As an entrepreneur, you may ask yourself, “what can I do to get ahead?” A less common question is, “what should I not do in order to get ahead?” There are habits you may have that can impede your success. Here are the eight top worst habits to avoid.
- Constantly comparing yourself to others
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” –Teddy Roosevelt
We are always comparing ourselves to others. Don’t make that mistake in business. Focusing on others will just get you down and if you are constantly focusing on others, you will have no time to actually improve your business. Comparing yourself to others does nothing because it has no effect on others. If you were to focus solely on your business, you could drastically accelerate the momentum and success trajectory of your business. Then you will become the business which all other businesses compare themselves to. Of course you can look at your competitors to see where you can improve, but don’t get obsessed about beating them because that can become unhealthy and do nothing.
- Waiting until the “right moment”
“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” –Lemony Snicket
You can wait forever for the “right moment” to start your business and the moment will never come. You can always have more money, time, or resources that would be beneficial for your business, but it would be silly to wait for those because you will never be satisfied. The best moment to get started as an entrepreneur is right now. Starting now will help you to realize any shortcomings you may have, and allow you to fix them quickly. You’ll have time to learn and grow in your business, and this is time you cannot get back if you plan on starting in 10 years. The longer you wait, the longer and more difficult it will become to get your business off the ground.
Whether it comes to work, school, or family, procrastination is a lifelong struggle. When you’re an entrepreneur, you often have to wear all hats of a business, and some of those hats may not be fun. You may tend to put those tasks off until a later time, but the truth is that all tasks in a business are important. And if you’re operating a small team, time is of the essence. When you procrastinate, you are not productive. Entrepreneurs need to be productive in order to stay on track.
If you know that you’re naturally a procrastinator, there are some things you can do to help with that. Try to get your most important work done in the morning when you are feeling refreshed and energized. Or, treat yourself when you’ve completed a task. You will look forward to completing your work and be more inclined to do so.
- Always saying “yes,” even when it’s okay to say “no
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett
Everyone likes a “yes man.” And sure, it is good to say yes to new opportunities. However, if you keep saying yes to all opportunities, you will soon have a lot on your plate that could be way too much to handle. As an entrepreneur, you may feel obligated to say yes all the time. Don’t feel this way though, because saying no to something you can’t handle will benefit both you and the client or business you are turning down. You may not have had a lot of time to devote to that one particular client, so your quality of work for them will not be as high as your other clients. Learning to say no will help you to only take on tasks that you have time for and can provide quality work for. When a really great opportunity comes around and you want to take it on, you’ll have the energy and time to say yes to that one.
Although you may believe that you can multitask effectively, you probably can’t. Most people can really only focus on one thing at a time. When people do try to focus on multiple things, it can take a lot longer to do them. If you are an avid multitasker, try putting your phone away while working on the computer. You won’t feel the need to call someone back while working on a proposal, or try to set up more meetings while you are currently attending one. This will help you stay in the moment with whatever you’re doing. You will complete tasks much faster, and your work may be higher quality since you gave it attention. Not only is multitasking an inefficient use of time, but some studies have found that it might actually have adverse effects on your brain. Don’t multitask!
- You don’t put yourself out there
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” — John C. Maxwell
Putting yourself out there can be difficult sometimes, but as an entrepreneur you have to. You sometimes have to get out of your comfort zone in order to make new connections that will benefit your business. Attending BNI meetings or conferences in your industry will help you to meet new people that can become a valuable asset to your company. All it takes is approaching someone to start that relationship. There’s no such thing as a shy entrepreneur.
Putting yourself out there doesn’t only mean connecting with new people. It could mean trying something new that you’ve been scared of, but that might benefit your business. Putting yourself out there could even be the act of simply starting a business. It takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you in ways that are different from anything else.
- Having too many distractions
When you’re on your computer all day, or are in charge of your own hours, it’s easy to get off track. This can be bad because it pulls your focus away from what is actually important, and makes your day a lot less productive. Try to eliminate all distractions and designate a space that is free of too many distractions that will help you stay focused.
However, some distractions can be good distractions, like getting up and taking a walk. These kinds of distractions will drive creativity and actually help to keep you more focused in the long run. Here’s a trick that might help. Set a timer for two hours and try to stay completely focused for those two hours. After that time is up, take a 10-20 minute break and do whatever you’d like. Those two hours will fly by quickly, and a break will give your brain the charge it needs to go another couple of hours.
- Being a perfectionist
“Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. It makes you feel inadequate.” — Maria Shriver
Being a perfectionist is a good thing, right? Not all the time. When you are your own boss, it can become easy to focus on every minute detail. This is going to stress you out really quickly as you soon realize you don’t have control over everything. When you’re stressed it is a lot harder to focus on tasks, causing you to fall even more behind. Another bad thing about perfectionism is that it can cause you to work a lot longer on projects in general, even without the stress. That extra time you took to edit one tiny detail is time that you may not have. It’s important to recognize when it’s okay to move on with a project, even though it might not be perfectly done. Remember, it’s okay to not be perfect all of the time. Coming shy of perfection will allow you improve in the future, and will enable you to set more goals for yourself.
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. It takes a lot of self-discipline and sacrifice in order to make things happen. Giving up these eight habits will bring you closer to achieving your goals.
If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or passionate hobbyist struggling to reach a big goal, hiring a mentor is one of the best things you can do to accelerate your success. I can give you personal one-on-one coaching sessions over Skype to lay out the exact step-by-step actions you need to take to hit your big goal in the next 20 weeks. I’ve helped over two dozen other individuals (including myself) follow this exact same action plan to overcome obstacles and hit amazing goals in 20 weeks or less without fail. Call/text me today and let’s start a conversation – Jonathan @ 801.602.9101