Start developing entrepreneurial habits from today – happiness, ideas and money will follow. – Jawad Khan
Whoever feels as if his soul is locked in 9 am to 6 pm routine, experiences diminishing cash flows and tireless work towards fulfilling wish lists of other, desires to be an entrepreneur – a dream man who has control over himself and his surroundings, enjoys every moment of time and celebrate achievements.
Entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and new value creation. – Financial Times
Entrepreneurship head start shouldn’t be considered as an easy escape from workplace. It requires disciplined mindset, disciplined thoughts and disciplined actions as outlined in ‘Good to Great‘ by Jim Collins.
As most of you would agree, it’s very hard to adapt to normal office routine after taking a ride on entrepreneurial bandwagon. I strongly recommend following five habits should be developed first by all aspiring entrepreneurs, long before starting an entrepreneurial journey.
Habit#1: Sleeping! Early to bed, and early to rise, Makes a man, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.
Staying productive and focused throughout the day with peak performance is crucial for success, trust me 8 to 9 hours of sleep is as important as your entrepreneurial startup. Do some morning rituals to energise your mind and body (exercising, drinking coffee and reading books for 15 minutes, cold shower etc). All of these small activities will help you to stay ahead and on top of everything.
Indeed it’s a tough call. It took me more than 24 months at last to feel comfortable waking up early and feel contented and disciplined. It was like fighting a continuous war with old habits from old life every morning. Wining is important to take control of your life and activities.
Habit#2: Start Valuing Time! Is the life time allocated to us too short or we fail to manage our time properly? – Seneca
Amazingly, most of us live without a concrete long term plan i.e., goals to achieve before death, 5 year milestones, yearly objectives etc. It’s important to review and reflect upon what we did yesterday, a month ago or an year ago. A 10 minutes review before falling asleep will help to measure the value of limited time that was generoulsy devoted to various activities. This habit will help the aspiring entrepreneurs to stay on track.
I didn’t realise the value to time until i read ‘On shortness of life’ by Seneca couple of months ago. Although, it’s never too late to get started and to make a ‘not to-do list’ and prioritizing things that matter the most. Success comes at cost, and life gives us enough time and opportunity to achieve whatever we desire provided that we use our time wisely.
Habit#3: Reading! The more you learn, the more you’ll earn – Warren Buffett
Learning is a lifelong continuous process and it’s a fact. Books are great source of learning as they provide us the opportunity to understand the ideas, thoughts and life experiences of people who are with us and those who left us. The only universal constraint is spending at least some time to read, which you’ve to manage one way or the other.
I personally used to hate reading non-technical subjects. However after reading about reading, I was able to change my mindset. Now, I read books on wisdom and philosophy, technology, history and biographies. I have a floating reading schedule i.e., utilise spare time whenever available. It isn’t the best approach but I found it helpful.
Online MOOCs also provide great sources of learning about anything from language to rocket science. Someday, you’ll be able to learn anything that excites you from someone who is kind enough to teach someone who aspires to learn.
Habit#4: Practice! How can successful entrepreneurs perform consistently and persistently? – Geoffrey Colvin
Humans have limited willpower, time and resources. The secret science of consistent and persistent performance is deliberate practice as described by Geoffrey Colvin in ‘Talent is Overrated‘. Procrastination is a killer disease and need to be treated soonest.
I was once master of procrastination and had wasted at least 10 years of my life by deliberately delaying actions every day, every month and every year. Just by spending 30 minutes a day, five days a week for 10 years on something you’re passionate about translates in to 22 weeks (approx 6 months) continuous learning (8 hrs/day x 5 days a week x 22 weeks = 1300 hours). Did you ever thought of becoming expert at something without taking time off?
Habit#5: Learn to FAIL! Don’t be afraid to FAIL, start putting ideas to test.
Failures provide important learnings, that can help to avoid mistakes in future, and open avenues for exploring and learning about new things. I am lucky to fail many times in life, and have no regrets on the financial losses and failures.
I had bitter experience in investing in financial markets (equities, futures and commodities) that helped me to learn about financial engineering, algorithmic trading, corporate finance and risk management. I had to close down technology services company, as one of major customer defaulted on payment, that helped me to learn about accounting and risk diversification. I launched smart products for consumers but left with inventory that took a while to be sold, that helped me to learn about consumer behaviour and social marketing.
It’s important to allocate a small budget every month for all startup ideas to experience failures. Once you experience enough failures, learn lessons and burn enough cash, you’ll succeed by not repeating those past mistakes and worrying about cash flows.
It’s very easy to work for others and help others to grow rich, compared to starting up an entrepreneurial journey – building a successful startup and start paying others to help you grow bigger. Unless the aspiring entrepreneur don’t know how to manage oneself, his surroundings and the environment, repeated failures and financial losses will occur. Strong habits can only help to organise oneself, learn from other’s experiences and minimise probability of failures.
Have a happy and successful entrepreneurial journey 🙂