How can you prosper in this economy?
The simple success secret is to look at your habits and change or modify them.
Take, for instance, getting up in the morning. I do the same thing almost every workday. The alarm clock goes off at 6am. Then I head for the bathroom, jump on the scale, and shave and scrub my face. I take a few minutes to stretch and get the blood flowing. Following that I head down to empty the dishwasher, eat a balanced breakfast and have a cup of coffee.
Each day it’s the same. It’s just a simple routine that doesn’t involve any thinking – which is a good thing since few of my synapses are firing first thing in the morning.
I’ve consciously created a routine, a series of habits that work to get my body and brain in gear – and I trust you have one too.
But here’s what I find when I talk to small business owners. I ask them:
1. What are the most important tasks they need to do to grow their businesses?
2. What are their marketing and management habits?
3. What routines do they use to start the day on the right foot, to minimize distractions, to stay focused on the key tasks that will grow their business, including managing staff and attracting new clients?
4. And I ask them to tell me which times during the week they’ve blocked out to accomplish these core marketing and management tasks.
What do I find?
You guessed it!
Most people are running their businesses by the seat of their pants. They’re not focused on the key tasks that will grow their business. They don’t have any established (or at least consciously established) and proven marketing and management habits and they certainly, don’t follow any proven success tips.
Instead they are letting their businesses, and whatever comes in at any minute grab their attention with the result that the most important tasks, the ones that require some devoted time and hard thinking, like marketing and management, hardly ever get done.
Without established marketing and management habits, they’re overwhelmed, trying to do everything at once, and frustrated that they can’t grow their businesses further.
How about you?
Do you have a set of habits you use to start your day so you stay focused on the key marketing and management tasks that are essential to your success, and to scaling your business?
Or are you letting your business run you instead?
Here’s a quick tip to help you get focused.
Before you leave the office, at the end of the day, take 5 minutes to set your goals for the next day, and do it this way.
Take out a piece of paper. Yes, I’m serious. Use paper and a pen or pencil to write a short 5-7 item bulleted list of goals for the next day.
Why should you bother writing it down?
Because the physical act of writing it, making the list, triggers your brain to commit to it. And better yet, it plants the goal in the unconscious part of your brain, so during the night, your brain works away and when you wake up in the morning – you already have a few ideas on how to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself.
How important is it to write down your goals?
People who write their goals down are 100 times as likely to accomplish them. Yes, 70% of people won’t do this. They won’t take the 5 minutes they need each day to focus the next day on accomplishing their top priorities so they can be successful – but that’s why it’s so easy to beat your competitors if you do.
Think about it. No written goals, no plan of action to accomplish them. Written goals trigger your brain to take the next step, create a plan to accomplish them.
Take the top two ways you can grow your business: expert positioning and relationship building.
How much time have you allocated to these each week?
Or take the simple act of sending out a weekly email to your prospect and client list. If it’s not on your list, but just floating around in your mind, you haven’t committed to it and it’s never going to happen.
Write it down and you make a plan, setting aside time to do it. Make a list of topic ideas, and you get it done.
Pretty soon it’s a marketing habit and your business starts growing…
Get the point?
Success is a series of habits, ones you have control over.
Start with the simple one I’ve mapped out above. Take 5 minutes at the end of every day to set goals for the next day, and then first thing in the morning, before you look at your email, check voice messages or watch the news, review your goals for the day and make sure you’ve set aside time to accomplish them.
Do this, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you get done in a day and how much more successful you’ll be.