— July 13, 2018
In the era of e-commerce and online businesses, there are more entrepreneurs and self-employed people than ever before. A person who makes their own fortune has a different set of responsibilities than their less ambitious counterparts, seeing as how their future depends on choices they make and the actions they take, but most importantly, the habits they have. With that in mind, here are some of the most underestimated habits of wildly successful people that you need to embrace as soon as possible in order to maximize your efficiency.
1. Making your bed early in the morning
During the University of Texas at Austin, 2014 Commencement Address, Admiral William H. McRaven started his speech with a controversial statement: if you want to change the world, you need to start by making your bed early in the morning. There are several reasons why this, seemingly menial task, seems to be so important to this esteemed military leader. First of all, by doing something useful first thing in the morning, you’re already starting your day in the most productive way possible. Second, once you return home, even if you’ve had the worst day ever, you still get to return to the warm made bed. In this way, you condition yourself to reap the benefits of productive behavior.
2. Creating lists
Successful people love lists because they help them visualize their goals. Sure, a person can make a to-do list of their short-term goals, like groceries they have to acquire or tasks that they need to complete tomorrow. Still, how about things they need to do in the next six months or five years? Wouldn’t it be easy to just stray from the path towards your long-term goals by getting mildly distracted every single step of the way? Renowned leadership expert and self-help book author Robin Sharma claims that writing down that one thing you want in a notebook and taking a look at it every single day helps out immensely in this regard.
3. Exercising charismatic behavior
One of the greatest myths about charisma is that people are somehow born with it and that there’s no way for this skill to be acquired later on. This, however, is as far from the truth as it gets, which is something we can clearly see in Dale Carnegie’s iconic book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Reading this book would be a natural first step, yet, to summarize, it’s vital that you A) show interest in people, B) remember their full name and address them this way and C) talk about what interests them – not you. As Robert Brault once said: “Charisma is not just saying hello. It’s dropping what you’re doing to say hello”.
4. Actively listening
The skill of listening is incredibly underrated, due to the fact that most people have little to no interest in other people’s needs and concerns. This is, however, incredibly important, since it helps you with the above-discussed charisma and gives you invaluable feedback on many topics. The best thing about it is that you can start exercising it in any place at any time. Start doing so with your neighbors, your coworkers, partners and employees. You can even exercise this online by visiting sites like Reddit and Quora. Who knows how many irresistible content ideas are out there just waiting to be discovered.
5. Blowing off some steam
The next vital step on this journey of thousand miles lies in understanding the fact that the decisions that entrepreneurs make on a daily basis take a toll on your mental health. That being said, you need to find a way to blow off some steam every now and then. Managers can organize office games to allow everyone to take their mind off things, while self-employed experts and e-commerce business owners might want to explore other options. There’s no universal answer, seeing as how it depends on personal interests. Video games, sports, traveling and reading are valid options. Most importantly, this is something that should have a regular spot in your schedule.
6. Being self-aware
Another thing you need to understand is the fact that a misguided judgment might be the cause of your downfall. Most of these misguided decisions come from not being self-aware and suffering from the consequences of overestimating your abilities, capacities or skills. Sure, believing in yourself is important but not if overconfidence compels you to make all the wrong moves. Therefore, you need to start asking yourself some difficult questions on a daily basis, without fearing to answer them truthfully. One hack you could try out is to take some of the questions that seasoned marketers ask their clients before starting to work on a campaign.
7. Learning how to say no
Finally, a mistake that most entrepreneurs make when they first enter the business world is believing that they need to accept every single offer that comes their way. They believe that even though they have enough work today, by refusing, they’re somehow summoning bad karma, that will make their clients abandon them in droves. The truth is that this isn’t likely to happen. What might, happen, on the other hand, is – you accepting work you’re ill-equipped, ill-trained and under-staffed for, botching it and earning a bad reputation. It goes without saying that the latter scenario is far more likely, which is why you need to learn how to say no as soon as possible.
These seven traits are all equally important, yet, they seldom come to the front of the list. This is mostly because, when verbalized, they don’t sound nearly as bombastic as “Lead by example”, “Communicate effectively” or “Believe in yourself”. Nonetheless, they are equally important and ignoring them might turn out to be a costly mistake for both you and your first enterprise.