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10 Habits Of The Most Successful Young Entrepreneurs

10 Habits Of The Most Successful Young Entrepreneurs
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Success can come in all shapes and sizes. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some key aspects to success that everyone should focus on. If you’re a young entrepreneur just entering the business world, or you’re hoping to help an aspiring businessperson reach their goals, keep these 10 habits in mind. After all, every little bit counts when you’re starting your own business. Luck is part of it, but success is mostly due to hard work and determination. Start forming these habits now and you’ll be more likely to succeed in the long run.

1. Find something you’re passionate about.

No one ever created a good company based on something they cared nothing about. It’s impossible to start a business without first being interested in the product or service begin created by the business. Take Fraser Doherty, for example: this young man began a jam business based on his grandmother’s recipes, and now sells his jams in almost 200 stores. Were he not so interested in using a family recipe to make something that he loved, his success would not have been as great.

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2. Devote enough time to your business.

Young entrepreneurs have a lot of advantages, but one disadvantage is that many of them are still in school. This leaves less time to devote to developing their businesses. That being said, an advantage to being young is having a ton of energy. Sacrifice some social time and sleep now, and you’ll benefit in the long run.

3. Focus.

Once you have an idea for your business, stick to it and don’t let anything distract you. It’s easy to lose focus, but ultimately it’s key to starting a solid business.

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4. Ask for help.

There’s no shame in needing help with something. Just because you have a great idea, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the know-how to execute that idea and make it a reality. Whether you need investors or a tech developer, surround yourself with people who have the skills that you don’t have.

5. Reflect on your progress.

Like any businessperson, you might have to operate on the basis of trial and error for a while before you find what really works for your company. There’s no shame in changing things around, so take the time to reflect on your progress and make changes accordingly.

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6. Get feedback.

While you might think you have a great idea, your customers may think otherwise. Make sure you talk to customers to get their input on your business as a whole and your products. And while it might help to talk to friends first, eventually you want to talk to people who are completely unbiased towards you and your business. This is the best way to get real information about what your customers are looking for.

7. Stay organized.

You should have a system for organizing paperwork and tracking your business’s progress. Otherwise, you’re going to regret it down the road. Come up with a system and don’t change it unless you absolutely have to.

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8. Don’t let it consume you.

While it’s important to work hard and stay focused on your business, it’s also extremely important to step back sometimes and take a small break. Don’t let your business become your life. Try to make time for leisure activities, or else you will become too stressed, and ultimately your business will suffer as a result.

9. Get the hard stuff done first.

Let’s say you hate meeting with investors. You have to do it, but you really don’t like it. Do that first thing in the morning if you can. You’re more likely to enjoy developing your business on a day to day basis if you get the hard stuff out of the way first and leave the more interesting aspects for the rest of the day.

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10. Get creative.

Businesses succeed because they’re different. Yes, you can open up another coffee shop or boutique, but something about them has to be unique. They have to be set apart from every other coffee shop or boutique. Try to find something that draws people in and makes them want to be a part of your business. Innovation is what you’re looking for here.

Featured photo credit: Steve Wilson via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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