Entrepreneurs share many characteristics. There are common traits we see in entrepreneurs; while you may be the visionary that your company needs, you should be cognizant that some of your entre-traits aren’t hindering your company’s progress.
Do you see these traits when you look in the mirror? What are you doing right now to ensure you’re optimizing yourself to be the leader your venture depends on?
Here are three ways to overcome these traits:
1. Commit To Personal Organization
If you’re an entrepreneur or have spent any amount of time around them, then you know it’s very common for our type to be perpetually disorganized. Entrepreneurs have so many ideas that it’s hard to keep track of them all. By the time they find the pencil in their cluttered workspace to write down the first idea, they have already theorized a new idea – an automatic desk organizer, perhaps.
Maybe this sounds familiar and you can admit to being disorganized. Though this may be common, it’s not okay if you are committed to maximizing your productivity. The best entrepreneurs in the world are organized. No, it’s not a bad thing to continually be inspired and harvest new innovation, that’s the visionary inside of you that makes you an entrepreneur, but you cannot let new shiny objects become roadblocks to achieving your goals. Your time management should be at the top of your weekly priorities.
Stay focused on your goals. Be your company’s archer with both eyes locked on the target.
Focused Days Boost Productivity
Don’t overload your days. You should only select a few focused objectives for each day. It’s easy for you to develop ideas, but it’s not as easy to flush them out and execute through to completion. A great way for you to make significant progress on your primary goals is to ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed before the day even begins. Enjoy your morning, take a moment to breathe, eat a healthy breakfast, and feel confident in your achievable plan for the day.
Think back to last week: what did you tell yourself you were going to finish, but it’s still left undone? What was that task you meant to delegate but you never got around to relay the message? Now it’s Monday, and you find yourself in a rush to get it done and are already losing control of your week’s schedule because of what’s left undone from last week. This is a habit that’s breakable by practicing focused attention.
Here’s another bit of wisdom that I am ready to proclaim: life is chaotic and unpredictable.
I’m sure you’d like to control life and stop any surprises from happening; unfortunately, this is not practical and should not be expected. But there are ways to prevent the unexpected from wreaking havoc on your whole week. If you limit yourself to a finite amount of tasks for any given day, it will help keep these surprises from feeling like such a burden. Prepare for the unexpected by not loading every hour of your week with urgent tasks. Give yourself time and flexibility to fulfill your obligations.
Especially when it comes to first time tasks – first time tasks always take longer than you think. You don’t have a good baseline to determine an estimated amount of time, and the unexpected usually does happen when you don’t have experience with what it all entails.
If you allow yourself an attainable itinerary for each day, you will continue to feel accomplished and inspired by meeting and surpassing your goals!
2. Your Ego Won’t Scale
If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have a bit of an ego. No one thinks they can create and develop a booming business unless they have a pretty high ego. That’s okay.
It’s important for an entrepreneur to have an ego because that’s what allows us to have the ambition and confidence to begin our ventures in the first place. Those with constant self-doubt and low self-esteem never get off the couch in the first place.
But be careful that your Ego doesn’t have complete control of the show because it doesn’t have the 20/20 vision that your company needs to steer the ship and foresee obstacles ahead.
The most important trait one can have is the awareness of the *possibility* of their own ignorance.
A common problem for entrepreneurs is being able to repeat and replicate prior successes. Some of us have been fortunate to hit it big on previous ideas or businesses, but are struggling with our current venture.
We can never stop learning. Just because you may have succeeded in the past, it doesn’t mean you now hold the secret sauce for mastering entrepreneurship. All industries have their own specific challenges. And challenges change as time passes and the economy evolves. As entrepreneurs, we need to be obsessive about learning and being vulnerable to our knowledge deficits.
Your ego can also have an impact on your willingness to reach out for help. Please, be willing to ask for help. If you’re going to be as successful as you dream to be, you will have to be accepting of some external aide — Or a lot of it. Your help will come in two ways:
Delegation & Mentorship
First, you can’t do all of the work yourself. If you can’t trust your team, then you have the wrong team around you. It can be really hard and uncomfortable to develop an idea, only to leave it to others to execute correctly – but this is the trait that’ll allow you the freedom to accomplish all of your goals. If you’re spending all of your time trying to be all things: the visionary, integrator & executioner, you’re going to suffocate before you’re able to build the necessary momentum.
Second, you have to form a strong inner circle. Determine the people who will give you the guidance and support that you need, and who will be available when you need them.
Make sure you understand and respect your weaknesses, and bring in mentors that will provide unique perspectives from your own; your mentors should have different experiences and skill sets than you do. In order to be as successful as you dream, you need someone telling you when your ideas suck. Because you will have ideas that suck. We all do. And you will be thankful that these dud ideas are squashed before they have a chance to waste your team’s valuable time.
3. Your Company Isn’t Everything (really)
Am I referring to work-life balance? You bet your ass I am. This is a subject that so many entrepreneurs understand and appreciate, but are still terrible at executing on. The primary reason for this struggle: fear.
We fear that we do not have enough time to do everything that we need to do. Of course, we’d love to take more vacations, keep work from coming home, and not exhaust ourselves from working all night, but we feel we need to make these sacrifices in order to be successful.
Yes, sacrifices will have to be made. It’s part of what you’re signing up for as an entrepreneur. There is a work ethic that entrepreneurs need if they want to create multi-million dollar companies, but we need to be smart about our time. We need to understand what motivates us, and why we are motivated to do what we’re doing.
One thing that causes us to work so hard and long is pressure. You cannot put so much pressure on yourself, because you will ultimately lose sight of what is motivating you in the first place. Find the reason for your motivation and self-analyze whether the path you’re on is truly you in the right direction. Are you still on track or have you been drifting away, and need to jerk the wheel back to where you want to be?
Make sure you find time for the fun things in life. And make sure you’re actually having fun when you’re having fun. If you find yourself still thinking about work when you’re out with your loved ones, then you’re not truly balanced.
You know that focus you have at work when you’re in a state of flow? As an entrepreneur, you need to find that same focus when you’re off the clock because that’s the only way you will let yourself find the balance you need to keep yourself from being, what I call, “stress-sabotaged.”