People often ask me, “Are there things most successful entrepreneurs do regularly?” My answer is a resounding yes. Across the board, successful people have some similar habits. And by replicating these habits, you too can improve your chances of success.
Napoleon Hill studied 500 of the richest people at the early part of the 1900’s and created a full philosophy of the Laws of Success and wrote about them in Think and Grow Rich, which is a must read for anyone serious about success. His fundamental teaching was that you must have a “burning desire” for something, visualize it regularly, and then take concrete actions towards it’s manifestation.
When we look at what successful people do as part of their daily routines, keep in mind that without a clear goal that makes your heart sing, going through the motions of these daily to-do’s will be as meaningless as rowing a boat while it sits on dry land. If you need help finding a goal that inspires you, download my free chapter “What is a Goal?” from my upcoming book, Be a Female Millionaire.
So what are habits of successful people you will want to add to your daily routine? Here are the ones that I have found are key.
1. Get up early each day. You not only add more time to your week by getting up early, you also create time, before the hustle begins, to chart your day and put yourself in the right frame of mind for success. I was always a night owl and resented the adage “the early bird gets the worm.” However, I have to concede that work done earlier in the day is more productive, creative, and efficient than my late night candle burning.
2. Meditate. Meditation not only centers your emotions and mental shatter, it also teaches you concentration and focus which are essential to success. Meditation is not about only keeping your mind quiet but also about being the master of your thoughts. Begin with 5 minutes each morning and evening with the objective of sitting quietly. When thoughts come, which they will, just allow them to pass by. If you find you have followed a thought down the path awhile, just notice it and return to your practice of concentration.
You can close your eyes and have a word or mantra you repeat, you can stare at a dot on the wall, or you can just have the objective of silence. There is not “right” way, only a practice of mastery of oneself. Yoga, and many martial arts also provide deep centering and concentration. Just remember, this is not a competition but a practice.
Admittedly, not all successful people meditate. However, I guarantee you all successful people have some form of discipline they adhere to that has strengthened their focus, improved their energy, and increased their resolve towards achieving their goals. Meditation is the quickest way I know to achieve all three.
3. Visualize your desired goal. All great achievers had a strong desire for something and that something was in their thoughts constantly.
If you have set a big goal, make sure you are reminding yourself of it regularly rather than allowing the daily trivia and routine to consume your attention. I am a big proponent of writing goals over and over to plant them deep in my subconscious where my best ideas for achieving my goals come from. When you focus on your big goal before going to sleep each night you really allow your subconscious to solve the how.
The most important part of visualizing your goals is to add as much detail to them to the degree that you can actually FEEL how it will feel when you achieve them and to actually see them as if they have already happened.
4. Plan your day; don’t allow it to plan you. Your time is valuable and if you do not ensure you are working on your top priorities that only you can do, then your days will be filled with things that move the inertia of life along rather than move you to achieving your goals. Some people like to set their goals the night before, others first thing in the morning. Whichever you choose, make sure you do this before tackling meetings, email, or other people’s requests — otherwise, before you know it half or more of your day has been spent rather than invested in your future.
One technique I use is to write down everything I want to accomplish each morning. I then note which ones are key to my overall BIG goal. I pick one of the items that are essential to manifesting my big goal and work on that first. Everything else can get taken care of in the time remaining. Most people knock off the little things first, thinking it will help “clear their plate” for the big goal. But then again, most people never get to their big goal even though the little stuff all gets done.
5. Invest in people. A successful entrepreneur rarely operates alone; they are surrounded by a successful team. That means every day some of your time must be devoted to making your team better, supporting their actions, recognizing their growth, and investing in their future — not just yours or your company’s. A motivated, empowered and dedicated team can overcome obstacles much more quickly and resourcefully which will do more for your success than almost anything else you can do.