Advertising
Advertising

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

We talk a lot about daily habits and productivity. But what’s one thing entrepreneurs should STOP doing every day?

1. Talking About Themselves

Kim Kaupe

    Entrepreneurs tend to get so wrapped up in the pitching, convincing and selling of their day-to-day life that sometimes it becomes all they ever talk about. Being well-rounded and conversational will help you have rapport with others around you. While talking about yourself and your business is important, doing so constantly comes off as being self-centered and oblivious to the world around you.

    Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak

    2. Focusing on a To-Do List

    Tyler Arnold (1)

      The best leaders I know focus on building the right culture and energy in the office. Sitting in a corner and pounding out to-do items may feel productive, but don’t forget about doing the things that aren’t fully quantifiable. Helping teammates who may be having a bad morning or struggling with a project could be the single most valuable thing you do all day!

      Tyler Arnold, SimplySocial Inc.

      Advertising

      3. Eating Pizza

      Andrew Angus

        When you head into the startup phase of your company, everything you used to do that was healthy is going to stop. You are going to put on weight. You are going to end up with too much stress and a back that is in constant pain. Don’t eat pizza. It will make it easier to get back in shape when you’re out of that phase.

        Andrew Angus, Switch Video

        4. Using Social Media Distractions

        Anthony Saladino

          Shut down all your personal social media distractions during the work day. Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Twitter will all be there after you complete your daily tasks. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize just how much time they waste reading and engaging on these mediums and also just how much it decreases their daily productivity. To succeed, use your time wisely.

          Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

          5. Multitasking

          Advertising

          Andrew Schrage

            Multitasking has its place in the business realm, but there are also times when it should be avoided. If you multitask two separate and very important projects, you can end up with two sets of dismal results. Know when to multitask and when to focus on a single task.

            Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

            6. Waiting for the Right Moment

            michael mogill

              Stop waiting for the right time, and just get things done. Define the one thing you can do today that will help grow your business and not just keep you busy.

              Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

               

              7. Attending Management Meetings

              David Ehrenberg

                Admittedly, management meetings are sometimes necessary and useful beasts. But a culture of meetings is ultimately just a time suck. Everyone has had that experience of waiting for a meeting to end so that real work can resume. To increase productivity, reduce management meetings and time in meetings in general. When you must meet, have a clear agenda and stick to it.

                Advertising

                David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

                8. Letting Interruptions Happen

                Maren Hogan

                  Interruptions are just a part of life, but I take steps to prevent them. It is so hard to refocus after multiple interruptions. I don’t even want to calculate how much time I lose to redirecting my attention several times a day. If it gets to be too much, I go into do-not-disturb mode. I close the door, only take scheduled calls and tell my staff that they can email me and I’ll get to them later.

                  Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

                  9. Going out for Lunch

                  Rameet Chawla

                    The lunch hour is one of the most active times of the day and a great time to get work done. After work is when most socializing should be done. Instead of worrying about getting back to the office or getting work done before you dip out, meeting at the end of the day takes off the edge. You can drink without a conscience, leave the office behind and invite others to join to optimize your time.

                    Rameet Chawla, Fueled

                    10. Working on the Fly

                    Advertising

                    Fabian Kaempfer

                      One habit to break away from is working on the fly rather than with an agenda. With a startup, things will happen, and you can be pulled in different directions. Don’t make it a habit to make that the way you operate. Make it a point to be proactive rather than reactive.

                      Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

                      11. Pleasing Others First

                      Elizabeth Saunders

                        If you are allowing your time and energy to be diverted from your priority tasks simply to make professional acquaintances (e.g., individuals not in your inner circle) happy, then you’re not investing your time well. Focus on the people and activities that really matter, and you’ll be better off in the long run.

                        Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                        12. Emailing Coworkers

                        Saul Garlick

                          The biggest breakthrough at ThinkImpact has been the realization that we don’t need to email each other. We can use different tools to communicate. Our new favorite is called Slack . It allows you to communicate in one of three ways: via office-wide messages with a related subject, a direct message with a colleague privately or a private group of colleagues.

                          Saul Garlick, ThinkImpact

                          More by this author

                          9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

                          Trending in Productivity

                          1 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 2 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes 3 10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness 4 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity 5 How to Build Self Discipline to Excel in Life

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                          Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                          Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                          Do you like making mistakes?

                          I certainly don’t.

                          Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

                          Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

                          Advertising

                          Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

                          Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

                          • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
                          • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
                          • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
                          • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

                          We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

                          If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

                          Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

                          Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

                          Advertising

                          When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

                          Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

                          We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

                          It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

                          Advertising

                          Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

                          Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

                          Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

                          1. Point us to something we did not know.
                          2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
                          3. Deepen our knowledge.
                          4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
                          5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
                          6. Inform us more about our values.
                          7. Teach us more about others.
                          8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
                          9. Show us when someone else has changed.
                          10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
                          11. Remind us of our humanity.
                          12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
                          13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
                          14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
                          15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
                          16. Invite us to better choices.
                          17. Can teach us how to experiment.
                          18. Can reveal a new insight.
                          19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
                          20. Can serve as a warning.
                          21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
                          22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
                          23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
                          24. Remind us how we are like others.
                          25. Make us more humble.
                          26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
                          27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
                          28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
                          29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
                          30. Expose our true feelings.
                          31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
                          32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
                          33. Point us in a more creative direction.
                          34. Show us when we are not listening.
                          35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
                          36. Can create distance with someone else.
                          37. Slow us down when we need to.
                          38. Can hasten change.
                          39. Reveal our blind spots.
                          40. Are the invisible made visible.

                          Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

                          The secret to handling mistakes is to:

                          • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
                          • Have an experimental mindset.
                          • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

                          When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

                          Advertising

                          When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

                          It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

                          When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

                          Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

                          Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

                          More About Success and Failures

                          Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

                          Read Next