It was really great when you started out as an entrepreneur. However, that excited energy that you had when you first started your home-based business may have now dissipated. The passion will only be sustained if it’s not under constant pressure from the mundane. You now have to develop the habits in your home office to keep yourself organized and always moving forward.
Before you can pick up good habits, you have to lose your bad habits. An entrepreneur should never quit, unless it’s to quit these ten habits:
1. Quit sleeping in the home office.
Even when work isn’t coming in, your ‘free time’ can be used to plan for the future or get a head start on work with longer deadlines. I know it seems like you’re finally getting some much deserved rest since becoming an entrepreneur, but it’s a trap that you should avoid. If you are mentally befuddled, get up and walk around outside for 5-10 minutes to clear your head.
2. Quit being late.
We know there are benefits to having a home office, but just because your office is 5 steps from your bedroom is no reason to be late to work. Set a start and finish time and stick to it. You would fire you for being late all the time if you weren’t just so good at what you do. Form a habit of timeliness to gain the respect of clients and your future employees (the ones you’ll hire when you grow).
3. Quit creating unnecessary work.
Everything can have a place, so put everything in its place. Keep your home office organized to make it easier to function. The longer you have to search for things like computer files and receipts, the less time you have to be truly productive. As a small business, you can only be more agile and responsive to clients if you know where everything is.
4. Quit bringing children to the home office.
Everyday should not be ‘take your child to work ‘day. If you are concerned that you are not spending enough time with them, then schedule them in, but let them know that your work hours are off limits except for emergencies. Try leaving your work desk at the time you have set, give your young ones their due, put them to bed, then return to work. We had a former colleague who would always leave the office promptly at 5pm. He admitted that he went home to spend time with his children, then returned later in the night to finish work.
5. Quit drifting.
Keep your focus on where you want to go with your current business model. It’s good to explore all the other skills and talents that you have as an entrepreneur, but a jack of all trades and master of none doth not a business build. Stick to growing your area of focus and your brand. Use your other skills in charities or hobbies or schedule them for a later milestone in your journey.
6. Quit treating new clients suspiciously.
If your business has been hurt by a client who used you and refused to pay, don’t take it out on all the other clients to follow. We have seen what could possibly be a great small business/ client relationships hurt by bitterness. Forgive, get a lawyer, don’t begin any new work without a contract and enjoy the new relationship.
7. Quit biting your nails.
During meetings, you may have little quirks that you barely notice – biting your nails, scratching random body parts or picking your nose. Drop them! They are distracting and imply a certain level of immaturity or lack of grace. Do a quick bathroom check and self pep talk to get over this. They have no place in the life of the new entrepreneurial you.
8. Quit the weekly happy-hour.
Networking is even more important if you work in a home office far from urban centers. However, you still need to take care of yourself. So limit the bar and grill time to about once per month. You’ll need your good health to move from your own home office to your owned corner office.
9. Quit acting like you know it all.
Hire the services of competent consultants to manage the tasks that you can’t. Having a home office doesn’t mean you don’t need help. Even if you have it under control with management software, hiring an accountant and a lawyer can be critical game changers for a small business owner.
10. Quit doubting yourself.
You can take the next step! That’s right. Your home office might appear disorganized because you’ve outgrown it. Stop denying it and make the next move. It may just be time to move from micro to small/ medium enterprise.
What are some bad habits you’d like to quit? Please share in the comments below.