10 Dec 7 key habits to ensure success
When I talk about ensuring success, I am talking about your definition of success – whatever that might be. It could be a small business owner who wants to earn enough to enjoy yearly trips with the family or it could be someone who just wants to love their job and look forward to Monday mornings. It might be a mum who wants to work part-time but still be able to drop off and pick up her kids every afternoon. It may seem like some people just ‘have it’ when it comes to having a happy, successful working life that they enjoy.
One thing I know as a small business owner is that you will forever be on the emotional roller coaster of life as you meander your way through the successes and triumphs of running your own business.
Regardless of your work situation, there are some habits which can assist you over the hurdles and help you to gain perspective and guide you through some of your best and worst days as you try to achieve your own definition of success.
The key elements that I’ve found to create success, or enjoyment, at work are as follows.
Get organised or get someone to organise you
Hey, we cannot all be organised and well managed. I deal with creative and innovative talents all the time and wow, I thought I was disorganised. I am not disorganised I am just busy. So I try to schedule things cleverly and I have a great network of people who help me keep the peripheral things organised in my life. And then I have backups just in case. But don’t sweat the little stuff either, some things can be missed or forgotten without you sacrificing your right hand. Use online tools such as Trello or google docs to keep track of projects or shared projects.
Use time wisely
It’s easy to resent things that take you away from your family and friends and social functions. Likewise you can get pretty frustrated when family commitments take you away from getting that last bit of work done. So we need to use our time wisely. I know that I work really well early in the mornings so this is the best time for me to work on difficult tasks or time consuming tasks – I even close down my emails so that I can get several hours of work done with no interruptions. I then sometimes get a great burst from 8pm – 11pm (when I have to and on deadlines). Around 2pm I am slowing down so I tend to roster in phone calls that need to be made that are more of a follow up in nature and won’t take a lot of time. I have found tasks that I can easily do whilst I am watching sports. And travel time has become a key learning time in the car as we listen to podcasts, music or in my case learn French with my year seven son.
You are adding value
We all like to think that we are irreplaceable. It’s great to feel like we are constantly adding value to the people we serve and work for – it makes us feel great to feel like we are an integral part of the process or the solution. Our roles are as good as we make them, and what you bring to the role is ultimately how much satisfaction you will draw from it.
People that are constantly looking for ways to add value in their roles tend to do better. Ask questions like, how can this be done more efficiently? How can I put in that little bit extra to make it a favourable outcome? How can I ensure others around me are comfortable that everything is on track with what I am doing – is there an update or an overview I can provide? How can I improve on this? How can I prioritise what will get more efficient and better results, rather than simply keep things the way they are?
These types of questions take you to the next level of performance, and it will get noticed. Knowing that you are adding value in your role also enables you to feel more comfortable and confident within it. Confidence is one of the keys to success.
Find the silver lining. It’s easy to whinge and begrudge so try to find the added value in the activities that frustrate you or get you down. The effect you have on others when you are happy and engaged and optimistic is amazing and thankfully contagious. People enjoy working with happy, optimistic people. Never let the significance of this slip by you. It’s fine to have days where you feel better than others but utilise the other resources in your life to deal with this, rather than taking it out on your day job.
Feel and express gratitude
Being grateful really does help you boost your optimism. Many manifestation articles talk about being grateful and giving thanks for the little things and the big things. In your own business it is very easy to get carried away with the “misses” or the “failures” but we forget the little triumphs we have had along the way. We tend to belittle the little achievements. Take the time to reflect on the “wins” that are big or small. You will find that you will start manifesting more wins by your shining optimism. Look for things that you can be grateful for each day.
Treat others the way you want be treated
This applies to every situation – your customers, your family, your staff and even those you don’t think are a good fit for your business. I try to make sure every rejection letter or “no” is heartfelt but written or spoken as if next day they could be buying me out. Be nice, be respectful. Leave them feeling positive and optimistic –don’t be responsible for spoiling their day. You never know what people are going through in life or the type of day they have already had.
Don’t let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself
Maybe Taylor Swift wasn’t thinking of work productivity when she wrote the title “shake it off” but it does apply. We have good days and some bad days. If you are now running your own business – guess what you are going to feel like you have dual personalities – don’t stress the good news is that you are an entrepreneur! You are in for a rollercoaster of a ride. So take the bad days and shrug them off or on those days change your schedule and start doing things that inspire you or get you out and about talking to great people. Try not to let knocks impact your confidence. There will always be day-to-day frustrations that everyone has to deal with in their roles. Take some steps to get rid of the bad energy or pent up frustration – running, boxing or martial arts comes to mind. But others might prefer the more soothing practices of yoga or meditation. If that does not work then get out your best vodka mule (but don’t tell anyone I said so) and I am not talking about a slip on shoe here. Although sometimes take a leaf out of your children’s books and have a good feed and got to bed early. The day will be better tomorrow.