To be an entrepreneur is to become an expert. An expert in failure. An expert in continual development. An expert at resilience. But expertise doesn’t just happen, it takes practice, refinement and process.
After all, the saying goes that it’s not until you hit 10,000 hours of practice until you become an expert. Just like you would for a marathon it takes preparation and training. Truth is there isn’t a manual on how to be an entrepreneur, in many senses it’s a way of life that you almost throw yourself into and bludgeon your way through.
The five actions below are how I focus my mind and manage my mental well-being. I write them as much as a reminder for myself as a hpe that someone else will find them useful. As always, experiment, everyone has their own methods that work for them:
- Plan each day. It doesn’t have to be a novel, in fact it’s better than it isn’t. It can be digital it can even be a post-it note, but it needs to be a tangible, written plan.
Every day I set 3-4 tasks that I’m going to achieve that will help me along your path. Make them meaningful, and most importantly, digestible. There is no point setting a goal of ”become a multi millionaire” if you’re not going to realistically achieve it on this Wednesday.
Instead a more effective goal would be “make 5 cold calls”, “contact 3 suppliers” and so on.
I Religiously set my tasks for the day every day. Any new ideas go into a list and don’t get touched until the tasks of the day are done and dusted.
My Goals for today:
1) Negotiate for a domain that I want for a new web-store.
2) Complete a Cost analysis for a client.
3) 3 articles on a website that I’ve neglected lately.
4) Research and order two new products.
- Have a long term goal. That’s where the big picture comes in.
Have One goal, whatever it is you really want. A million Dollars, Freedom, A Porsche. Whatever it is.
Got it? Great. Now Drill down. What will enable that. 3-5 circumstances that will produce that goal.
The aim is to form a short mission statement.
For Example. Goal: Not to have to go into an office every day. Factor 1: $5m Factor 2
- Take some time to reflect. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to work 20 hours a day and let’s face it, sometimes it’s a necessary evil.
But doing that day in day out can and will destroy you in the long run, be it mentally or physically.
Every now and then you need, to give yourself a tune up. Do something that makes your soul glow. Go for a drive, have a jam, meditate. Whatever works for you, work in some down time in your day or week to do it – for me it is a half hour every morning and afternoon where I spend 10 minutes meditating. That doesn’t mean sitting cross legged and chanting, but just sitting somewhere dark and comfortable, breathing deeply, and logically thinking through things I might have let get to me.
Anyone who knows me will know that cars are my addiction so I try to work in an hour taking an enjoyable drive somewhere to recharge.
- Realise what isn’t actually important.
It’s so easy to get side tracked by the little things. Today for example, I missed out on a cheap domain name and no doubt it will pop up for sale by a domain squatter. I was furious as it was just a case of being too distracted to remember.
Stuff can and will go wrong. Daily, Weekly, Monthly. Focus on the wins and ask yourself ‘does it really matter, or was it just a ‘nice to have’ ‘. If the latter, accept that it’s done and move on and if the former, make a plan to fix it rather than dwelling on the emotions of the situation. Shave it down to facts. What are the implications of the issue, what can and can’t you do to address it and is it actually important?
- Don’t forget to live.
This is probably the most important. It’s easy to focus on business, work, whatever you call it and before you know it, another year has gone.
Remember you’re doing it for the goals but there needs to be more life too. So plan a holiday with the family. Go for that walk in the sun. Build something that will enable you to not have to constantly be building something so you can live life to its fullest. Take it seriously, but not all the time.
Don’t be so focused that you forget to tell your loved ones that you love them, this time is temporary so spend it wisely!