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Make the Most of Each Day

Each day brings new opportunity for your business. Here are 5 ways to make the most of it.

During most people's lives, change occurs slowly. They work the typical 40-hour week and have a fairly standard path to career advancement. If they decide to pursue a position outside their current firm, they give themselves time to evaluate their choices and consider appropriate companies.

As entrepreneurs, tremendous change is thrust upon us with every innovative strategy we develop. Our days often take unexpected turns. Since there is no definition of "working hours," it can easily feel as if we compress a year's worth of experiences into just one day.

Constant change is part of the entrepreneurial landscape. To maintain your energy and focus, learn how to manage your time according to your personality and natural instincts. Consider each day a basic building block to your successful business.

1. Kick-start your creative can-do attitude every morning. Your beliefs affect your ability to manage your business. Negativity in the face of new challenges has been the downfall of more than one entrepreneur. You are already a maverick who has decided to pursue your dream. Remind yourself to always embrace change with a can-do outlook. Every challenge is a new opportunity for discovery, accomplishment and adventure.

2. Success develops from taking continuous action. The greatest business successes are realized through deliberate and focused efforts. A long to-do list can actually become a roadblock by placing unnecessary constraints, barriers and guilt on you. Your natural instincts already know which core items on your list will move your business forward. Increase your productivity by accomplishing those items first. Move forward by assessing the effect your actions have had on your business and adjusting your strategy by integrating what you've learned.

3. Energize your commitment to creativity by involving others throughout the day. One unique idea or a simple "you can do it" from someone you respect reinvigorates your energy level. Purposely pursue outside contact during the day, according to your own individual style. Whether it's a check-in call with a colleague or a lunch meeting with a client, use this time for validation and to obtain fresh ideas. Choose the method that works best for you, and commit to it.

4. Incorporate investigating new opportunities into your normal routine. Add a sense of wonder and excitement to your day by taking time for discovery. Rather than scheduling this activity, work it into your normal routine. If you have a meeting, arrive early and look around the premises for new marketing ideas. Engage other attendees in a conversation about new market trends or developments at their companies. This creative brainstorming time, no matter how short, allows innovative ideas to flow and important relationships to form.

5. Perform a midday check on yourself, every day. We often get derailed with side issues or larger changes that set our days askew. Your midday check-in is a personal, solitary meeting to determine how your goals are progressing. Put your instincts to use by ruthlessly making time for what's still important in the day.

At the end of the day, reinforce your positive mental attitude by accepting that the actions you've completed are the things you should have accomplished. Set the stage for your next successful day by acknowledging that you're prepared to conquer change as it occurs.

Speaker and consultant romanus wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.

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This article was originally published in the March 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Day by Day.

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