Every individual has the potential for greatness, and entrepreneurs are certainly no exception. However, few are aware of the amount of time and dedication it takes to establish a successful, sustainable business. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to not only become more effective in your daily business routine, but also to make the transition so seamless that success becomes habitual.
In order to help you take these steps towards becoming a more effective entrepreneur, we’ve re-purposed Stephen R. Covey’s bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and created the following list to help you develop into an effective entrepreneur.
There is no reason to reinvent the wheel in your efforts to become a successful real estate entrepreneur. The most successful entrepreneurs have a distinct set of habits that have gotten them to where they are today, and there is no reason you can’t bring them over to your own business. If it wasn’t for the implementation of these habits, our partners at CT Homes wouldn’t have been able to flip more than 100 homes. Learn from those that have come before you and make their habits yours.
As the great Aristotle once eloquently put it, “We are what we habitually do.”
Here are the first three habits you need to develop as an entrepreneur, or if you simply want to learn how to start your own business:
1. Be Proactive
A proactive mindset is certainly easier to understand than it is to carry out. The concept is relatively simple, and something every business owner should be familiar with. However, it is the act of being proactive that many stumble over. It is easy to say what you want to do, but another thing to carry it out. Sooner or later, talk needs to lead to action. As an aspiring entrepreneur, it is entirely up to you to take the initiative. Nobody is going to take the first step for you.
You must know what it really means to be proactive in order for you, yourself, to be proactive. Have I lost you yet? In order to be proactive, you have to understand its underlying principles. That said, the easiest way to comprehend proactivity is to look at its counterpart: reactivity. As a reactive individual, your actions are the direct result of a particular scenario. You are basically responding to a circumstance that has already presented itself. Conversely, the actions of proactive individuals are inherently motivated by the choices they have predetermined – either consciously or not. Actions taken by proactive people are pre-meditated and thought out, as opposed to reactionary.
Now that you know what it means to be proactive, you should only have one more question: Why is it so important for entrepreneurs to be proactive? The answer is so simple, yet something the most successful business owners practice on a daily basis: if you are not proactive, you won’t get anything done. Put simply, being proactive means taking the necessary steps to accomplish a goal.
If you are not proactive, you are unequivocally reactionary. Everything you do will be in response to something else, meaning you are never able to truly determine the direction you want to take. Sure, you can make the best out of a bad situation, but you are never in control. It is the proactive entrepreneurs that control their own destiny. They are the ones that are aware of the steps they need to take and the rewards that can follow.
Too many people spend more time learning something than they do implementing it. Insight without action is essentially worthless – at least to an entrepreneur. That said, you are wasting your time reading this article if you don’t practice what you have learned. Now get out there and take that first step. Every minute you waste, you run the risk of becoming reactionary.
2. Begin With The End In Mind
You are only as successful as your imagination will permit. It is not a coincidence that some of the greatest business minds of our generation are founded on childhood dreams. They knew what they wanted to do from a young age, and worked as hard as they could to make it a reality. Quite simply, their progress was never impeded by feelings of self-doubt or fabricated limitations. From the start, they knew what they wanted and what it would take to get it.
Ask yourself one thing: what is it that you want to be when you grow up? While trite, answering this question can have a resounding impact on the rest of your life. Think about it. Are you, at the moment, where you want to be in life? If your answer is yes, you are in the minority. If not, it may be time to reevaluate things. Better yet; it is time to know exactly what it is you want to be doing.
The second habit on this list is based on the principle that all things are created twice: there is a mental creation followed by a subsequent physical creation. You really can’t have one without the other. Accordingly, you need to be able to envision what it is you want and physically take it – metaphorically that is. Know what it is that you want, and let nothing get in your way of achieving it. Beginning with the end in mind is as much about mindset as it is about action.
When you start something new, whether it is a business or even a recreational activity, envision the direction you need to take and be proactive. That’s right, there is a direct correlation between habits one and two. Know where you want to go and make things happen.
You may be asking yourself if it is possible to make a habit out of this, and the answer is yes. How? Come up with a personal mission statement. Something as simple as writing down what you wish to attain can be integral to your success. Putting your thoughts on paper can bring your goals into focus, reaffirm who you are, and turn your ideas into reality.
What is it that you want to accomplish?
3. Put First Things First
This is really a fancy way of driving home the importance of prioritization. As an entrepreneur, chances are that your income is tied to your actions – either directly or indirectly. That said, it is equally as important to spend your time on priority tasks, as it is to not spend your time on those that are of a lesser importance. There is absolutely no need to overextend yourself, especially if it involves things that aren’t that important. As an aspiring entrepreneur, one of the best habits you can develop is learning when to say no when necessary, so that you may focus on your highest priorities.
Prioritizing, or putting first things first, is really the culmination of the first two habits. Once you know what you want and act on it, you need to prioritize the steps it takes to get there.
This habit is as much about your business life, as it is about your personal life. Each needs to be managed accordingly to get anywhere, and you really can’t have one without the other. Your purpose, values, roles, and priorities should all be brought into focus and acted on.
To clarify, “first things” are those things you, personally, find to be the most important. Not what others say or do. In putting first things first, you are organizing time and events according to the personal priorities you established in the previous habit. The second you deviate from high priority obligations, the more likely you are to waste time and energy.
Make a habit out of maximizing your time, and your business will be better off for it.
Stay tuned for habits 4 through 7 in part two of our series, 7 Habits For Effective Entrepreneurs!