time in this world, and that more time can’t be saved or created as is the case with money, once we use that time, it’s gone forever. Come up with a good system for managing your time and stick to it. Don’t get distracted or dissuaded. Stay focused so that you can achieve your goals.
7. Chase the frog.
In a recent book entitled, Chasing the Frog: How to Succeed in Life with an Empowering Morning Routine, I spoke at great length about something Mark Twain referred to as eating the frog. It simply means that you have to tackle your biggest and most important tasks (MITs) of the day first.
If you can get in the habit of writing down two or three of the most important things that you need to do the following morning, and do that the night before, you can wake up and be prepared to tackle those things. Your MITs should be the items that move you closest to your long-term goals.
8. Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20-Rule, states that 80 percent of the results comes from 20 percent of the efforts. In business, this is an invaluable resource and tool for effectively scaling out your numbers. In sales, this also states that 80 percent of the income comes from 20 percent of the customers.
Not only that, but within that 20 percent, the 80/20-Rule also holds true, meaning that 80 percent of the income from the 20 percent also comes from 20 percent. That means 4 percent, or a very small percentage of customers, are driving a large majority of the sales. Find your 80/20-Rule in sales or in anywhere else in your business and scale it out every single day.
9. Track and analyze.
As a plane travels from one point in the world to another, it tracks and analyzes its progress moment-by-moment. It knows its speed, altitude, direction of travel and a million other factors, every second during that journey. Because the plane knows that, it can make adjustments when necessary in order to reach its goal of arriving on time.
The point? The more detailed the metrics, and the more often you track things, the more likely you’ll be to move towards your goals and know what’s working and what’s not. Pick a metric…