March 23, 2016

Warning: Success May Be Habit-Forming!

Submitted by Kelly Glass

Earlier this spring the innovation and business magazine Fast Company ran a series of articles titled “Secrets of the Most Productive People”. The articles tapped onto the wisdom of successful icons such as Oprah Winfrey as well as a few lesser known CEOs and inventors. These “secrets” included everything from positive thoughts to unlocking your productivity power to getting enough sleep as key tactics.

Triumphant Woman Building Success Through Routines

Likewise, Inc. magazine, which covers a lot of news and narratives that speak directly to the interests of small business, offers its own wisdom. One contributor, who goes by the name Peter Economy, wrote recently that there are “6 Habits of Super Successful People” which consist of simple but essential things like welcoming criticism, knowing when to say “no”, and “keeping your eye on the ball”.

Whether you have hit your stride right now, or are looking for that extra edge toward greater success, taking a few bits of advice from other successful people can help. Once you find and implement steps that work for you, you might even find that being successful becomes easier . . . and somewhat addictive!

Short of listing every meaningful idea for business success out there, we’ve taken some notes on the habits that can start you on the right foot each day.

Prepare Your Mind

Taking a moment before you start every big day or every big task is critical. Think you’re “too busy”? Well, according to the Harvard Business Review, the busier you are, the more you need mindfulness.

Studies show that taking a few moments isn’t just transcendentalism. Taking short breaks and implementing your own relaxation routine can help you reduce stress by 28%, while also helping save costs associated with illness and lost productivity.

As we wrote on this blog last summer, finding balance is important too. If you are someone who loves your work or a particular aspect of what you do — whether it is selling, building the relationship with clients and partners, or even number crunching — you’re on a roll.

There will always be a few things within the operations of your business that you don’t love. But in carrying out those less-fun tasks always make sure to add value and be extraordinary to your customers.

Prepare Your Body Too

Perhaps you don’t consider yourself a jock or a sports fan. Maybe running or tennis just isn't for you. That’s okay. But it doesn’t hurt to listen to your body, writes Entrepreneur contributor Eric Schiffer. After all, your body should get as much attention as your balance sheet and your bottom line.

“Like companies, bodies vary by shape and size, strengths and weaknesses and overall health and vigor,” Schiffer, CEO of an independent digital marketing agency, writes. “It’s critical for you to be aware of your body’s — and company’s — unique characteristics and needs, and that to use strategy in thought and action to achieve the results you seek.”

Some in the entrepreneurial community take the body/mind thing a bit further. The editorial staff of Nextshark lists “10 Reasons Everyone in Business Should Do Yoga”, advancing the thought that yoga is yoga is great for de-stressing and may make you smarter too.

Whether it is yoga, fishing, a light jog or even walking the dog in the morning that appeals to you most, your body part of the overall machine that makes you do what you do. Don’t neglect it!

Never Procrastinate

Inc. magazine recently wrote that procrastination can supercharge your business — believe it or not — according to business author Damon Brown. Sounds a bit like reverse psychology, doesn’t it?

But for most of us, there are things in our business that we must do but either don’t want to or put behind the current task at hand. Forbes takes procrastination pretty seriously, calling it a troll and likening it to a dragon that must be slain daily.

“Procrastination,” that nasty bugger, Forbes explains “will fill your days with the work that you enjoy doing, instead of the work you should be doing.” Often times, contributor Alex McClafferty writes, removing additional options of tasks you can do during the day will keep you focused on the most important things.

To combat procrastination, Business Insider recommends that you take a look at why you put things off, as well as combat procrastination with simple rewards for yourself each time you accomplish something, even the smallest of goals.

Establish Routines, Relax the Right Way

The Week adds another ingredient to the recipe for success: the routine. Specifically, business writer Eric Barker says that keeping to a morning ritual followed by a schedule that includes blocks of time for the workday and a relaxing evening helps establish a rhythm that bolsters success. Other voices throughout the business world from Kara Golden to Paul Mitchell have also said many times that, for them, routines are what really makes them work.

Yet, when powering down to relax, Barker advises that what might seem relaxing might be deceptive and even sabotage relaxation for busy, driven people. “What does work? Seeing friends and doing active hobbies. What doesn't? More passive pursuits like TV, video games, and eating.

In conclusion, it’s fair to say that making success a habit doesn't come easy. But, Barker adds an important thought — that being successful isn’t necessary about clocking hours, or being busy. “Stop focusing on just getting lots of random things done to pretend you're making progress.”


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