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Growing your business – what are the habits of successful people?

3-minute read

Conor Shilling

11 April 2022

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Having healthy habits that last is central to the success of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

A habit is a repeated behaviour that becomes subconscious over time. Deliberately setting positive habits can help entrepreneurs with their personal development.

So, what are some of the daily habits of successful people in business?

Habits of successful people – three key areas to focus on

We have habits – either deliberate or subconscious – in most areas of our lives, whether it’s going to bed at a certain time or going for a walk each day.

Good habits can help people to feel happy and healthy, while bad habits can create negativity and stall progress.

When it comes to business, having an entrepreneurial spirit is a good starting point but building on that with healthy habits can increase the chances of success.

Here are three areas that business owners can focus on to create lasting and healthy habits.

1. Make a habit of being organised

Organisation is important if you want to grow your business as a lack of structure can lead to confusion.

Here are some of the most popular habits of successful business people when it comes to staying organised and focused:

  • use the ‘80/20’ rule – also known as ‘the Pareto Principle’, this concept suggests that 80 per cent of results come from 20 per cent of your efforts and is commonly used to scale a business
  • set goals and review them regularly – you can do this on a personal and business level. Setting goals keeps you accountable and is a great way of measuring success and development
  • focus on the most important things – ‘eating the frog’ is when you tackle your biggest tasks first, improving efficiency. Many entrepreneurs write down their three most important tasks at the start of the day and complete them before moving on to anything else

2. Nail your work life balance

Running a business can be all-consuming, which can cause entrepreneurs to neglect other important parts of their life.

Whether it’s spending more time with family or taking up a new hobby, finding time away from work is crucial if you want to avoid burning out.

Here are some healthy habits that can give you the right balance to help your business thrive:

  • wake up early – this is one of the most common morning habits of successful people. It’s popular because it gives you more time to focus on the day ahead and tackle critical work before the busy traditional working hours
  • find time to switch off – whether it’s going on holiday, taking a long walk, or just not checking your phone for a few hours, switching off can help you to recharge and come back to work with a clear mind
  • look after your mental health – the stress of running a business can lead to poor mental health among the self-employed. Read our guide on how to support mental health at work, plus how you can reduce stress through yoga

3. Make the effort to build relationships

Another important set of healthy habits relates to building relationships in business. Having a good support network is key if you want to develop both personally and professionally.

Some entrepreneurs find meeting new people energising, while it can help to keep you open-minded and present new opportunities. Even if in-person networking doesn't come naturally to you, there are plenty of ways to meet new people online through events and communities.

Here are some relationship building habits that can help aspiring business owners:

  • network as much as possible – you never know when you might need the help of someone you met in the past. It can be beneficial to make a habit of attending a certain number networking events each month or year (whether in-person or online)
  • build a team you can trust – it’s rare for anyone to be truly successful without good people around them. Having close contacts that you trust to help you with decision making and key events is crucial
  • meet people from other sectors – no entrepreneur wants to stagnate and for many, the opportunity to meet people with different experiences can spark new ideas and keep them grounded
Business networking event
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How to build healthy habits

When thinking about which healthy habits to start, focus on what you need more of to succeed. For example, you might need to create habits to give yourself more time, create more opportunities, or have a greater work life balance.

Creating habits that last is hard, so it’s important to approach things gradually. If you try to do everything at once, you’re more likely to give up before the habits become second nature.

Goal-setting may be one of the habits you want to start, but it’s also an effective way of planning and tracking other habits.

Writing an annual or six-monthly development plan can improve accountability, while reflecting on your habits every few months helps to identify the areas where you need to focus your efforts.

Books on how to build healthy business habits

There are lots of books out there that can help you to make and keep positive habits.

Some are written by successful entrepreneurs, giving you an insight into their habits that helped them get to the top, while others are written by self-help experts and leading psychologists.

Here are some of the most popular:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

What are your tips for developing healthy habits for business success? Let us know in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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