Here's ten things you can do right now to drive and motivate both you and your business. Included with each point is a book which will allow you to delve deeper into each subject. Of course this is not an exhaustive list but if you haven't done the following and/or read these books you absolutely should!
1. Write a Personal and Business Mission Statement
You need to be in alignment with yourself and where you want to go. A mission statement says “This is me! This is who I am and where I want to get to!”. The business mission statement does the same thing for the business. The business mission statement says, “This is who we are and this is what we are trying to accomplish together.” Without a clear vision both you and your business will sputter and go off in distracted divergent directions. Get clear on who you are and where you are going individually and as a team then get after it and get going!
2. Journal Daily
As a business owner and entrepreneur there are literally thousands of thoughts going through your head each day. You need to get out of your head and keep your mind sharply focused on the tasks at hand. To accomplish this, spend 20-40 minutes writing down everything in your crowded head into a notebook. It doesn’t have to be spell checked or grammatically correct. All that matters is that you dump your thoughts onto the page. Write and write and write everyday. Use this as a therapeutic time to say everything you want. If you need to scream your frustrations this is the time and place to do it. Don’t judge the outcome as most of what you write will be to clear the crap from your mind. If something of value comes up great. Write the gems down on a separate page and put it aside for further consideration later, but keep on writing. The benefit comes from dumping thoughts en mass rather than analyzing what you are writing for content value.
3. Get 8 Hours of Sleep
If you are going after your dreams hardcore then you are probably burning the candle at both ends. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you need to get more and more done today. As a small business owner or captain of industry there will always be more work to do. There are tons of studies out there and resources that will support you in getting a good night's sleep. The benefits compound as you will be more effective as a well rested human rather than as a overly caffeinated sleep deprived workaholic.
4. Develop a Reflection/Meditation Practice
You don’t need candles, a guru or an expensive complex process. Just find the time to sit quietly each day, breathe deep and relax. Use this time to look over your life or to simply focus on nothing. The type A, accomplished, driven person will struggle with this the most yet here is where the hidden juice can be mined. At first you may need to convince yourself that you are only taking the time to meditate and reflect so you can be more effective later and that’s a fine place to start from. What’s great is that the longer you do this the more benefits you will discover. Don’t over think this step, 80% of highly productive and effective people use some sort of meditative practice each day. Statistically speaking you probably will benefit from this practice if not professionally then personally.
Come on, you know this one had to be on the list. If you aren’t exercising and taking care of your body then what’s the point of all your hard work? Without exercise our bodies will fail us sooner rather than later. We have to play the long game as human beings. We have to look at how our actions today will affect the future. That thinking when applied to the physical body means one thing only. Daily maintenance through physical training and exercise. Just like everything else, make a plan, schedule it and most importantly enjoy it!
6. Study Others’ Success Stories
Know that you are not alone in your desire for success. The world has been built on the ideas and elbow grease of visionaries. Take all of your passion and willpower and multiply its effects by studying the success of others. Everyone from inventors, to presidents, actors to athletes all had to overcome challenges in order to make their mark in the world. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. The path to success is actually pretty well worn. Look to others who have blazed the trail and take lessons from their experience. Even if you have a brand new idea that’s never been attempted before you can learn for others who accomplished the same feat.
7. Post an Update
Sadly we can’t get recognition for what we are doing inside a vacuum or bubble so we have to break out and post something for others to see. Social media has dozens of portals for you to share your ideas. Even if you don’t have any earth shattering news to report, staying in touch primes your audience for when you eventually dol. Don’t obsessively interact with social media as that can hurt your productivity by waste tons of time and energy. Still you need to keep up the contact so that when you do have big news to share someone is there ready to listen. It’s a balancing act.
8. Plan a Vacation
All over achievers over do the achieving part. That’s why they are called over achievers! One of the best things you can do to stay on top of your game is to plan and then go on a vacation. It is vacation time that allows you the perspective to plan your next big moves in business. When you live a life of go, go, go then you have to understand the importance of slowing down and turning off. If you can give yourself the downtime your uptime will be that much more up.
9. Prioritize and Eliminate Distractions
You need to stay on top of social media and email and your other daily to do items. However, you cannot and must not allow these things to distract you from your main objective and mission (see #1 above). Make work that drives you toward your mission your top priority. Let everything else come second and third. If you can’t put the time aside to do your most important work first then you can expect all of the other things you do to consume all of your most productive time. When you tackle the most important stuff first you put your best foot forward.
10. Do What You Do Best
You got into your line of work because you are passionate and have a true desire to do what you do. Go and do that stuff now! Be fully engaged and excited and psyched that you are in the driver’s seat making strides toward your own goals and destiny. If you are a writer, write. If you are a fighter, throw punches. If you are an artist create. Whatever you do, do it with reckless abandon as this is the gift you were given and put here on this earth at this time to produce.
So there you have it, ten actionable steps (with books) you can take to make your life and work the way you want. I hope you enjoyed this post and grabbed up a few of the recommended books. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.