There is no secret formula to entrepreneurial success. However, there are some common threads. One such thread is discipline. In order to achieve any sort of lasting success as an entrepreneur, you have to master the art of self-discipline and take control of your life.
The Noble Pursuit of Discipline
Discipline is a skill that has to be honed in every area of life. Whether it’s your personal or professional life, you have to find a way to keep yourself moving in a positive direction, regardless of what’s happening around you.
Discipline is what keeps you going when your willpower wanes and you begin to tire out. Whether you’re training for a marathon, day trading stocks, or running a small business, discipline is the secret ingredient to success. As an entrepreneur, here are some specific ways you can cultivate discipline in your career.
RELATED ARTICLE: 6 THINGS SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS DO EVERY DAY
1. Make Commitments
Disciplined people don’t just meander through the day and randomly pick and choose what they’re going to do. They make commitments and use them to stay on track. If your goal is to increase sales this month, for example, you might need to make a commitment to placing 10 cold calls per day. If you want to hire the best possible candidate for an opening in your company, you may need to commit to interviewing 1 promising candidate per day for the next 2 weeks. In other words, seemingly small commitments make a big difference.
2. Prioritize Tasks
Commitments without prioritization is a recipe for disaster. Disciplined people always have a clear understanding of where different tasks rank and how to determine where time is best spent in various situations.
Using the previous examples of increasing sales and filling an open position, you need to prioritize in order to maximize efficiency. If the opening is for a sales position, it probably makes more sense that you prioritize hiring up front. That will allow you to more easily fulfill your sales goals on the back end.
3. Ask for Accountability
A lack of discipline can be tied to a number of unique factors. However, there’s almost always some degree of accountability in play. People who consistently show that they’re undisciplined, usually don’t have anyone in their lives who will set them straight or correct their behavior.
If you want to become more disciplined, you might need to surround yourself with accountability partners. These are people who check in on you and make sure you’re staying on track. When you have other people following up with you, it’s much less likely that you’ll step out of line.
4. Remove Distractions
“Although we’d all like to believe we have enough willpower to resist even the most alluring enticement, it only takes one moment of weakness to convince ourselves to cave to temptation,” entrepreneur Amy Morin points out. “Making it difficult to access those temptations can be pivotal to increasing self-discipline. If your weakness is Facebook, turn off the internet while you’re working. If you can’t resist overspending when you go to the mall, leave the credit card at home and only take a small amount of cash.”
Be honest with yourself and list your biggest work distractions. Once you’ve identified the culprits, you can then focus on taking the necessary steps to avoid these diversions.
Don’t Put Yourself at a Disadvantage
Discipline isn’t optional. As an entrepreneur, your success and failure will be directly tied to how disciplined you are in both the day-to-day tasks and the big picture. While you might be able to limp along for a while without honing this skill, you’ll eventually fizzle out. Set yourself up for success or be willing to face the consequences.