As a business owner, I have learned that nothing happens unless something moves. Progress is important to growing your business, and you must take daily action in order to make progress. The key is pacing yourself. Get a clear vision of where you want to go and then determine what you can do daily to get you closer to your goals.
Determine each day to implement something new into your business. Do it first thing in the morning, before you get caught up in answering emails, unimportant phone calls and social media. Take new actions while you are at your sharpest. This is how you will develop a new, next-level routine. Make your list at night before bed and set your intentions to take action as soon as you start your day.
There is always something you can do to move forward in your business. Don’t fall victim to the ‘I’m done’ mentality. If you just closed a sale, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to take the rest of the day off. If you follow these simple steps in this article, you’ll see that, as an entrepreneur, your work is never truly done. Smile, this is good news! When you can always do something to make progress in your business, you can always move yourself toward greater success.
1. Decide to take action no matter what.
When you decide to improve and make daily progress in your business, you must adopt a personal resolve to move forward regardless of the obstacles that may arise (and they always arise). Longtime Apple CEO and renowned innovator Steve Jobs said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Persevering may require strengthening your own mental toughness to achieve higher levels of success. Your mentality should be to go and do, instead of to sit and think. Many entrepreneurs wear themselves out by over-thinking every little detail, which always leads to becoming overwhelmed. Acting fast can eliminate stress, worry and anxiety and boost your business and your confidence. The best way to figure something out is to take action and make adjustments. You can always fix it on the fly. At least then you’ll be making progress!
Instead of filling your time with unimportant things that don’t contribute any real value to your quality of life, your ability to help others or to your business cash flow, do what’s most important to your bottom line. When you learn the tremendous power of taking daily, fast action—acting now instead of later—you’ll begin to see more opportunities, better ideas and better income flowing in your life.
2. Get organized.
Know that order precedes increase. It will be impossible to create a new you if your life is full of chaos and clutter. You must get yourself organized in every area of your life. Clean and organize your house, your car, your closets, your office, your desk and your files. Go through your computer files and folders. Eliminate anything that is no longer needed. The more order that you create for yourself, the more you will find clarity, answers and direction toward reaching your goals. It will be much easier to focus in on making daily progress.
3. Write it down.
Write a list of all the ideas that have come to you—or that are coming to you right now—that you haven’t taken action on. English philosopher Francis Bacon said, “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” Most people sit on ideas waiting for more and more clarity before they conquer them. If you could only see how much money you are literally sitting on by not taking action on your ideas!
As a business owner, you should keep ongoing lists of goals you want to accomplish in your business and your life. You can use your goals list to dream big and envision the future of your business. Goals keep you moving in the direction of your dreams. Write your goals with a clear picture in mind. Create monthly goals that you can actually achieve in a 30-day time frame. Set the goal high enough to stretch yourself but low enough that you don’t give up before you start. This will keep you motivated and you will find it much easier to make progress every day.
You can also write daily goals. Each morning, write down five goals—five things that you want to accomplish in your business. Daily goals help you to focus on making progress every single day. You get an overwhelmingly gratifying feeling of achievement when you have reached your daily goals. Also, these small, daily steps will keep you from becoming overwhelmed with growing your business.
4. Take fast action on your ideas.
I suggest taking the approach, “What if my life depended on it?” This will give you the sense of urgency needed to help you instantly get clear on what matters most. Then you can take decisive, quick action that yields profitable results. Train yourself to think, decide and take action on an idea, and you’ll instantly become better than those who learn thousands of ideas but do nothing with them. The great inventor and scientist Albert Einstein said “The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” The best thing about taking action is that it breeds more clarity! My experience has been that it’s better to do something rather than nothing at all. So taking action quickly and consistently can help you gain more clarity on achieving your goals.
5. Get on the phone!
Your business is ultimately about the people you serve with your product or service. You need to be in communication with your customers! Phone calls may be uncomfortable for you, but they will be profitable. Here are a few types of calls you can make to get you started:
- Past clients: Call and check in with them. See if they have any feedback for you on their experience. If things go well, ask them for referrals!
- Follow-up calls: Get a list of all the potential clients you’ve spoken to that haven’t given you a ‘yes’ yet. Call them and close the sale! Even if you don’t come out with new business, this will keep your business in the forefront of their mind.
- Cold calls: Find potential clients online, on social media, through referrals, or any other way you can. Do some research, find out what they’re all about, and give them a call and explain how you can help them.
If you’re intimidated by this approach, just remember that new customers are the life-blood of your business. It will get easier with experience! The great Zig Ziglar put it simply – “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”
6. Get active on social media.
Social media is vitally important to almost any business’s success now. You need to be where your customers are, and chances are, your customers are on social media. One thing I always tell my clients is to be mindful of what you post on social media. As a business person, your personal posts should always show excellence and line up with your business image. Don’t voice complaints, post immature photos or engage in arguments online. These reflect poorly on you and your business.
Make engaging posts about your products and your personal life. All your social media posts shouldn’t be sales and marketing, because people will tune you out. To get more done in less time, my team and I use HootSuite to manage much of my social media presence. You can use HootSuite to schedule your posts so you can keep going and not be distracted by all that’s going on with your social networks.
My daughter, Ariana, has many stories of business success using social media. In one case, a blogger re-posted a picture of hers featuring her polish line, Superstar Nail Lacquer, on Pinterest. This image just happened to go viral on Pinterest, getting thousands of likes in a few hours. She got hundreds of orders for her polish from that one post. Social media is truly a powerful weapon if you use it right.
7. Have a sale.
If you’ve got excess inventory or a digital product that’s not getting many sales, create an offer! Advertise it on your website, post it on social media, email it to your list, and get on the phone and let your contacts know about it. The largest retailers in the world know about this – that’s why Black Friday is so huge! Companies like Macy’s and Best Buy plan their whole year based on their holiday sales and how it will attract more people to their stores. Any avid shopper knows, everyone loves a good sale!
8. Get out and meet people.
If you’re not meeting new potential clients and partners, your business will not continue to grow. Social media and other online tools give us amazing ways to connect with people, but there is still great value in personal interaction. Chances are, your city or area has many opportunities for meeting new people. Find networking meetings, trade shows, conferences and events that successful people attend. Make sure your image is polished and your business cards are ready, and get out and make some new connections. You might be surprised that many people in the public sphere that we admire feel the same way you do. Ryan Seacrest said, “Mine’s a pretty simple strategy: there’s not a lot of talent here, but there’s a lot of hustle. I have to be in every place I can, and be busy.”
For daily progress, follow these steps and live each day by your goals list. You’ll quickly accomplish twice as much as your peers and soar to great heights. You go from an ordinary life to your dream life by making progress one day at a time!