It’s not a secret that good habits can form our lives. That’s why sometimes it feels like all entrepreneurs talk about is their early mornings, fitness activities and nutritional meals… This time, let’s take a look around and see what are the habits of successful online entrepreneurs around us!
As a passionate good habit ambassador myself, I decided to reach out to high achieving bloggers, coaches and creators, and ask them what kind of habits have made their business better.
It’s not always necessary to read a biography of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Sometimes, it’s enough with taking a look around and learning from your peers!
What to keep in mind before forming a new habit
Before we get started, I want to bring in a bit of a disclaimer!
Since this post could inspire you to act on these ideas and get started right away, make sure to keep in mind that forming a new habit is a quest of time.
It’s rarely easy and if it’s easy – it might not be worth it.
In a great book I recently read – Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives – it was explained how each one of us has our own specific ways of forming and sticking with habits. Just because someone around you has made it work, does not mean the exact habit will also work for you.
“We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.”
– Gretchen Rubin
Anyway, a bit of the inspiration never hurt nobody, right?
The habits of successful online entrepreneurs
“As an online entrepreneur, the success of my business depends on my physical and mental health. I’m a one-woman shop, after all.” – Karyn Paige
Here’s an insight into the routine of Karyn, WordPress developer who empowers creative entrepreneurs to blog as a social media marketing strategy.
“My morning routine starts with self-care. As an online entrepreneur, the success of my business depends on my physical and mental health. I’m a one-woman shop, after all.
I practice guided meditation for about 10 minutes as soon as I wake up. It is so tempting to grab my phone and check emails or social media notifications first thing in the morning, but if I immediately dive into work, it can turn into a huge distraction that puts me behind schedule. Quieting my mind with meditation helps me focus on my work much more.
In order to reduce stress and increase my energy level, I try to exercise at least four times a week. Going to the gym is another type of meditation for me. I can focus on my breathing which clears my mind. Getting my cardio up boosts my endorphins and puts me in a great mood. Staying positive is a huge asset to being an entrepreneur. I’ve actually had some of my best business ideas while sweating it out on the elliptical, and I’ve lost 15 pounds this year.
Listening to Podcasts
I love to listen to business podcasts while I’m making breakfast and drinking my first cup of coffee. Podcasts are such a great resource for learning from more experienced entrepreneurs who know what it takes to run a successful online business. I’ve been introduced to everything from productivity hacks to marketing tools and sales strategies all from listening to podcasts. It’s like having a business coach without the extra expense. Plus, when I’m listening to podcasts I feel more motivated to do chores around the house before I sit down to work from my home office.”
“Feeling and showing gratitude is a fast-track to boost your mood and feel fulfilled and satisfied with your day.” – Samantha Russell
Samantha, M.A., Cert. EPC., Dip CPC., is a coach and counselor who works with women struggling with emotional eating to heal the root causes so they can be happy, free, and balanced.
“There are four powerful areas that I (and all my clients) use to create a morning routine that sets us up for success.
Meditate (5 mins)
This doesn’t have to be long, silent, or even seated. There’s a type of meditation out there to suit everyone (try walking, drawing, or guided meditation for example). Research shows (over and over) that taking time out to meditate helps you de-stress, refocus, replenish your willpower, and curb cravings – all of which helps your self and your business.
My routine: Doing a body scan meditation using the app ‘Stop, Breathe & Think’.
Thankfulness (5 mins)
Feeling and showing gratitude is a fast-track to boost your mood and feel fulfilled and satisfied with your day. Something as simple as writing a quick thank you email or 5-item gratitude list can in the morning will supercharge your day.
My routine: Right after I meditate, I like to write a list of 3-5 things I’m grateful for that day. I put it on my desk and reflect on it if I feel discouraged or stuck.
Feeling lonely and disconnected is easy when you run your own business online. Waking up and feeling lonely is awful, and can destroy your day and your productivity. Feeling connected to others has profound benefits for your health, diet, and business. So, each morning do something that helps you feel connected (call someone, post in a Facebook group, join a running club… the possibilities are endless).
My routine: It varies. I might organize coffee with a friend, put together a meetup group, Skype with friends or family back home, or spend a little extra time connecting with myself through yoga.
Part of the reason you got into business was to help people. But it can feel like you’re just not having the impact you want or reaching those who need it. You want to feel you’ve made a difference.
An easy way to fill this need is to focus on helping just one person each morning. This might be a personal reply to someone in a Facebook group, an authentic check-in email with a client, or a personalized video reply to a question someone sent you. It’s likely the person you’re helping will let you know just how much it meant to them, and your morning’s goodness will resonate throughout the day.
My routine: I check in on my Facebook group each morning to see what’s needed. I also reply to at least one email by giving a lot of free help and advice. This helps me feel like I’m doing what I can to make my business helpful.
Your morning mission:
Schedule 2-3 (or even all) of the above ideas into your morning every day this week, and see what happens to your business.
Your mornings can go from being one of the most frustrating and powerless areas of your life, to being something that comes with grace and ease, and enhances your business.
Even though the core focus of my business is having a healthy relationship with food, these are all issues I’ve had to identify and heal as an online entrepreneur. I certainly still have occasional “why?!” morning moments, but now I also have answers and solutions.
You can too.”
“Life happens every day and the only way to live it fully is to be present in the moment and use your intuition to navigate through it.” – Lina Chervenkova
Lina of Mindful Pixels has also shared her unique insight into forming and following successful routines. She helps creative women brand their magic, run a thriving business from anywhere, and make the world a better place in the process.
“Ever since I can remember I’ve been extremely organized. The earliest evidence of my obsession with planning and routines could be found on the yellow pages of a notebook I had when I was about 11 years old.
In it, I have an inventory list of ALL my possessions—you know, everything an 11-year-old could have had back in the 90s: things like clothes, notebooks, pens, books, and the odd toy. But what’s more interesting, on the first page I had a strict morning routine for my whole summer.
“But why would you need a morning routine for your vacation time?” you might ask. Well, even though back then I knew nothing about it, I’m an introvert obsessed with structure and routine. So, when there was no school to provide them, I took things into my own hands.
A lot has changed since then but one thing has remained the same. No, I don’t follow the same morning routine. I’ve created thousands new versions of it and none of those really worked. And here’s why:
Life happens every day and the only way to live it fully is to be present in the moment and use your intuition to navigate through it.
Does this mean that I don’t plan anything and just wing it all? Quite the opposite. I make meticulous plans but I’m very careful not to become a slave of those plans. Here are three very important things to remember about routines:
- A routine is a rough guideline, not a rigid itinerary. You are not a robot, life happens all the time, so use your intuition as well as your schedule.
- Everybody has a unique daily rhythm and if a popular routine doesn’t work for you, ditch it and try another one. A good example is the “5 am morning routine”. If it works for you, great, do it! But if your partner comes home from work at 8 pm and you want to have some family time in the evening, you’re probably not going to be in bed by 9 pm. And sacrificing a good night’s sleep over a “I’ve read somewhere that it does miracles for your productivity” isn’t sustainable in the long run.
- Routines are very time-consuming, so find out what’s the least you can do for a maximum result.
With these disclaimers in mind, I’d like to give you the three things I do to make sure my business runs smoothly and I have time to enjoy life.
I got to know my daily rhythm. I work from home, I’m alone all day but that wasn’t always the case. I’ve worked in a crazy open space office at a design agency for six years. I had rigid working hours and a human beehive around me. So, when I started my own business it took me some time to find out that I’m super productive in the morning and I’m absolutely useless in front of the computer from 4 pm until 6 pm. So instead of pumping myself with caffeine and trying to sustain an unnatural for me schedule, I arranged my day to support my rhythm not to reshape it. For example, I don’t work out in the morning, when I’m most creative and productive, I do my Ashtanga yoga practice between 4 pm and 6 pm when I’m done with the most important tasks of the day and my body is less stiff from sleep.
I use a bullet journal to plan my month but I use only digital tools such as Google Calendar and Asana for my weekly and daily activities. I find that writing down my goals for the month is a way to manifest them and declare them to the Universe. But when it comes to day to day tasks I like to be flexible. I plan everything in advance and I adjust it as I go. Again, life happens every day, so you need to be able to adapt.
I’m a firm believer in the magical powers of a daily journal. Writing every day is the one habit that I recommend to everyone who needs more clarity, balance, and creativity in their life.
It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as one magical routine that’ll transform your life, even if you do it religiously. It’s important to try everything that you feel attracted to, but if it doesn’t fit your natural inclinations and your daily rhythm, learn from it and move on. The best you can do is to get to know yourself, try every routine that takes your fancy, learn as you go, and design the business and life you love one step at a time. “
“Always improve the system.” – Nadalie Bardo
The founder of It’s All You Boo Nadalie is focusing on helping you slay your goals in life and business. Let’s see what she had to share about habits!
“Whereas a lot of entrepreneurs like to talk about routines and habits for success, I prefer to talk about systems. To me, the difference to me is that a routine is about yourself, it’s a series of actions you take habitually, whether that’s every morning, day or month whatever. On the other hand, a system embodies your best way of achieving an outcome for your business. It’s less about you as the entrepreneur and more about what you’re doing to get the most for your business.
Over the course of two years of running a profitable blog, I’ve developed systems for creating, curating and publishing content for my blog and social media, as well as for marketing, outreach, product creation and launches.
For content creation, my routine (or system as I like to call it), has been to dedicate a few days per month to design, schedule and forget about it. Very much like task-batching, I binge create, binge publish and schedule everything for a 30+ day period in a day or two. The alternative, doing it for 20 minutes every day or every week, leaves you frazzled, always working “OMG I didn’t share anything on social media today.” Pay for and use the tools that are available to, whether that’s SmartQueue or Tailwind for Pinterest.
I do the same for all my marketing, outreach and product creation. Choosing to focus on single tasks for an extended period of time (a day or more), helps you get the most done. Then it’s off your list and you can move onto the next.
Another system that works for me, and keeps my blog-biz growing, is always planning the entire month out in advance. Write it all out, schedule it in your digital calendar too. Know when you need to write what emails, publish what content, connect with which people. By dedicating an hour once a month to just creating that birds eye view, you’re able to stay focused and on task. No wondering, “what do I send today? what am I working on?”
There a few daily routines that I have that really help me check key to-dos off my list. I wake up, do a quick stretch and I’m at my desk. Immediately, I get my Facebook posting over with and stay off social media for most of the day. I have a spreadsheet that tells me what the promotional threads are and I share my content and engage with others in 30 minutes or less. Then, I grab breakfast and get to work on whatever the day’s priority is. There’s no guesswork because I end each day by planning the next.
Figure out what works for you, stop doing what doesn’t. Always improve the system. If you’re struggling then you need to make changes.
We’re all overworked, we’re all overwhelmed, and everything in between, but we’re also all doing our best with the time, energy and money we have. Our routines keep us sane and from falling apart entirely, but our systems make our businesses successful.”
I hope this article has inspired you to take one step further and try out any new habits that might be helpful for the growth of your business. After all, you’ll never know unless you try!