If you’re a fellow entrepreneur, you know that the entrepreneurial world is very, very different from the world of corporate and institutional bureaucracies. But even though the vast majority of entrepreneurs know this, I’ve observed that most still try to run their businesses using bureaucratic concepts and ways of doing things.
It’s understandable that many entrepreneurs would naturally organize their time and attention this way because most of the world operates with a bureaucratic time-and-effort mindset.
But this will never work the way you want it to.
An entrepreneur gets paid for one thing and one thing only: results. That’s what fuels your growth and the growth of your business. As an entrepreneur, you have to do things differently if you want to continually grow your business and success.
“An entrepreneur gets paid for one thing and one thing only: results.” #DanSullivan
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Learn how to simplify your life.
As your business starts to grow, there’s a tendency for things to get complicated. Eventually you hit a ceiling because you can’t work any harder or any longer. You’re stuck.
You became an entrepreneur to have the freedom to work on your own terms. In essence, you wanted to design your own entrepreneurial career. It’s my guess that you still might be working with a time-and-effort mindset instead of a results-based mindset. If that’s the case, the way you’re using your time on a day-to-day basis almost guarantees that you’re going to lose the game that you designed. It’s time to simplify your life.
Like many entrepreneurs, you also likely schedule too many things to be accomplished in one day. Let’s say you put down ten things on your list, but at the end of the day, you’ve only done six. You don’t see the six things you did accomplish; you only see the four things you didn’t get done. As far as you’re concerned, that was a losing day, while most people would say that getting six important things done in a day is a fantastic result.
It wouldn’t be too bad if you did this on just one day, but there are entrepreneurs who have done it every day of their entrepreneurial career. They designed a game, but ever since they started playing, they’ve been on a losing streak.
Instead of getting home at night and going to bed with a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence, they go to bed on a losing streak. They’re awake during the night because of the losing streak, and they have bad dreams because of it.
What do you think their frame of mind will be as they start their day the next morning, faced with another ten-item to-do list? You have to design a game you can win. My winning strategy over the past six years or so is all about simplifying your life, and I’ll lay it out here.
To multiply, first you have to simplify.
One thing that new clients who come to Strategic Coach for their workshop and meet me for the first time notice right off the bat is:
- My work life is very simple.
- I’m very successful doing very few different activities.
- I find these activities completely satisfying.
My strategy for achieving this is that I never try to get more than three important things done in a day.
I don’t have a long list of things to be done; I have three things that I want to accomplish. And my mindset is always that it’s not a matter of putting in the time and effort; it’s about achieving a 100 percent result. In other words, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, it’s the result that counts.
Most entrepreneurs who hear this are startled to hear that I’ve had days where I’ve accomplished my three things before lunch, and I’m finished for the day. What I’ll do next is plan my three things for the next day. Then I might do some reading or explore something that interests me.
Sometimes it happens that I finish a fourth thing, which I consider “bonus territory” — because the three things I have on my list are my 100 percent result.
The secret to making this work.
My secret for how to simplify your life is to focus not only on getting your list down to three important results for the day, but on making sure they’re activities you should actually be doing. As a business owner, that almost always means activities centered on bringing money into your business.
Why not follow this strategy and see that it is possible to multiply your results in any area, even as your life becomes simpler and simpler?
About the Author
Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dan Sullivan