8 Rules For Managing Yourself
Before your business, before lofty dreams of world domination and magazine covers, there is your personal life. To succeed consistently as an entrepreneur, you must be as responsible about your life as you are about your business. The first feeds into the second and when there's no order to the way you live, everything connected to you will suffer. If you are willing to take up the challenge to do better with yourself, here are the new rules you must follow.
1. Know yourself.
If you need to take time out for self-discovery, by all means, do so. It's too important to brush aside. You must know the extent of your abilities, your weaknesses, the things you will never compromise, your fears and what drives you. Knowing yourself this way is the foundation for developing a life plan and setting yourself up for excellence.
2. Be decisive.
No more waiting for 'the wind of chance' to blow you where you should be. Take control of your life by making your own decisions instead of leaving them to other people. This applies to business decisions as well. Stop pushing hard choices to your employees just because you're afraid of taking responsibility. It makes you look weak and puts you at the mercy of others.
3. Live for today and tomorrow.
You need a plan for the present and one for the future. Don't be too focused on tomorrow that you ignore the moment, or too carried away by the moment to prepare for what comes next. Set goals for the short, medium and long terms. Everything adds up and your actions now are leading to a future.
4. Stop being negative.
Fact: It is easier to believe in people who believe in themselves than in people who think poorly of themselves.
You need to have faith in yourself and in your abilities to succeed. Whining about your shortcomings and painting a dark picture of your future is predisposes you to failure. Encourage yourself by identifying your strengths and what you're doing well, then focus on improving the things you can change and choose not to obsess over those you cannot. Whenever you're faced with something you cannot do on your own, ask for help. Things do get difficult, but more things can be solved than cannot.
5. Value your time.
Once time is lost it cannot be regained, so you had better start treating it like it's precious. Effective time management requires that you discipline yourself to schedule all your activities and stick to that schedule, avoid procrastination like the plague, finish what you start before moving on to something else and removing distractions without being sentimental. This manual will help you get started.
6. Invest in self-development
The best entrepreneurs are life-long learners, constantly adding to their knowledge by reading relevant material, attending conferences and networking. Those are the people you should imitate. If you manage your time well, you will have room for personal development. Ignore your ego and find a more experienced person to mentor you. There's no shame in being guided by someone wiser. Create a book fund, putting money away solely for buying books that can improve your leadership and people-management skills. Watch less TV and more documentaries on the business icons and organisations you admire. Look out for opportunities to mingle with other entrepreneurs and show up at those events. Your learning must never end.
7. Be honest with self-assessment.
Lying to yourself is a foundation for delusion and a big step toward failure. Assess your growth in life and in business regularly and sincerely. That's the only way to identify areas that need improvement. Use the personal goals you set earlier to measure your progress and take action quickly to stay on track. Also, admit when you're wrong and be open to accepting new information. Don't become a relic in a fast-changing world.
8. Take care of yourself.
You have one body and one life to live, don't wait till you're sick to take a break. Get as much sleep as you need to feel well-rested. Don't celebrate extra hours in the office or sleepless nights, they are not a badge of honour. Set out time to disconnect from all work communications. Don't live off snacks and energy drinks. The same way you plan your life, plan your meals and schedule mealtimes. The effort it takes will pay off. And don't forget to get regular exercise: walking, swimming and cycling are all options to explore.
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