Since Stephen R. Covey literally wrote the book on highly effective people and their habits, I wanted to focus on a few I have seen most in talking to freelancers and the self-employed. It takes a special type of person to want to start and run their own business, and if you are thinking of taking the leap, or are already underway, here a few practices you might want to consider picking up.
Wake up before the sun (and your family)
Once the day gets started we all know it’s hard to find any alone time. Today we are all pulled a million different ways and at time it feels like everything but our business is demanding our attention. If you have a day job and are running freelance work on the side, it’s even more important to take a couple uninterrupted hours in the morning to focus on you and your business.
Hold a daily planning session
We all know that our business doesn’t work if we don’t, and if you’re not careful, weeks can go by with no results. Take 15 minutes in the morning (since you’re all waking up before the sun and you’re family, right?) to lay out what you want to do that day. Include your other demands throughout the day but be sure to find time to work on your passion project.
Set Goals – and don’t give up on them
M. Russell Ballard said, “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principle of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
The successful people I talk to that are self-employed or freelancing, set goals that make them stretch. In doing this they are always achieving more than they thought possible.
If there are any of these you need to work on, take comfort in the words of Aristotle when he said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Keep working at it, and you just might surprise yourself with what you accomplish.