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9 Habits that Accelerate the Efficiency of Successful Entrepreneurs

9 Habits that Accelerate the Efficiency of Successful Entrepreneurs

Innovative ideas are born every minute. With such intense competition, entrepreneurs who want their business to succeed must develop highly efficient habits and skills that also allow for personal growth.

Successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sir Richard Branson all have one thing in common: they were known to have developed certain habits and unique approaches that made their businesses remarkably successful. By taking a closer look at each of the following habits, you can learn from the best and see how the habits of other successful entrepreneurs might apply to the type of entrepreneur you want to be.

1. Automating and delegating low-impact tasks

Spotting repetitive tasks in order to automate and delegate them allows successful entrepreneurs to focus on the high-level and impactful activities that no one else can do instead. For example, tech entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are notorious for wearing the same clothes to work every day in order to eliminate time spent deciding what to wear. Instead, they could free up that time to focus on high value tasks.

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2. Not taking ‘no’ for an answer

Assertiveness plays a central role when it comes to developing ideas and creating a vision for your company. Usually, it’s only those who do not give up easily who end up closing the deal. They are the ones who look at every possible option and create opportunities where there haven’t been any before. Elon Musk, known for PayPal and Tesla Motors, is known for such grit by trying one venture after another.

3. Rugged tenacity

Known to have perfectionist tendencies, highly successful entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to make drastic adjustments to keep the business going. Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer set up a nursery in her office to shorten her maternity leave and get back to important tasks at hand. This is not to say her child was not important but that her time management was essential.

4. Constantly looking to solve customer problems

Consumers develop trust in companies that understand their pains. A successful business constantly innovates in order to offer new solutions that go along with the needs of their target market. One of Twitter’s founders, Evan Williams, strongly exhibits this customer-centric approach, which is reflected in the rapid growth of his other company, writing platform, Medium.

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5. Willingness to fail

Entrepreneurs who are willing to learn from their defeat are also likely to succeed in their next ventures. Payal Kadakia, founder of Classpass, imbibes such a mentality. Upon recognizing that her previous business ideas were not going anywhere, she decided to make a shift, create better business strategies, and start a new venture. A great way to think of this is to ask yourself, “Would I invest in my business in its current state?” If your answer is “no”, it’s time to address failure as an option.

6. Strong knowledge of the business

Most entrepreneurs who don’t have industry-specific skills and experience usually struggle when faced with challenging situations they are not accustomed to. However, those who have dedicated their lives to building their business know the ins=and-outs of its operations. Having valuable first-hand experience is crucial to the company’s success.

7. Transparency

Both employees and consumers trust entrepreneurs who have an open-door policy. Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group exemplifies this habit by regularly blogging and sharing highlights about the company on the corporate blog. As an added bonus, his writing also improves the company’s visibility in the process.

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8. Cultivating a positive working environment

With a globally distributed team, Taso Du Val, CEO of Toptal, practices the habit of empowering his employees to make excellent decisions that spur company growth. Allow employees to take ownership in the business by actively communicating your company’s goals with the entire organization. This helps them feel a sense of ownership toward the organization.

9. Staying true to the company culture

Successful entrepreneurs use their differences as an advantage. They do not follow what others are already doing. Instead, they set their own standards and develop unique strategies that speak to the kind of company they have.

While anyone could come up with innovative ideas anytime, only those with the right attitude and highly efficient habits end up succeeding. If you want to accelerate the success of your business, you better start developing habits that will lead to the most impact.

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Featured photo credit: Jarle Naustvik via flic.kr

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Jonha Revesencio

Jonha Revesencio is a Business Strategist with years of experience developing digital media strategies.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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