Believe it or not, walking my two rambunctious dogs each morning has helped to grow my business as a freelance writer. Getting dressed decently enough to greet the public, dragging out the leashes and forcing myself out the door with two highly energetic canines is a habit that has reaped rewards. Number one reward – my brain gets stimulated by all sorts of things that help make me a better writer. The river that runs a block from my house, the wild creatures the dogs send scattering and the stalwart walkers who brave the early hour. All those stimuli cause neurons to fire better when I sit down back home at my computer.
That’s the kind of habit I need to grow my business into a sustainable freelance writing career. And that’s one of the keys to success – forming habits that stimulate business. So, what are some other habits we can form to keep us motivated, stimulated and well-compensated?
3 Habits that Help Grow My Business
While learning what it takes to sustain a freelance writing career, I’ve identified habits I’ve formed that could sabotage my business. Most of them center around self-structuring my time and workload. Depending on the type of business you’re growing, you may have a different set of regular bad behaviors that scuttle your ship.
But let’s dwell on the positive (see number 1.) No point in identifying bad habits if you don’t plan to change them, right? Here are three habits that can help us build business
- Keep it Positive – Staying positive in the face of business downturns, rejected proposals or shrinking funds is a choice. Take a practical, positive view of life by shutting down that voice in your head that says you’re going to fail. Whether it’s by surrounding yourself with a positive network or listening to podcasts that inspire, it’s your job as the business owner to keep your cynicism in check. Form the habit.
- Keep Your Day in Order – It’s tempting, given the heady freedom of self-employment, to let whatever comes each day rule the day. As freelancers/business owners, how we spend our time really is under our control. The many distractions that have nothing to do with growing a business don’t have to throw us off-track. Form the habit of asking two questions when interruptions come: “Will it help me grow my business?” and “Does it have to be done right now?”
- Stick to Your Plan – If you’re in the habit of taking out your business plan and checking your progress against it, congratulations! If you haven’t seen your business plan for years and have lost track of why you went into business the first place, you could be in trouble. Make an appointment with yourself to review the goals you set and whether it’s time to set new ones. It’s encouraging to see how far you’ve come and it’s energizing to refocus your efforts on solid goals.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, says, “Changing habits isn’t necessarily quick or easy. But it is possible.”
Are we going to let bad habits get the best of our businesses, or form some new ones that help grow my business and yours? Let me know what you decide to do!