Imagine yourself in 5 years.

The great idea, your hard work and efforts…

Where have they gotten you?

It’s a scary thought actually and something I’ve experienced.

You have a great idea, you work day and night on it for years only for it to fail.

5 years later and I was still where I had started… with nothing to show for my hard work.

Was it time for me to give up and just get a job?

I had a personal meeting with myself one day and came to the realization that I was broke when I started and still broke after 5 years.

I wondered if there was a way I could have predicted my failure or success. What caused my failure in the first place? I mean there has to be a more predictable way to determine if you’re going to fail or succeed without the year long wait?

I stopped what I was doing and went on to study some successful entrepreneurs in my field, I went through hundreds of their videos and applied their teachings.

What worked really well wasn’t what I had expected. In fact, it had nothing to do with hard work – although that was still required.

Adopting these habits will ensure you know how you’re progressing without wasting months or years of your life.

1. Scheduled Habits

You are your habits. Successful people have successful habits. If you have poor people’s habits, you’ll be poor. If you have middle class habits, you’ll have a middle-class income. If you have a millionaire’s habits, you’ll have their income too.

Look at your task list and question every single thing you’re doing. Is this the best use of my time? Is this task moving me towards my goals?

If the answer is “no” then just outsource or don’t do it at all. They key is to only focus on the few things that work and stop doing everything else that doesn’t work or isn’t worth your time.

2. Thinking

“I’ve got so much to do” is a common phrase entrepreneurs utter.

You’ve probably heard of the saying… failing to plan is planning to fail.

I’m not talking about the thinking you do in the shower or during a short commute – although that is helpful.

It’s about purposeful thinking. When you actually sit down in a quiet space and just think deeply of what you’re doing, where your actions have taken you, where you want to be, who do you need to be to get there, what could go wrong, what could go right… the wealthiest people take time off to think.

In fact, Bill Gates takes two weeks off each year just to think in a forest. Where have his habits taken him? Where could they take you?

3. Measurements

“Oh, I don’t have time for this!” and “I’ve got a lot of work to do” are the first things I would say when it was time to measure my results. I could imagine the whole boring process of gathering my results, inputting them in an excel sheet (or whatever tool you want to use) and then thinking again on how I would improve.

think plan schedule measure

As an entrepreneur you will iterate between thinking, planning, scheduling and measuring.

What gets measured gets improved. If you don’t measure your results on a regular basis then how are you going to improve? Eventually you’re going to get measured either way by people around you after you have no results to show for your hard work or by yourself – it’s your choice.