The intersection of family life and business can be chaotic. Master the morning schedule and you can achieve your goals and experience success. I have followed the same morning schedule day after day for the last year. I've experienced personal and business growth as a result. The key has been consistency and other entrepreneurs on this journey of growing a thriving family business have confirmed this to be true. Here are five morning routines we recommend and use:
1. Prospect first
The temptation all entrepreneurs face is to check your emails and social media updates in the morning. You want to put out fires, capture opportunities, make sure team members have what they need and more. It's also a great way to procrastinate while feeling as though you're doing something important.
I spoke with a husband-and-wife team of Realtors who each spend three hours every morning, five days a week, prospecting to grow their business. They attribute most of their sales to this one morning routine. They don't prospect any other time of day. The reason is that other business and family activities get in the way in the afternoon and evenings. They employ a mix of prospecting activities, including phone calls, seminars, webinars and networking events. Try prospecting offline and online in the mornings.
2. Hold a family meeting
Some families fail when they take a casual approach to business. Family members show up late to meetings, or not all. They communicate about business matters when it comes to mind, and not during formal meetings where you can assign and track projects. A well-ordered family meeting sets the tone for the day and can be a great project management tool. I run my family meetings like a talk show production meeting. Everyday we're producing a show, starring us.
When I started out, I tried running it like a traditional corporate meeting but that didn't engage my family. Keep your meetings fun and creative to engage your family. A fun approach to work helps with family dynamics beyond your business.
3. Generate energy
One of the top objections to starting a family business is the lack of energy. I spoke with a mom who runs an organic co-op with two children underfoot. Her children are too young to help in her business, but she is building it now with the goal of working with them as they get older. Her number-one challenge is not capital. It's energy. She doesn't make the time for self-care.
Having more energy is one of the benefits of working together. You can distribute the amount of energy it takes to start a successful business among family members, but you have to bring energy to the table. Enroll in a martial arts program, take a fitness class, run outdoors or workout in your living room. Working out gives you the energy you need to balance family and business. Your competitors win if you run out of energy to compete.
4. Take time for leadership development
Personal development is important, but leadership development is more important for the family business owner. You must learn to lead your family and others to complete the goals and objectives of your company. The level of success you experience is a direct correlation of your ability to lead well. Invest 30 minutes in the morning building your leadership skills. Learn how to motivate your family to get things done. Learn how to get others to deliver high quality service or products in a timely manner.
5. Practice your presentations
I know a business family who performs across the country to sell records. They rehearse songs from 10 am-12 pm every day. You expect this from musicians, but what about the rest of us? Do you have to perform today? Whether it's delivering a speech, a sales presentation, running a daily huddle with workers or pitching products, you must be ready to perform. Like any good artist, you should rehearse every morning. Develop scripts for your presentations and media appearances and practice them in the mornings.
Develop a consistent morning routine for your family business and you're sure to reap the rewards in the near future. Say to yourself every morning, "my consistency is my competitive advantage."