To create success in your business there are lots of steps you can be taking. In fact, it can be overwhelming and frankly, downright confusing, to decide what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Am I right?
To be honest, the steps you need to take in order to build your successful business may well look different than mine or someone else’s steps. Our path to success may vary depending on the type of business we’re running.
And yet, there are some shared steps that all successful business owners must take. These essentials include relationship building (writing blog posts and newsletters), visibility (getting a website up, networking, social media, etc.), creating products and programs that your ideal clients can invest in, and the list goes on and on.
And there’s the flip side of the coin. There are also things you’re doing that get in the way of your success.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that successful business owners handle common stumbling blocks, shall we? Minimizing these negative habits with the suggestions below will allow you to spend more time and energy on your true steps to success.
Here are a few habits that stop your success.
Do you check email first thing every day? Email, as we all know, seems so innocent. It seems like you’ll be glad you got your inbox tackled. And yet it’ll suck you in and the next thing you know it’s time for lunch! (What happened to my morning?!)
Think of it this way: Email is the other person’s agenda, what they want you to do, or a question they want you to answer.
Take charge of your day by spending the first hour on a revenue-generating activity.
This might be working on your next program or writing an article; it could be following up with people you met at yesterday’s networking event and setting up complimentary calls with them, or recording an audio for a new product.
Set aside specific times each day when you check and respond to emails: perhaps this could be in half hour chunks at 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm. You will get a lot more done and move your business forward faster.
2. Personal Phone Calls
Stop answering the phone every time it rings. When you had a job (or if you still do,) it’s unlikely you could accept personal calls anytime they came in. Family and friends knew this and they respected the boundaries.
Why is your business any different?
Imagine this: you are working away at an article or product and the phone rings. You answer and it’s your best friend calling to chat. An hour later you hang up the phone and realize not only you didn’t get your article finished; you now have no energy to complete it.
Let calls go to voice mail and then respond at your scheduled times to do so.
3. Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are wonderful places for connecting and marketing. They also make time disappear faster than a speeding bullet!
If you use social media during business hours (you do have set business hours, right?) make sure you’re there for a specific purpose and have a time limit.
For example: 15 minutes during the morning for wishing people on Facebook a happy birthday, 15 minutes in the afternoon for responding to comments on your business page and 15 minutes at the end of your working day commenting on other people’s posts or retweeting or re-pinning. You get the idea. Find out what works so that your social media time is serving as a break in between productive chunks of time instead of the other way around.
Oh, and this may upset you, but ideally you’ll get on social media for fun or personal activities outside your business hours. Just sayin’. Think about being a successful business owner and make your decisions for how you spend your time from that frame of mind.
4. Saying Yes
Entrepreneurs are typically people who get things done. This makes you very attractive to those looking for help with all sorts of activities that won’t move your business toward success.
Give yourself permission to say no sometimes.
When someone asks for a favor or help with something, pause and consider three questions. It is ok to say you will think about it and get back to them. I know, it’s hard. But give it a try.
Then ponder the following:
1. Am I the best person to do this?
Do you have the needed skills for the task? There may be someone you know who could do it better but the person making the request asked you because subconsciously they know you always say yes.
If your answer to this question is no then you’re done. If you answer yes then move on to the next question.
2. Do I want to do it?
It is perfectly acceptable to say no because you simply don’t want to do it or because it’s inconvenient. You are under no obligation to say yes every time. It is absolutely okay to say, “Not this time, but please let me know about the next opportunity to help.”
If your answer to question 2 is yes, then move on to the next one.
3. Under what conditions?
If you are thinking of saying yes to the request, you may need to set some expectations. If a friend asks for help with moving, you might say you can only come for the morning or the afternoon because you have something else booked in your schedule. (Or because you’re already so booked that you need some down time!)
If after going through these steps you decide to say no, you do not have to make excuses.
I’m not saying you should start saying no all the time. Nor am I telling you not to donate your time to friends, family, or charitable activities. I do these things all the time! They’re part of a rich life.
All I ask is that you make sure that when you do say yes that you’re doing so for the right reasons and that it isn’t getting in the way of your success.
5. No Plan or Guidance
Do you wake up wondering what you’re going to do today for your business?
Set some goals and then create small action steps for each goal. Prioritize and schedule when you will do each step. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much. Decide on three tasks each day and focus on getting those done.
If you’re not sure what your goals should be or what actions you need to take to achieve those goals, get some help from a business coach. Your coach will guide you not only toward success but also away from making mistakes and wasting your time with distractions. They’ll help you create a plan that will move you forward much faster than you can do it alone.
Assess whether you have any (or all) of these five habits and change them. You’ll be more productive, waste less time and succeed faster.
“Only when someone refuses to do certain things
will he be capable of doing great things.”