Simplicity is a pivotal element in the success of many of the entrepreneurial greats. Life, in general, isn't meant to be hard. If it becomes extra-challenging, it's an obvious sign you're going the wrong way.
After studying everyone from Steve Jobs to Henry Ford, I've deduced five surprisingly simple habits that helped them reach limitless heights in the business world. I've put them to the test and can say they indeed work, and then some. These habits are well worth implementing into your routine.
1. Dress for success.
If you're working from home some days, should you forgo the shower and stay in your PJs? Nope. Get up, get showered, put on your best suit, and sit down at your home office to start a productive workday. Even if you only have phone calls that day, you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover you're much more confident, productive and on your game if you're dressed for success, even if it's just Fido who sees how awesome you look today.
2. Eliminate distractions.
Studies have proven that if you're interrupted while completing a task, it can take approximately 20 minutes to regroup and get back into what you were doing. If Fluffy keeps jumping up on your warm keyboard, keep pets out of the office. Your home office, or any workspace, should be quiet and off-limits from distractions of any kind. Noisy street? Move your desk away from the window and put up a mirror so you can still enjoy the sunshine and outside view without the extra distraction.
3. Embrace interdependence.
Many of the uber-successful entrepreneurs aren't ashamed to admit they've most certainly called up the value of and utilized the art of interdependence. In layman's terms, interdependence is somewhere between complete independence and complete co-dependence. It's the humility to admit you're not total king of your empire and none of us are good at everything. I can't even draw a stick figure to save my soul, so I have to rely on bringing in graphic designers whenever I require graphics of any kind. These people aren't hired as permanent employees, which is the great part. It's inexpensive and quick, and it makes sound business and financial sense all around.
Contracted work saves a ton of money compared to having someone on the payroll. Plus, there are lots of freelance websites popping up where you can interview and hire the right person for the short-term (or longer-term) project.
In the beginning, my business was my baby, and I thought no one could do a better job than I could. I had a very hard time practicing delegation.
At some point, as your business and empire grow, delegation is imperative – vital, actually – to long-term success. Sure, you might be able to do all the things you've delegated out, but as a successful entrepreneur, your time is valuable and best utilized in other areas of your business. It's like letting go of your firstborn on the first day of school. Once you let go of the reins and get over the hump, it becomes routine, and a good habit to get into.
5. Be a hands-on leader.
I've run into many young and ambitious entrepreneurs who bite off way more than they can chew. This isn't a debate about how much you can handle; it's to point out that building a successful business and entrepreneurial lifestyle takes time, effort, patience, diligence and pacing yourself.
If you rush ahead, there's huge potential to miss crucial steps (the smallest details can become the most important ones in the end), major opportunities and learning lessons that can save your butt over the long haul. Flying high above the radar, instead of staying in the trenches as you build, automatically takes you from hands-on to hands-off – and that's no way to navigate. As the Big Cheese, you need to remain in the loop and hands-on with the tiniest to the largest of details. Failing out of sync with your business model and blueprint is a dangerous move at any time or in any way.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best practices or habits of successful entrepreneurs, but these points have greatly assisted my own business and success, as well as many of the businesses and entrepreneurs I've worked with during my 21-plus year career. Consider these the five golden rules to start with. I encourage you to develop more of your own based on what works for you.