Gone are the days when most Americans dreamed of securing a long-lasting position at a company, earning a pension and quietly fade into retirement. Today’s workforce craves autonomy and entrepreneurship, with a recent VistaPrint study indicating 62 percent of Americans aspire to become their own boss.
But it takes more than a leap of faith, willpower or even a series of sound and savvy decisions. How you structure your day and build your business may come back to something surprising: Habits.
It may feel like we’re making deliberate decisions in our day to day, but research shows otherwise. An interview in Harvard Business Review with Charles Duhigg, a reporter for The New York Times and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, found that 40 percent to 45 percent of what we do is based on a habit, and our habits are also a driving force within companies.
Ready to launch your own business? Take a cue from the best in the business and study the habits of successful entrepreneurs. Here are three habits to inspire your journey to success.
1. Outsource Early
While it may be tempting to try and control every aspect of your business, it’s ultimately next to impossible to scale and stay productive without outsourcing. An interview in Forbes with ARAVUN consultant Karlene Agard encourages entrepreneurs to outsource and automate as early as possible.
After finding herself overworked and exhausted, Agard turned to outsourcing to free up her time to focus on revenue and business building instead of tedious, repetitive tasks. Hiring an assistant is a good place to start, but you can scale your efforts by outsourcing entire systems with a call center in the cloud.
Choose the services you need most, from phone surveys to giving customers order status update or assigning tasks to virtual receptionists.
2. Take Control of Your Time
It’s easy to fall into the trap of piling up your days with meetings and an endless to-do list without stopping to evaluate your time. However, Monu Kalsi, VP of marketing for Stericycle, says owning your schedule should be a priority.
The directive for entrepreneurs is to take charge and execute actionable tasks with their time instead of simply shuffling from meeting to meeting. “Success comes to those who do not just plan well but execute with the same rigor,” Kalsi said.
Scrutinize your schedule and be ruthless about not attending (or even scheduling) pointless meetings, or instead outsource the tasks to an assistant or executive who can handle it for you.
3. Wake Up Early to Start Your Day
Sleeping in and stretching as the morning sun streams into your bedroom may feel refreshing, but it isn’t necessarily a productive habit.
In fact, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wakes at 5 a.m. to meditate and work out before getting down to business. Meantime, Richard Branson of Virgin Group rises at 5:45 a.m. to work out and clear his mind before starting his workday.
Follow the lead of some of the most successful and wealthiest entrepreneurs, and reserve early morning hours for a workout, meditation, reading or clearing out your inbox to get a jump start on your day.
Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat to Success
Building your own business doesn’t have to be a fantasy, but it does require the right habits and mindset to realize success. Start by outsourcing the tasks that take up the most time and tweak your life to build productive habits that put you in the driver’s seat toward success.