How To Write A Business Vision

Running a business is a lot like navigating a ship. We move forward into the deep unknown, conquering small currents, big currents and all kinds of obstacles. And more often than not, we do this without a lot of guidance. We simply keep moving forward, learning as we go, in the hope that somehow we will arrive at our destination. 

The big question is, however…

Do we actually know what our destination is? Do we have a clear idea of where we are heading? And do we know when we have arrived?

When running a business, day in and day out, it’s easy to get caught up in the operation, without ever really thinking about where we want to end up. Maybe you never had a clear idea of what your destination is, taking it one day at a time. Maybe you did have a clear direction at the start but simply lost track. Or maybe your dreams and goals have changed completely and it’s time to redefine them.

When I first started out in business, I always heard business coaches and successful entrepreneurs talk about the importance of having a clear vision. It all sounded great, but nobody told me how to actually create one. It has always been this abstract thing that every business owner needs, but nobody knew how to go about it. 

It wasn’t until one of my business mentors taught me how to create a clear vision for my business that I truly understood how powerful it really is.

A clear vision is the compass in your business. It’s the guiding force that keeps you on track when you are sailing through rough waters, you’ve lost your way, or when you feel pulled in different directions. So, how do you get clear on what you want in your life and business and turn it into a compelling vision?

How to write a business vision

Here are 3 steps to creating a vision for your business that will help you gain more clarity, increase your motivation and ultimately live a happier life.

1. Define Your Values

You can’t write a great vision without first getting clear on your core values. What are core values? They are the things that you care about deeply and that are absolutely uncompromisable.

Take some time to think about everything that matters to you. Write everything down. Don’t leave anything out. You might want to ask yourself these questions.

  • What really matters to me?
  • Why am I in business?
  • What do I stand for?

Write down all the answers you can come up with. Try to aim for at least 30 answers or more. When you really can’t think of anything else, it’s time to group what you have written into 3-6 words that will represent and encapsulate all your answers. 

Eaxample for grouping your values

You might have gone into business because you are looking for financial freedom. But also because you wanted to travel more or spend more time with your family. In order to do that, your business needs to be able to run without you. You’ll need to be able to physically remove yourself from the business. Because ultimately, all three things mean “Freedom”, you could make that one of your core values.

Once you grouped everything that’s important to you into 3-6 words, order them by significance and write a short paragraph for each of your core values outlining what it encompasses and means to you.

You now have a set of core values that you can refer to every time you need to make a decision in your life or business to make sure it aligns with what truly matters to you. I suggest you print out your values and put them somewhere visible, so you can refer to them frequently.

2. Start Dreaming Big

Step one was about your needs. Needs that need to be fulfilled in order for you to be happy and live a balanced, purposeful life. Step two is about your wants. Make a list of everything you can think of that you want to have, do or experience in your lifetime. Do you want to skydive (I highly recommend it)? Are there any particular places you want to see? People you want to meet? Any particular achievements you want to have happen?

It’s important that you don’t limit yourself when doing this exercise and simply allow your creativity to flow. Get creative. Don’t overthink. Don’t get caught up in your beliefs of why you can’t have or do a certain thing. If you dream about it, put it on paper!

Here are two questions that might help you.

  • What would I do if I knew I could not fail?
  • What would I do/have if I had all the time and money in the world?

3. Write Your Vision

Now that you are clear on your core values and allowed yourself to dream for a while, it’s finally time to craft a compelling vision for your future. A story that you can read to yourself from time to time (or daily) to remember what you are doing it all for. 

Keep in mind that this is your personal vision for your life, so make sure it speaks to you. As you learn and grow, your goals and vision might change, too. That’s perfectly fine. Take some time each year to review and rewrite your vision, add anything of importance to you and take out those things that don’t really matter anymore.  You can simply start like this:

It’s 3 years from now and…

Then describe in detail what you want your life to look like. Use present tense and write as if these things have already happened. Describe how it makes you feel. Feel into the moment as if you are already living this life. The clearer the picture you paint, the more powerful it will be when you read over it again in a few months time. 

Have you ever tried to identify your core values or written a vision for your life before? What’s your experience? How has it helped you? Do you find the above exercises helpful? Leave me a comment below! I’d love to here your thoughts.

To your success,


Best Audio Books for Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

If you’re like me, you love reading (or listening to) lots of books! A great book offers us a glimpse into the vast knowledge and experience of an expert in our field of interest and provides us with a deeper understanding about a topic; and often about ourselves.

If you’ve met me before, you’ve probably seen me with headphones glued to my ears. I listen to audio books pretty much everywhere I go, always looking for little nuggets that have the power to transform our thinking and improve our life as a result. Whether you’re looking to improve your business skills, delve into personal development or build your emotional intelligence this list of timeless must-reads is for you. So, here’s my list of all-time favourite audio books (in no particular order) that I can highly recommed. Enjoy!

5 Insanely Valuable Audiobooks For Guaranteed Business & Personal Growth

I will keep adding to this list over time, so these books are listed in no particular order.

If there’s a particular book you think needs to be on this list, feel free to let me know in the comments below.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

by Timothy Ferriss

This was one of the first ever self-development books I read in my life. It surely has transformed my thinking and my views on life. I must say, for this particular one, I preferred the hard copy book over the audiobook. It’s got some great tools and exercises to help you redefine your life and to go outside your comfort zone and push your limits. It’s definitely at the top of my personal favourites.

iTunes Description: If your dream is escaping the rat race, high-end world travel, monthly five-figure income with zero management or just living more and working less then this audiobook is the blueprint. Forget your tired, old retirement concepts and throw out that deferred-life plan – there’s no need to wait and every reason not to. You can have it all! This audiobook is the compass for a new and revolutionary world. Start living now!


The Richest Man in Babylon & The Magic Story: Two Classic Parables about Achieving Wealth and Personal Success (Unabridged)

by Napoleon Hill Foundation

Beautifully narrated and creatively brought to life, this audio book is both, informative and entertaining. The information herein will be life-changing if one can grasp the essence of it. I have gifted this book to many people and listen to it again every few months to remind myself about the great lessons in it. Highly recommend this version of the book, as it’s easy to listen to in about an hour without losing its essence (the original version of The Richest Man in Babylon goes for a few hours).

iTunes Description: These two parables – one ancient, one modern – contain time-tested secrets that will put you on the road to happiness and prosperity. They offer simple, yet powerful truths about the challenges we all face, and must overcome on the road to success. The Richest Man in Babylon: George Clason’s motivational classic story of Arkad, a man of humble origins who became the richest man in Babylon. In dialogue with his fellow citizens he reveals the attitudes and behavior that brought him wealth and happiness. The Magic Story: What turns a loser into a winner? Jay, a down-on-his-luck writer, sees his once struggling friend Sturtevant transformed into a man of supreme confidence and achievement. How did his friend do it?


Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

by Dr. Joe Dispenza

During a time where I could barely get out of bed in the morning, this book has helped me to redefine my purpose and given me new motivation. It teaches why we feel certain emotions, the bio-chemical processes behind the reason for why we subconsciously decide to put ourselves into a negative state and how to break this crushing habit of self-sabotage and depression. This is a book I would recommend to everyone, as it deals with the underlying thought processes and bevaviours that determine our emotional state, and ultimately our actions.

iTunes Description: You are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, renowned author, speaker, researcher, and chiropractor Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible. Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, but you will be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn in order to make measurable changes in any area of your life. Dr. Joe demystifies ancient understandings and bridges the gap between science and spirituality. Through his powerful workshops and lectures, thousands of people in 24 different countries have used these principles to change from the inside out. Once you break the habit of being yourself and truly change your mind, your life will never be the same! This audiobook comes with bonus downloadable content. Please go to www.drjoedispenza.com/bhby to download this material.


The Miracle Morning Audiobook

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life – Before 8AM (Unabridged)

by Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod’s phylosophy is simple. The way you start your morning, determines how your day pans out, and ultimately, your life. This might sound overly simplistic, but this book has the power to transform your life into a miracle. It clearly shows how important it is to proactively design your life and create habits and rituals that support us in our journey to fulfilling our true potential. The Miracle Morning gives you a clear road map, as well as the specific tools to do just that.

iTunes Description: What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any – or every area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less Stress? More Money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved? What if I told you that there is a “not-so-obvious” secret that is guaranteed to transform any – or literally every area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible? What if I told you it would only take 6 minutes a day? Enter The Miracle Morning. What’s now being practiced by thousands of people around the world could perhaps be the simplest approach to creating the life you’ve always wanted. It’s been right there in front of us, but this audiobook has finally brought it to life. Are you ready? The next chapter of your life – the most extraordinary life you’ve ever imagined – is about to begin. You deserve an extraordinary life. It’s time to wake up to your full potential.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & The 8th Habit (Special 3-Hour Abridgement)

by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of those books that you can read again and again, and each time learn new things you didn’t pick up previously.  This book is full of incredible life lessons that are guaranteed to enrich your personal relationships, in business and personal life. I have read this book four times and will be reading it many more. Highly recommended. This version of the book is a condensed one and also includes the sequel by the same author, The 8th Habit.

iTunes Description: This new audio set is a very special abridgement of two of Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling business books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit, read by Dr. Covey himself. We’ve condensed the content of two entire books into just three hours of audio, but you’ll still enjoy Dr. Covey’s lessons on powerful personal change and how to incorporate his ideas into your life to fulfill your ultimate potential.


When I turned six years old, I had already seen more than a dozen martial arts movies; from Bruce Lee and Jacky Chan, to Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michael Dudikoff, I knew them all.

One thing that had always fascinated me were the relationships the heroes in those movies had with their masters. They were more than just teachers. They were mentors. Inspirational, guiding role models who would not just teach the ways, but more importantly the whys.

It wasn’t until I was ten years old – and after three years of Taekwondo training – that I randomly got sucked into a documentary about the Shaolin monastery one evening, as my mother and I were watching TV; I don’t recall the name of the film. But I was inspired and hooked. I learned that most students in Shaolin would start training at the age of six, some were only four or five. I was ten, which made me feel old. “I should have been there years ago”, I thought to myself. If I wanted to keep up, I had to go now. So I made a plan. All I needed to do was let my parents know and off I went, right? Well, not exactly. I had a reputation for coming up with some crazy ideas, so it took some time for anyone to believe that I actually meant business. In fact, it took me months of determination and not letting go of my crazy idea, before my parents finally realised that something was different. This time, I was serious and would not give up. It was more than yet another crazy idea. I was a dream.

Once I had planted the seed of even just the possibility in my mum’s head, she started asking question after question: “What about school? What if something happens to you? What if you get sick? What if you want to come home after a few weeks?” – The list went on and on. Luckily, I somehow always had a good answer ready. And once it was clear that not going wasn’t an option, we were left with the question of how to make it happen. My once crazy idea had finally been accepted. My dream had become a possibility…

However, in 1994 this wasn’t a trip you’d simply book on Expedia.com. We didn’t have an internet connection back then, but somehow my mom managed to find the phone number of the Shaolin temple. Yes, the Shaolin Temple actually had a phone number! There was one phone for the entire monastery. But even after repeated attempts, my mum realised that it was simply impossible to communicate my crazy idea over the phone with the few words of Chinese my mother knew at the time. Nobody spoke English either. Nobody understood what we were even trying to ask. We needed a change of plans. If the telephone didn’t work, there was only one way to get our point across. We actually had to go to see the monks in person. So, my parents decided to take my little sister and me on a holiday to China, to stop by the legendary Shaolin temple and find out if I would be allowed to stay for a year. It was a huge challenge. The first time we visited, we were welcomed by the friendly monks with big smiles and green tea, but my wish was turned down with a friendly smile. Clearly, it was over. The end of the road. Here we were, having travelled all the way from the other side of the world, and all we got was ‘no’. I was heart-broken and felt guilty to have put my mum through all this effort, just to be turned down.

David in Shaolin – Image: Uli Franz

David in Shaolin – Image: Uli Franz

“We are going back home. Back to life as usual”, I thought to myself. “It’s not over yet!”, said my mum, full of hope and with determination written all over her face to make my dream reality. For nearly a week, we returned to the monks, day after day after day. Each time we visited, I noticed a slight change in the air. We were slowly building a relationship. It was absolutely surreal. Each time we would enjoy a cup of green tea together, laugh together – all with almost no Chinese language skills – and each day I felt a little more accepted into the circle. ‘No’ became ‘maybe’, and finally turned to ‘YES’. That day was when I started sh****** my pants. My dream was no longer just a dream. Suddenly, it was real. I was happy and scared at the same time. I realised that I had reached the point of no return.

I started my training the very next day, and boy, my three years of Taekwondo were nothing compared to my first week of Shaolin Kung Fu. After a few more days of settling in and getting used to the environment, it was time for my parents to leave and go back home. Here I was, by myself, in a foreign country, at the age of ten. I stayed for the entire year and it was an unforgettable experience. Surely I had many ups and downs, but every day I learned something. About Kung Fu, Chinese culture, people and mostly about life.

Most people called my parents crazy for leaving me there alone. I, however, couldn’t thank them more. It’s only now, twenty years later – and as a parent myself – that I truly understand the amount of courage and unconditional love it would have taken to trust and let go of your child in such a big way. I feel humbled, proud and forever grateful for having had this opportunity of a lifetime, which has forever changed my life and still, to this day, influences my decision making.

I would even argue that this single year of living by myself, in a foreign country, immersed in a totally different culture, has given me more than my twelve years of traditional education. I’d like to share five big lessons that I have taken away from my year in Shaolin.

Five life lessons that I learned living with the Shaolin

1. Thoughts become things.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” From an idea sparked by a film, I made a conscious decision to make this my new reality. But it was only through persistence that I have been able to reach my goal. Your thinking determines your actions; your actions determine your outcome. Right thinking will grant you everything you desire; wrong thinking is a vice that will eventually destroy you. If you change your thinking you will change your life.

2. Who looks inside awakens.

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

I followed a strong desire inside me. Nobody asked me to go. It was a decision I made with my heart, not my mind. If I would have been rational, it would have never happened. Don’t be rational but trust your heart to make decisions.

3. No one can walk your path for you.

If you wait for others, so will your opportunities. You have to be the initiator of your own dreams. When you start to follow your heart, doors will open and the right people will show up to support you. True love will always find a way. Stay true to yourself and choose your own path.

4. Don’t believe everything you are told to believe.

Before my journey, not many people believed me when I told them about my plan. Your reality is not my reality. Don’t be discouraged by anyone who tells you that something is not possible. It is simply not part of their reality. You create your own reality. Choose do belief whatever brings you closer to your goals. Discard any beliefs that will lead you away from your goals.

5. Look for peace within yourself & let go of attachment

As a child I had a lot of “stuff”. Toys, games, all sorts of things that, we are taught to belief, will make you happy. During my time in Shaolin I had a few clothes, a bed, and daily kung fu training. I soon realised that “stuff’ wasn’t contributing to me being happy. It would only distract you from facing the truth. Distract you from looking deep inside you to find out who you really are. What really matters to you. Do not look for peace around you for it originates from within.

Live life on your terms. Live with passion.

 

 

Watch the documentary about David’s year in Shaolin:

Mit 11 Allein in China: Der kleine David im Kloster Shaolin

 

TED Talks For Entrepreneurs

TED Talks are geared towards spreading ideas using short, powerful talks. The talks last no more than 18 minutes each, are factual and entertaining. Initially, they revolved around Technology, Entertainment, and Design (hence the name TED) when they started out in 1984.

Today, the talks touch on almost all areas of human living, including entrepreneurship.

As entrepreneurs, we can learn a lot from watching many of these talks. The good news is, the talks are easily available on TED.com.

TED Talks For Entrepreneurs

Here are my top TED Talks every entrepreneur should watch, in no particular order. Enjoy!

1. Cameron Herold: Let’s Raise Kids To Be Entrepreneurs

Cameron Herold, who founded COO Alliance, gave a TED Talk entitled, “Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs.” In his words, the traditional system of education does not encourage kids to be entrepreneurs. He believes that we should change the system to produce more entrepreneurs.

 

2. Nirmalya Kumar: India’s Invisible Innovation

Nirmalya Kumar’s TED Talk focuses on the link between business and innovation. As most business owners know, running a business successfully requires a good dose of innovation. A business that constantly develops new products and processes has a higher chance of success.

 

3. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Eight years ago, Simon Sinek gave a TED Talk on the role great leaders play in inspiring action. The lessons from that talk are still relevant today. Company leaders call the shots. CEOs determine the direction a company takes.

A leader determines how successful a company’s digital marketing campaign shall be.

 

4. Regina Hartley: Why The Best Hire Might Not Have The Perfect Resume

What makes Regina Hartley’s TED Talk a must watch for entrepreneurs is the advice she gives on the role of a resume in hiring or not hiring a new employee. Entrepreneurs put too much focus on what is on the resumes.

They forget that the resumes never capture all the important details of a prospective employee.

For example, the resume may not tell an entrepreneur everything the prospective employee did in creating a marketing automation software. A perfect resume may keep us away from one who has overcome great difficulties and challenges to get here.

 

5. Philip Evans: How Data Will Transform Business

The TED Talk Philip Evans gave in 2014 was designed to help businesses understand the role of data. We have to understand the transformational ability that data has in any business. We can no longer ignore analysing the importance of technology and data for running a business.

After all, marketing automation, like all types of technology, depends on data.

 

6. Seth Godin: How To Get Your Ideas To Spread

Seth Godin’s TED Talk was titled “How to get your ideas to spread”. In that talk, we understand the importance of using bizarre ideas in marketing. Good and boring ideas are not always productive. Bizarre ones, on the other hand, capture and retain customer’s attention.

These must-watch business TED Talks are a great start for any entrepreneur who is wanting to learn and grow themselves and their business.

What are your favourite TED talks? Please share the link in the comments below.

To your success,

 

Seven Things Smart Entrepreneurs Do Daily

If you pay attention to entrepreneurial culture, you may start to notice a few daily trends among successful entrepreneurs. You may not be the ‘waking up at 4 a.m.’ type of entrepreneur but you may learn a thing or two from them. Below are some things smart entrepreneurs do on a daily basis.

1. They Plan Their Day

When you venture into the entrepreneurial life after working a 9 to 5, you will have so much time on your hands that you will not know what to do with it, literally. Instead of spending your newfound free time on Netflix, you should be growing your business. Successful entrepreneurs plan their days out so they know what needs to be done at what time to optimize their time. This is considered as the top thing smart entrepreneurs do on a daily basis.

2. They Take Time Off To Recharge

You may think that as an entrepreneur, there is no time to waste on rest but you need to know when to take a break. There is a difference between working effectively and working. Successful entrepreneurs usually have a strict work schedule, but they also have time off from their work and it does not eat into their work. You can switch off from work to help you find happiness in other things aside from work. Also, ensure you get enough rest or take time from work so you can recharge and get a new perspective on things. 

3. Smart Entrepreneurs Focus On Self Development

Successful, smart entrepreneurs also use methods like coaching, mentoring, workshops, courses, audiobooks, and podcasts to enhance self-development. You need to keep learning in order to continue growing. Once you become an entrepreneur, invest in self-development and your own education. It helps you learn more about business and become more self-aware so you can grow professionally and personally. 

3. Smart Entrepreneurs Outsource 

You will get to a point in your business where you will feel the need to start outsourcing tasks because you are tired and cannot grow, but worried about making enough money to cover outsourcing. This is the ideal time to start. Successful entrepreneurs have admitted that outsourcing to experts was a turning point for their business allowing faster growth and bringing in more income than before.

4. They Have A Way Of Keeping Up with Their Inbox 

Outsource your inbox or schedule time to check emails and respond to them to avoid becoming a slave to it. Smart entrepreneurs turn off email notifications to resist the urge to keep checking each one as it comes in. 

5. Healthy Entrepreneurs Maintain Proper Nutrition

You can easily slip in this department as an entrepreneur because you may become caught up in your daily activities and end up eating a couple of snacks throughout the day. This also boils down to planning your day; schedule eating times and go as far as planning your meals and preparing them in advance.

6. They Take Time for Themselves

Everyone needs to take time for themselves regardless of how many hours he or she works or sleeps. Successful entrepreneurs schedule time for themselves for quiet time to meditate or read a book. You may also need to be away physically once in a while for a holiday; make sure you schedule it in so it does not clash with your business activities. 

7. They Use Time Chunking To Be More Productive

The idea here is that a task can take as long as the amount of time you have allocated to complete it. Schedule a specific amount of time to complete a specific task and you will be able to complete multiple tasks without procrastinating and with laser focus. Successful entrepreneurs have attributed this method to their increased productivity.

Basically, these are the seven things smart entrepreneurs do on a daily basis.

In Australia, more than 60 percent of small businesses fail and cease operating within the first three years of starting.[1]

This fact is too often ignored by enthusiastic entrepreneurs who all claim that they have the next big idea.

When I started my first business at the age of 21, I had all the right reasons for why I would be different and succeed. Well, guess what? I lost thousands of dollars because I was overly confident and naive.

I now know that the main reason I failed was because of my lack of marketing skills at the time. I had a good product that people were actually buying, however, I wasn’t able to reach enough of the right people and turn them into buyers. Here’s your chance to learn from my mistakes.

7 reasons why your business is (probably) going to fail within your first year

1. You are not testing the market

It’s easy to assume that your product will sell and that everyone is going to love it. All your friends and family are probably telling you how great your idea is. What would they say though, if you asked them to pre-purchase your product and actually hand their cash over? Test it out. If out of 10 people no-one buys it, it’s probably a bad idea.

2. Your numbers simply don’t add up (even if you think they do)

Chances are, the profit margins for your awesome product are just not high enough. Did you really think if you bought these cool t-shirts for $10 and resell them for $20 you made $10 profit? If you are serious about building a business, here are just a few things to consider: Taxes, accounting & bookkeeping fees, advertising cost, Marketing and promotional budget, rent, utility bills, shipping & returns, plus all the time required to build a profitable business.

3. You give up too early

It’s all exciting when starting out as an entrepreneur. Until you hit a brick wall. There will be many obstacles along the way and sadly most people simply give up as soon as the first challenge arises. It’s all too hard and staying in your job is just too comfortable.

4. You waste your time working on the wrong things

Yeah, no. Your logo and letterhead can wait. Start selling first. If it works you can start worrying about the cosmetics. You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands on a fancy website either. Keep it simple and prove that your idea works on a small scale before you start going global.

5. You are lacking focus or simply focus on the wrong things

It takes focus to get a new business off the ground. Lots of focus. You need to have a plan of what your business is going to look like in a few months, as well as in a few years. Then, break your plan into smaller chunks and focus on staying on track. If you are like most young entrepreneurs you are probably working on the next project, even before you’ve seen any results. Stay focused. Also, instead of focusing on money, focus on adding value to your customers’ lives. If you can add enough value, the sales will come naturally.

6. You don’t have the right toolbox (or no toolbox at all)

If you are a mechanic and want to build a car from scratch, you are going to require some serious tools. You’ll also need to know exactly what tools you require to get the job done. Your toolbox as an entrepreneur might look a little different, but there is no doubt that you will need one. Do your research on what you really need in order to achieve your goals work hard on getting smart.

7. Did someone say goals?

A shiny new product in a pretty box is not a very good goal. After all, you didn’t go into business because you wanted to sell pretty boxes. You went into business to live your passion, make money, and to enjoy the freedoms of a successful entrepreneur. Be very specific and clear about what freedom means to you personally. Then work on those things that truly make an impact and help you achieve your goals faster. Read this post about the principle of leverage and how you can use it to grow your business twice as fast by doing half the work.

Why do you think your business will be different? Have you experienced other challenges in your business or seen new businesses fail? What’s the biggest lesson you have learned thus far? Leave me a comment below!

1. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/

Have you wondered what are the things that successful business owners do? Habits truly are a powerful thing. Develop the wrong set of habits and you are destined to fail in various ways. Develop the right ones, however, and chances are you will soon see your business thriving, regardless of the economic environment.

These ten life-changing habits that you should adapt today to accelerate your success in business; and virtually every other area of your life.

 

1. Have a Daily Morning Routine

The way you start your day has a major effect on how it will pan out. If you have a sleep-in, a long breakfast in bed and don’t leave the house until after 1pm, it’s unlikely it’s going to be super productive day. If you get up early, however, and have a routine that puts you in the right mind frame, you are much more likely to have an extraordinary day.
I was first introduced to the idea of a morning routine by Tony Robbins with his Hour of Power.
A while ago I came across a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, which is all about developing a morning routine designed to fit into your everyday lifestyle. This one habit alone, if implemented into your daily life, will catapult you into a different league.

(Don’t think I don’t love having a sleep-in every now and then. They surely have their place.)

 

2. Regularly Schedule Implementation Days

Boost your productivity by incorporating implementation days into your work. I started having these days with my clients, where we plan out an entire day in advance and then set a date where I come into the business and help them implement a certain strategy. These days have literally doubled my productivity, compared to working on a project for a couple of hours and over a number of days. My credo on those days is that I’m not leaving until our to do list is completed.
Be sure to have a well-planned agenda for the day. I usually plan it out a few days in advance and schedule tasks in 15-minute slots.

 

3. Go on an Information Diet

I am a big personal development junkie. I believe that we should never stop learning, evolving, and striving to fulfill our true potential, at work and in our personal lives. However, taking time to let your mind rest and reflect is in fact necessary to keep high levels of productivity (and your sanity). Take a few weeks every now and then where you consciously reflect on what you have learned and focus on actually using your newly acquired knowledge. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of jumping onto the latest tool and strategy without ever having implemented anything you learned in the past. Remember, the best strategy of all is the one you implement, not the ones stuck in your head.

During this time, try to also stay away from technology, email and social media as much as possible. I like to have occasional no-tech weekends with my kids to enjoy quality time without all the daily distraction.

 

4. Develop a 90-Day Action Plan

Four days per year that can change the entire course of your life. Literally.
Take a day every quarter to re-write your vision for your life and business. Get clear about where you want to be in life in 2 years, 5 years or 10 years from now. Then think of the 5 tasks or projects that you believe will have the biggest impact in moving you closer to your goals. It might be launching a new website or implementing a new lead generation strategy. Make sure you it’s not more than 5, as you are much more likely to lose motivation if you pick too many. Make these 5 projects your absolute priority for the next 90 days.

Hint: It’s often the things that are not urgent that are in fact the most important ones to work on. We tend to give all of our attention to the most urgent tasks and as a result never actually get to the things that truly matter. A great way to ensure you will actually tick off your top 5 projects is to schedule a number of implementation days (see habit #2).

 

5. Write a blog or journal

When we write down our thoughts and ideas, our brains are forced to organise these thoughts. This will help you to clear your head and bring structure into all the knowledge you have acquired through seminars, podcasts, books or audio books. Every now and then, I take the time to sit down, pick a topic and simply put everything on paper that shoots into my head. It doesn’t always end up on my blog but it helps to get it all out of my head. If you don’t want to make it public, you can simply keep a journal instead.

 

6. Pay attention to what you pay attention to

Did you ever pick up your phone to quickly check your emails or look something up and suddenly realised that an hour has passed? After checking your numerous social media profiles and watching yet another useless YouTube video, you ask yourself, where did all this time go? With all the noise and distraction these days, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. Fact is, the more you indulge in these distractions, the harder it will become for you to regain focus and dedicate your time to what truly matters. You can think about it this way. We all start our day with a limited number of attention credits. Every time you pay attention to something you are giving away some of your credits. Until you have no more credits left to focus on the right things. That’s when most people simply zone out and turn to Netflix. Be mindful of how you spend your time and stop wasting precious attention credits.

 

7. Practice the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule – also called the Pareto Principle – has been around for over a hundred years and states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For example:

80% of your problems can be attributed to 20% of causes
80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
80% of complaints come from 20% of your customers
80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spent
80% of your sales come from 20% of your products or services
By focusing on the 20% of tasks that make the biggest difference in your business you will free up a lot of your time and drastically increase productivity and profits.

Ask yourself, who are the 20% of your customers that generate 80% of your turnover? Or who are the 20% of your customers that create 80% of your headaches? Maybe it’s time to let them go? (Yes, sometimes it’s wise to fire our customers.)

 

8. Have a not-to-do list

We are often so busy worrying about all the things we need to do that we don’t realise that we fill our spare time with habits that are not only unproductive, but can be absolutely draining, even harmful to our bodies, minds and overall health. There used to be a time where I’d come home after a long day of work and, without giving it any thought, switch on the TV, wasting the rest of my precious evening. I’d watch random shows, go to bed late and wake up the next morning exhausted and with a lack of motivation. The longer I kept going, the harder it seemed to break the cycle. Until I made a conscious decision to change my habits. A not-to-do list was a great start and helped me keep on track. My list looked somewhat like this:

  • Do not switch on the TV when coming home
  • Do not check your phone at random intervals and get sidetracked
  • Do not eat out of boredom

You get the picture. I then added things I could do to replace my old habits. Instead of watching TV, I would go for a run, have a shower and go out with my kids for an hour. Instead of having my phone next to me at all times, I started switching it off during times where I want to be productive and only check my messages during a break or at the end of my day. What are some bad habits that you should/could stop doing right now? You probably already know what they are.

 

9. Have a Think Week

In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes about the concept of Think Week. A week where you take time out of your busy schedule to simply indulge in good books, articles and magazines to learn, gain new insights and, most importantly, think. We are often too busy to think about if what we are doing right now is still congruent with our values and purpose. Taking time out to re-evaluate where we are and where we want to go in our lives is crucial to our success and, more importantly, our happiness.

If you are too busy to take an entire week off, start by dedicating a few minutes each day to read, learn and reflect. Your morning routine would be a perfect time for this (see habit #1).

 

10. Streamline & Automate Tedious, Repetitive Processes

One of the fastest ways to free up your time and budget is without a doubt the use of the right tools and software to streamline and automate the most time-consuming processes in your business. With the technology available today, many repetitive tasks can easily be fully automated, so you can focus on the things that truly matter to you.

Here are just a few things that I have helped business owners to automate and streamline:

  • Lead generation
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Invoicing
  • Answering Customer Questions and Enquiries

How many of these things are you currently doing yourself or have staff doing, when they can be fully automated? The goal of my 90-Day Marketing Transformation program is to automate all of the above, as well as other aspects in your particular business. You can find out more about the program here.

Do you have certain habits that help you to be more productive and accelerate success? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below to share what’s worked for you or what challenges you are facing right now that are holding you back.

To your success,