Business habits have changed the way I look at success over the last 10 years, and I hope I can share these tactics with you to help improve your business.
I have found that habits, not goals, are what have really made an impact on my own business. While setting goals for yourself is important, I've realized that habits are even more crucial. I've used habits to not only grow my own "side-hustle" into a full-time business, but also to stay in shape and build stronger relationships.
Business habits include setting daily routines, schedules, or tasks that have to be completed no matter how excited you are about them. After a while, these habits become so integrated into your schedule that they almost happen automatically.
In this article, I'll explain several things that I have learned throughout the years about the benefits of building habits that can have an impact on your life and your business.
How are habits more powerful than goals?
We usually begin the year with new year's resolutions to increase our revenue or to get more clients. Though after just a few weeks, we find ourselves back in our old ways where we are running the business like we did the previous year.
So why do these new year's resolutions get forgotten so quickly?
The problem is that we tend to set goals that are to big. Rather than setting a large goal, focus on the smaller pieces, and set habits that will achieve long term success.
What would be an example of these for a small business owner?
For the sake of example, let's say your goal is that you want to double the number of clients for each quarter.
Rather than setting the goal with no consistent, easy to follow checklist that allows you to achieve this large goal, set up a weekly or daily business habits by creating reminders or calendar events for yourself. This way no matter what you're doing, you'll stop, search job boards, email pitches, follow-up with connections, and more. By setting habits to achieve that bigger goal, you are establishing smaller, more manageable and achievable habits that in turn establish a concrete plan that leads to the desired outcome.
How I used business habits to turn my side-hustle into a full-time business
Taking a side job and transitioning it into a full-time job is greatly reliant on the success that you have developed with your side job. That success, in my case, relies a lot on getting clients. So rather than setting the goal of just doubling my clients or getting more clients, I established business habits:
Every weekday I dedicated my time to reaching out to 10 potential prospects who could use our CRM tool.
By the middle of the year, I realized that I had reached out to 125 potential clients and 60 of them actually became paid customers.
This habit has provided a steady stream of clients to my business, which in turn increased the number of paid customers.
Overall, this business habit has played a major role in my success of being able to make a dream into reality.
How I used habits to lose 30 pounds and kept it off
Habits have a ripple effect on a person's life. When you start building habits in one area of your life, it gives you the will power and strength to apply it in the other areas of your life.
This proved to be true for me. As I developed more will power at work through business habits, I found I was able to do the same for my health and fitness.
So, without setting goals, I instead used habits to set my trajectory to get healthier.
In the past, I would set up these large, hard to follow, intangible goals like losing 30 pounds or reducing my body fat percentage by 10%. However, this wasn't specific enough, nor measurable, or even time-based. Since I had tried this method before, I gave habits a try instead.
Nearly 1 year later, I have lost over 30 pounds and have maintained that weight.
Just like I turned my side hustle into a full-time business by using those business habits, my fitness has also changed due to just a few healthy habits:
That's all it took.
I've tried all kinds of programs and goal setting, but it wasn't until I broke it down to setting habits that I have seen the results that I had been striving for all along.
3 Reasons You should Establish Habits and Not Goals
To conclude, I want to share several reasons why I believe you should establish habits now.
How often have you set a large goal only to fall short of it and let it bring you down mentally?
This used to happen to me all the time.
One of the best parts about setting habits is that you can't really fail at it. It's less about getting to a goal in a short amount of time and more about setting small micro habits that you can achieve on a daily basis, or even better, within hours. Not only does that make it harder to fail, but it gives you the mental boost to keep the momentum going.
That means if one weekday, using my example from earlier, I had family plans and missed out on reaching out to all 10 prospective clients, it was no big deal. I made it up for the work on the next day or I just picked up the habit the following day, making sure to hit that count of 10.
In terms of healthy eating, it meant that I could have a sugary snack once in awhile, as longs as it didn't become a habit. The number of times that I have followed my healthy habits out way all the small moments of indulgence aka cheat days.
With habits, you can't fail. You just keep improving and adjusting your business habits and as a result, the goals achieve themselves.
2. Business habits give you peace of mind and keep you motivated
Sticking with my examples from above, I always knew what I'd be working on every day, what i'd be doing for my morning workout, and what I would eat throughout my day.
That right there gave me 3 fewer decisions that I'd have to make, giving me more time to put my mind on other things that are more important. Your mind and body are naturally always looking for ways to be more efficient.
So, take advantage of your natural desires to develop positive habits. oNce you start setting habits, let that momentum go throughout the rest of your life, giving you that extra headspace to grow your business, spend more time developing stronger relationships, or making improvements on other elements of your life.
3. Creating habits allows you to spend your willpower for when it matters most
Willpower, just like any other muscle, is not unlimited. It can get exhausted and require you to take a break to recover before using it again. By establishing the habits ahead of time, you save that willpower for the moments that matter the most. As a small business owner, that could mean having the willpower you need to finish out an important client project on a Friday afternoon when you are already tired from all the work that you have done that week.
Which habits will you establish for your business?
Thank you for taking the time to read my experience with developing habits. I really hope that you too can set habits for yourself and your business.