As the end of the year draws closer – or rushes towards us, as it sometimes feels – I thought I’d share with you eight key daily habits that I find helpful in business.
Sometimes, in the rush of dealing with your to-do list, chasing clients and finalising projects, it’s hard to establish daily habits that will make your working life more enjoyable and productive. But in my experience, it’s worth it. Read on for the eight key habits of successful people that are easy to apply to your own work day.
1. Create a Big Audacious Goals list
Having a list of big-picture goals will keep you focused and positive when you find yourself sweating the small stuff. What is truly important to you? What would you love to achieve with your work? Knowing what this is, and writing it down, will not only help it to actualise, it will also give you focus and clarity. Look at what you want from your work, what you want from your life. Are your to-do list and daily life speaking to these Big Audacious Goals? If not, look at how you can adjust things so that they are.
“Financial security is peace of mind.”
2. Focus on the bottom line, sales and cash flow
Without a crystal clear understanding of the financial fundamentals of your business, you are going to struggle. By focusing on the reality – the bottom line, your sales and your cash flow – you can tailor other expenses, such as marketing expenditure, staffing and overheads, to suit. What’s more, you’ll be able to plan your workload and focus on growing your business and achieving your goals knowing that the numbers add up. It might not be exciting, but financial security is peace of mind.
3. Show leadership and inspire your team.
Remaining positive and inspired has a knock-on effect. The emotions you as the team leader are exhibiting (whatever they are) will radiate out to those around you, so make sure you are showing leadership and optimism. This means taking good care of yourself to ensure you are full of energy and good spirits, and will also require you to learn as much as you can about leadership, from whatever speaks to you personally. Read the biographies of business people you admire, listen to podcasts in the car, take a course in successful leadership – whatever works. Any time and energy you invest here will pay untold dividends.
4. Listen to your people
You never know where a good idea will come from, and as your staff are working closely with your business, they will naturally have their thoughts on the business. Make it clear to your staff that you are interested in their thoughts and you want to hear from them. Schedule meetings or brainstorming workshops, be open with them about what’s happening as much as you can, and ask them open-ended questions when they come to talk to you about their work. All of these strategies, as well as informal team building events such as team lunches, will give you opportunities to get their valuable input and ideas about how to grow and develop your business.
5. Look for the anomaly
Where is there room to grow? Say, for example, everyone seems to be building free-standing homes. Where, then, is the gap in the market? High-end townhouses, perhaps? Look for the areas where there is potential for you to deliver something no one else has thought of. In real estate, you are also thinking about demographics – where are people moving, what are they looking for? Talk to your clients and keep on top of property news and reporting to spot new trends.
6. Get one decent-sized goal done every day
Often, this may mean focusing on the hardest job, the one you really can’t face and don’t want to deal with. There’s a saying in business that you should ‘eat the frog’, which means face up to that unappealing task. Once it’s done, it will stop shadowing your day and you will feel a real sense of achievement. Finishing what you start, rather than giving up when it gets too hard, or you think of something more interesting to be distracted by, is your key to success and growth.
7. Ask for help or find a mentor or coach
Finding a mentor or coach, whether formally or informally, is a great way to learn and grow. Look within the industry for friends and colleagues who might be able to help you find a mentor. And be sure to pass on the help you receive to others when the time is right.
8. Keep educating yourself
Set aside a time each week to simply learn and research. It could be an afternoon or just a few hours. Block out time on your calendar and take yourself somewhere quiet to listen to podcasts, do some deeper reading, take an online course or watch talks from industry professionals you admire. Take notes and reflect on anything that may be relevant to you.
So there you have it – eight habits to take you into the future. Ultimately, for me, business is creative, rewarding and endlessly challenging. Running your own business requires you to master many different areas and skill sets, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But with these eight habits, which many successful business people practise, I hope you will find yourself inspired to go further and achieve more.
"It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that counts."
‒ Paul Davies, Founder and CEO
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