In our previous blog, we explored what it means to be a small-business owner and pointed out that it may take more than simply inventing a new product or service. Being successful in the business world often takes more than just a good idea–it takes determination and discipline to govern yourself. Thousands of small businesses fail every year, not because of an unmarketable product or a bad business plan, but because the habits of a business owner are not continually improving, challenging and propelling a business toward success.
Since it is not enough to simply want success, it is important to carefully consider personal habits and disciplines that may need to be implemented on a personal level, such as the following:
Discipline: The importance of discipline cannot be overstated. Every successful business owner has disciplined themselves, often against their natural inclination, to develop new skills and habits that will benefit their business. For you, this may mean waking an hour earlier, taking the time to learn something new or educating yourself about an important issue. Discipline is not a pleasant process, but making the effort will richly reward those who manage to change and improve the most difficult person in the world: themselves.
Schedule: Business owners of all types struggle with distraction. In an age where communication is constant, it is hard to turn work “off.” It can be extremely difficult to master the temptation to constantly check email or to work at home while watching TV, but these habits eventually lead to burn out and physical exhaustion. To ensure that you control your schedule, and not the other way around, take into account everything that needs to be done in a day, including family time, and put it into a daily calendar. Set work hours for yourself and have the discipline to walk away from a task that can wait until the next day. Remember, highly successful people are typically tightly scheduled people.
Personal Growth: Do you have a hobby? When launching or running a business, it can be easy to let hobbies, sports–even daily exercise–fly out of the window. With a well-managed schedule, even the busiest of people can find time to invest in themselves. In fact, taking time for personal growth can lead to growth on a professional level. To avoid mental exhaustion, schedule time for yourself in your daily calendar and have the discipline to stick with your plans.
To master any of the above habits, it requires time and effort. It may be difficult for a person who is already pouring heart and soul into a small business. Fortunately, these can be learned and improved over time. Personal experience proves to be one of the best teachers, and over time, you will find that it is worth the effort and struggle to be your own boss.