To make it in the world of entrepreneurialism, you need to have more than just a good idea and the money to back the operation. There are numerous qualities that define a successful entrepreneur. Growing and maintaining a business takes personal discipline to get through the day-to-day challenges. It takes clairvoyance to be able to foretell incoming opportunities and missteps, and it takes tenacity to persevere when things just don’t seem to be going your way.
While there are some innate qualities that define the entrepreneurial spirit, there are many traits that can be built up through hard work and focus by just about anyone. As I was building my business, I noticed there were qualities I possessed, but more importantly I identified things I could improve on.
So get yourself ready for the day, grab your favorite caffeinated beverage (I opt for a Diet Mountain Dew), and take a look at three practices I have put in place to ensure success every day.
#1 Schedule everything–15 minutes at a time
For me, it’s not enough to rack up a to-do list at the start of a long work day. If I don’t have a task on my schedule that alerts me when a particular thing needs to be done, I quickly forget it.
Not only that, if I book time slots with a huge time allotment I find myself getting easily distracted by other things that need to be done, causing my schedule to blend together and rendering it absolutely useless. As a result, I have started scheduling out tasks in 15-minute blocks, allowing me to more easily see what needs to be done throughout the day, making parsing out time much more efficient. Not only that, it keeps the day more interesting by keeping your mind moving to various topics regularly, which in itself keeps you more focused.
As a supplement to keeping an austere devotion to your schedule and steering away from timesuck sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can download various time-saving and productivity apps to bar the use of whatever social media platform or game you just can’t seem to keep your eyes off of!
#2 Invest in software
Organization skills: it used to be one of those colloquial traits that anyone could slap on their resume as a space filler, regardless of how true it actually was. Now, with the development of countless supplemental business software programs, any entrepreneur is able to juggle the many responsibilities and organizational duties that go along with running a budding business with finesse and ease.
There have been incredible developments to integrate software into every operational facet of a business:
- Project management: Gone are the days of scrambling over your unsure deadlines and bickering about who was responsible for what. Project management softwares allow teams to optimize their workflow through the use of a universal calendar, deadline notifications, and built-in messaging software. There are a lot of them out there, all offering slightly different features, so make sure to choose the one that fits your needs best.
- Financial forecasting: One place that entrepreneurs struggle most is with juggling the financial needs of their company, and oftentimes, a new business doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to hire on an accountant or CFO. The solution in this situation would be to purchase a financial forecasting software, which gives a business owner a simple and in-depth look at the numbers of their company without the pricetag of a full-time financial adviser.
- Social media manager: Social media is a must in today’s business scape. It’s a cheap and effective way to market your brand and reach your audience. However, if you’re managing four different social media platforms for one business, you’ll find it can get pretty hard to keep track of all the analytics of each account. Social media management platforms allow you to automate posts, gauge audience reception, and make sense of all the numbers for all of your social media platforms in one place.
Having these tools at your disposal is a very valuable asset to you and your business, but having a keen understanding of how they can fit into your business is even more important.
#3 Eat a live frog first thing in the morning
Mark Twain’s old adage “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day” refers to the notion that if you get the hardest thing you have to do off of your plate early, then the rest of the day will be a breeze.
While the jist of the point stands, I don’t think it’s necessary to eat your frog in the morning. Personally, I find most of my energy and motivation at night, so that’s when I have found I can most optimally get my more difficult tasks out of the way. It’s about finding a time that’s right for you to get your hardest work done.
Whether early in the morning or late at night, find what works for you, and don’t let other people’s opinions of your quirky hours of operation deter you from your goals.