Success used to be fairly easy to measure – a certain level of income, standing in the community, material possessions, happy and healthy life.
Today, success has a broader definition as more people choose to, or are forced to, reinvent themselves and redefine their own measure of success. As the meaning of success becomes a more personal concept, the tools necessary to achieve success become more varied. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners.
Here’s your new toolbox for success.
Resilience – CULTIVATE IT
In a recent SmartBrief post, former FBI agent LaRae Quy states, “In today’s competitive culture, resilience has become a critical skill because it takes more than talent to succeed.” She explains that the ability to pick yourself up after being knocked down is crucial to success. Her FBI training taught her to take bold risks and bounce back quickly from failures.
Embrace challenge, learn from defeat and rebound quickly. That's what successful people do. Keep these quotes in mind...
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton
Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.
Multitasking -STOP IT!
Why are we so reluctant to abandon the myth of multi-tasking, despite all the research showing it doesn't work?
Back in 2012, Psychology Today stated that “Recent estimates are that you can lose up to 40% of your productivity if you multi-task.” And warned that “We often make the mistake of thinking that being busy means being effective.”
Small business owners and entrepreneurs have to wear many hats, but their business suffers if they cling to the idea that they can do two things (or more) at once and still do them well.
Balance – FIND IT!
Do your friends think you're dead? Do your children recognize you? Is your dog taking himself for a walk? When did you last eat or sleep?
A recent article in Entrepreneur discusses how overworked startup founders are setting themselves up for failure. "Some founders are fanatical when bragging that they work 60 to 80 hour weeks. Their sense of building “sweat equity” blinds them to the sacrifices they make -- to their health, to their marriages, to their families and communities. What they mistake as a successful lifestyle is actually a massive failure."
The takeaway is simple. Working yourself to death kills your business.
That’s not to say you can’t be energetic and productive in your “off hours.” As Stephanie Vozza describes in Fast Company, becoming passionate about a project outside of the workplace - from storm chasing to dog rescue – is helping high energy business leaders re-energize and find a better work/life balance.
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
Breaks – TAKE THEM!
Almost everyone agrees that weekends and vacations are crucial breaks that allow you to recharge and keep focus, but growing scientific evidence suggests that taking breaks during your work day (every day!) can make you more productive. Studies show short breaks every single hour can clear your head and refresh your focus. Really. Try it!
Don’t just sit there – GET MOVING!
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Dr. James Levine, author of “Get Up!” warns “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
You can't succeed if you don't take care of yourself. Get up, move around, let your blood circulate. Your business is not going to collapse if you walk around for a few minutes every hour.
The path is simple. Review your habits, change your mindset, undo the damage and find what's really best for you. Success will follow.