Last week was so much fun for me, I've been discovering more and more how passionate I am about personal and business development. On Monday, I talked about defining your personal philosophy, Tuesday I jumped the gun and wrote a lengthy post on my daily habits and how I track those. Today I wanted to go a little deeper into the reasons behind those habits, and what you can do as a creative entrepreneur to push yourself out of "survival mode" and into success. I'm going to approach this topic from my own perspective: a 25 year old wife, mom, wedding planner, coffee drinker.
Be consistent. The most basic contribution you can make to your life, and business, is consistency. Show up everyday and DO the hard work, plain and simple. I'm definitely not saying that I am 100% on target with this goal (far from it, actually), but I strive to stick to the schedule I've created for myself and my family. While I was pregnant, I was really concerned about how to do this, and for a long time, just didn't. But even over the past month and a half of working towards a streamlined family schedule has transformed my business.
Practice integrity. One chapter of The Slight Edge that really rocked me was the part about Slight Edge Integrity. It's doing the small habits, that nobody would care if you skipped just this once, when you are the only one in the room. "Serving as your own boss, day in and day out, takes an uncommon degree of Slight Edge Integrity, and frankly, many business owners just don't have it. They become intoxicated by the freedom of being their own boss and fail to maintain the structure it takes to become successful". Yes. Consistency & integrity go hand in hand. I've found this to be 100% spot on. You have to show and and do the work, day after day.
Write out a to do list every morning. For me, I practice this habit under my "simplified" habit on Lift, I write out my little to-do list in my Simplified Planner. This has everything to do with what Olson calls The Power of Completion. "Each and every incomplete thing in your life or work exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing your blood. Every incomplete promise, commitment, or agreement saps your strength because it blocks your momentum and chokes off your ability to move forward, progress, or improve. Incomplete things keep calling you hack to the past to take care of them." Who else feels like this? For me, the only way to zap this feeling is to just take ACTION. I start with writing a to-do list in my planner every morning. The next day, I "migrate" things not yet done to my current list.
Use social media with a positive attitude and tone. Olson cited a study in The Slight Edge that displayed the correlation of positive language, higher happiness, and reduced risk of heart attacks. The words that were most charted as positive? "morning, fabulous, helpful, share, running, forward, great, interesting, lunch, discussion, seems". Isn't that interested? Example tweet: (What a fabulous morning reading TSE- so helpful and shared such interesting, forward thinking content. Discussion over lunch, anyone? #running) Okay so that's kind of a joke, but you can see the point. Positive language increases your happiness. People gravitate towards happy people. And happy people just don't shoot their husbands. One spot that it's so easy to be positive is online, especially through social media. I aim to use Instagram, Facebook and this blog as a platform to share uplifting and interesting content, express gratitude, document life & work, and support others. What's your social media philosophy? As business owners, social media is a part of the gig. Why not infuse every area of your life with goodness?
Take care of your basic needs. As a new mom and business owner, if I don't eat well, sleep enough, and exercise, I am a mess. Don't know where to start? I suggest talking to Laken for a personalized approach, or here, for a life changing program. Honestly, just do it. When your energy is higher, you are more productive and positive. It's as simple as that. As habits, these can range from exercising for 30 minutes to cooking everyday, to just 10 pushups. Make small steps for your health, you are worth it.
Find an accountability partner. This can be another small business owner, friend, family member, I don't care (just not a pet). Connect with someone who sees the best parts of you and wants to make those even better. You'll need someone to check in with, to text and say "I'm sooo tired I don't want to go to the gym! :(" and they will say, "I'll come with you!" or... "But you LOVE the gym!! :)" Support is key, in life, and in business. If nothing else, join Lift and you'll be joined by a fun group of like-minded humans who enjoy habit forming and personal development. Check in daily.
Alright, how are you feeling? What steps are you going to take today to be in charge of your business and life? Show up, everyday and take action. Think positive, take care of your physical self. Do the things that are hard when nobody is watching, and when it's hard (and it will be), call a friend that will get you back on track.