When starting a business, making the jump from employee to business owner can be difficult. Learning new habits is key to making the transition as successful as possible, and by picking up good habits early on you can reduce the chance of hitting snags later down the line.
1. Planning and organisation
This can seem obvious, but for people who are used to “winging it” and have always got good results from simply tackling issues as they arise, getting into the habit of planning ahead can be a challenge.
However, going into business with hazy notions and half formed ideas is not an option, especially with so much emotional and financial investment on the line. By knowing what you plan to achieve in the next day, month and year, you can minimise your chance of not succeeding.
You can thoroughly plan each stage of the development of your business, including the costs, prospective profits, people you will need help from and how much time you expect it to take. Of course, plans can go wrong, but if you force yourself into forward thinking you can account for various scenarios and turn what could have been a disaster into a hiccup. Working in this way can help you avoid a lot of stress, and increase your own sense of security.
When it’s up to you to make a venture a success you can’t allow yourself to become demotivated, as your performance, the impression you make on others and ultimately the fate of your business could be affected.
The prospect of growing your business is a very motivating force, but at times it is possible to lose all enthusiasm for your work, especially if you feel things aren’t going well. Knowing when to take time out in order to refresh your interest, and making sure that you stay on the look-out for things that inspire you, can help you stay passionate.
3. Measure performance
When you work for others your performance isn’t something you have to think about beyond whether you are personally satisfied with your work, and your bosses seem happy with it. Becoming an entrepreneur means you suddenly have to keep a constant eye on your, and your businesses, performance. This means defining exactly how you measure you success and ensuring your staff have a clear idea of what it is they need to achieve.
This may be the money you make week on week, the quality and amount of products created, or levels of positive customer feedback. Keeping track and writing everything down can take some conscious effort, (especially when things seem to be going well and close scrutiny seems needless) but this way you can identify areas for improvement and have an comprehensive knowledge of your business.
Meditation is advocated by business leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington and Bill Ford of the Ford Motor Company. A study from the University of California found that meditation can result in improved concentration and memory, and it helps with focus and positive thinking. Becoming an entrepreneur can involve a huge amount of stress and in order to stay as productive as possible it’s important to learn techniques to manage this stress.
Meditation provides people with a rest that is deeper even than sleep (which for many entrepreneurs can be in short supply) and it’s a habit that need only take 20 minutes out of your day. Focused breathing exercises such as sitting quietly and paying attention to your breath filling your chest, and the release of tension when you exhale, can be a calming and beneficial addition in your routine.
5. Listening to others
Of course, being your own boss means fulfilling your own vision. However, this doesn’t mean you should lose the habit of taking direction at times, and carefully considering the opinion of others. Nothing is likely to demotivate your staff more than a tyrannical attitude, and when collaborating with others it’s advisable to acknowledge their experience and expertise, and come to decisions together.
Few things are achieved with only the efforts and passion of one person, so allowing other to become involved and have a stake in the success of your venture, where they feel valued and listened to, is very important. Running a business takes all kinds of good practices, and by being driven, motivated, prepared and considerate, success should come naturally.