Are you more successful today than you were yesterday?
If you are an entrepreneur, this is most likely your goal. No matter what kind of entrepreneurial niche you find yourself in, chances are you are focused on continually improving. This is one personality trait that nearly all entrepreneurs share.
However, changing the fundamental core of who you are is a difficult and often impossible task, especially if you are trying to make big changes.
Rather than trying to change the nature of who you are, consider adding these six simple actions into your day. They are designed to be straightforward, practical and easy to implement, yet they will dramatically help your productivity. By implementing these manageable tactics, you’ll be able to see day-to-day improvements in your business.
1. Wake up a little earlier
What do the CEOs of Starbucks, Apple, General Electric, Xerox, Virgin and Disney have in common? They all wake up before 6 a.m.
Not only will waking up before others in your household keep you focused and motivated, studies show that waking up early can actually make a you a happier and healthier person.
Tonight, set your alarm just a little bit earlier.
2. Go for a quick jog
Sure, stretching and walking are good for helping to keep your body toned, but if you want to get the most out of that muscle between your ears, try jogging everyday.
In a study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers discovered that students who exercised daily had a greater ability "to block out irrelevant information and concentrate on the task at hand” and exhibited "heightened abilities to toggle between cognitive tasks.”
Why not go take that quick jog right now? Your work will be here when you return.
3. Send a thank you note to a past customer
Think of the last time you received a sincere thank you note in the mail from someone you did business with. Most likely you don’t remember the last time, because although most entrepreneurs know the importance of following up, very few take the time to actually do so.
By sending thank you notes, cards or gifts to past clients or customers, you open up the conversation once again and allow for repeat business or invite referral business that can drive your venture forward.
Who can you send a thank you note to right now?
4. Organize your office
This probably comes as no surprise, but a simple way to improve your business is by organizing your office or workspace. According to Erin Doland of Uncluttered.com, researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute discovered that when "your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus.” In a world so full of distraction and complexity, your office should remain a sanctuary of simplicity.
Take 10 minutes today to organize your workspace.
5. Define your "one thing"
No other book influenced me this year as much as The One Thing by Gary Keller. Although simple in its premise, the implications have made a major difference in my life. To summarize: entrepreneurship is like stacking up dominos in a row, each larger than the previous. By focusing all your efforts on the one domino in front of you (your “one thing”), you are able to move your business along faster than you would have ever imagined.
Stop wasting time on those 100 little tasks on your list, and start focusing on the one thing that is going to drive you forward.
What’s your "one thing?"
6. Engage in an online community
Although reading a book can do wonders for generating new ideas and sparking innovation, books are a one-way street: you can read, but you can’t ask questions. However, online forums and communities can help you both ways.
By engaging every day in an online community, you are able to get real-time answers to your questions from others who have been in your shoes. For example, I am a landlord, so I read real estate investing books all day to inspire me, but when my tenant allegedly sets her front patio on fire from cigarette butts and blames it on another tenant, what book is going to advise me on what to do? Instead, I rely on other landlords to share their experiences on the BiggerPockets Forums (I work for the company).
In addition, online communities can help you network and meet others who can potentially change the future of your business for the better. However, you’ll never meet them if you don’t take the first step and start reaching out.
Spend 10 minutes today engaging in an online community. You won’t regret it.
Everyday improvements are not necessarily easy, but it’s also not rocket science. Small actions taken daily can set a new direction for your life and help you reach new levels of success.
What other daily actions do you recommend entrepreneurs take to become more successful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.