5 Entrepreneurial Habits for the New Year

Take a leap of faith.

The most important thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to adopt the mindset of one. That means maintaining a can-do attitude, one that allows you to represent your product and your brand in a confident way. If you don’t believe in what you have to offer, neither will anyone else. You don’t see successful brands second-guessing themselves; everything they put out is done with an air of confidence. The attitude of an influencer comes before the influence, not the other way around.

Confidence is the bedrock for success. No one would embark on a journey if she didn’t feel like she was capable of getting to the destination. Don’t second-guess yourself. Say yes to opportunity and brush feelings of inadequacy away. Self-doubt is all in your head.

Set goals and keep lists.

Research shows that having goals is correlated with increases in confidence and feelings of self-control. Goals should be grouped into categories of immediate, short-term and long-term. Make them as specific as possible; details keep us from feeling like a dream is vague and unachievable. Goals should include both the desired achievement and the “how” of the process. For instance, a long-term goal like “finish writing a book” should include short-term details, like “write five pages per day,” just as it should include a self-imposed deadline. By utilizing short-term goal setting in daily practice, we’re able to chip away at the work it takes to achieve a long-term goal.

To-do lists are helpful. I suggest meditating in the morning to begin the day with a clear head. After that, create a to-do list that is realistic. The list can include both personal and professional objectives, but make sure to draw a distinction between the two. Having this list to refer to throughout the day will keep you on track and in control of your time.

Know your strong suits and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

We can’t be good at everything, but we can learn to recognize (and build) on what we are good at. Invest in yourself. Spend time and energy building the skillsets that will benefit you in the long run, and learn to outsource the parts of a project that aren’t worth your time and energy. Collaboration comes in a myriad of ways; sometimes, it’s beneficial to take equal responsibility of a project, and other times, it’s better to pay someone for a service and take on the rest of the project yourself.

Just because creative fields are different than traditional fields, the rules of business still apply. New businesses don’t attempt to put up brick-and-mortar buildings themselves. They hire construction crews to do the work for them and do what they do best inside those buildings. We should apply the same idea to creative businesses. A good rule of thumb is to think about whether or not you’ll ever need to utilize a skill on a future project. If so, it might be beneficial to learn it, depending on how often you’ll need it in the future. If not, it’s probably best to let someone who specializes in that area do the job.

Get outside your comfort zone.

Great things aren’t built in mediocre places. When we do the same thing over and over, we won’t get very far from where we already are. Leaps forward begin by embracing opportunity in unknown territory. Say “yes” to opportunities that intrigue but intimidate or scare you. You might find something valuable in the process. Even if it ends up a waste of time, the worst case scenario is that you’ll have more experience and a bigger network to show for it.

Take care of yourself.

When you finish a project, don’t immediately check your email or your to-do list. Cook yourself dinner. Call your best friend. Read a chapter of that book you’ve been keeping for a rainy day. When we put our mental health on the back burner in an attempt to stay constantly productive, we succumb our time to the needs of other people. That kind of activity is frantic and leads to burnout, so we actually end up being less productive than if we spent an hour doing something that will calm us. When the work is done, retreat.

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