Success can be defined in so many ways and the journey to obtain a certain level of success is subjective. One of the keys to success that I hear from many of those that have reached a high level of success is the fact that they have to remain disciplined in their daily routines. You will often hear people that are successful say that they do the same thing in their morning routines day in and day out. They may have coffee, workout, read the news on their preferred device, but it is the same routine day in and day out.
I have since learned that the reason for this is because when you implement something as simple as a morning routine, you now do not have to use ‘brain power’ (for lack of a better term) on something that really does not matter. Something like what you must do in the morning to get your day started is not as important as developing the strategy to grow your business or deciding the steps you need to take today to keep the country safe. In one of their final interviews as President and First Lady, First Lady Michelle Obama stated that President Obama has so many of the same exact suits, shoes, and accessories that he does not have to think about what he is putting on in the morning. He can at any time grab one of the suits and put it on and not have to deal with the minute detail of what he needs to wear for the day. As President, he also had to be conscious of the fact that he had to be politically correct in what he decided to wear.
I am someone that gets bored easily. A doctor may call it ADD, but my attention span is lost quickly. Doing the same routine day in and day out seems impossible to me. But, I am going to try to make it a habit for 1 month and see what it may change in my level of productivity. One of the first steps to creating this discipline in your own life is to make sure you are organized. Successful people tend to keep their home and office very neat. They do not have to spend time finding something because everything has a place. This is sometimes easier said than done when you work from home. Depending on how much space you have in your home will determine how organized you can truly be (in my opinion). When you must mix kids’ stuff with office stuff, you are in for a real challenge (unless you live in a large home). Hopefully, by getting as organized as you can, you can then obtain the level of success that will allow you to buy a home or office that will be spacious enough for all of your needs. Some of you already have plenty of space, but may need to throw out some items that you do not need (junk). Take this opportunity to give items away to the less fortunate. Someone else would find your junk to be their treasure.
When running a business of any size, if you cannot elevate your productivity, you will lose this ever-changing game of entrepreneurship. What is interesting to me is the variety of ways that people work to achieve the first 1 million dollars in revenue. This tells you beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no one right way to reach above average goals. I have listened to financially successful people state that it was a challenge making their first million, but once they got it down to a system, making the next million was not so hard. From the outside of the million-dollar circle club, that seems to be a daunting task. But, if you are a student of success, one could glean some elements of similarities amongst peers that are making a million or more.
Traits of millionaires:
- Most millionaires are self-made. Meaning that they did not become a millionaire by working for someone else. According to BMO Private Bank in 2013 67% of millionaires in the US did not inherit their wealth. They found ways to acquire it.
- Millionaires are not afraid to take risk. Playing it safe does not land you in the wealthy category. Like CEO Elon Musk, with his company Tesla Motors, was told his concept would not work. He was continuously told that he was not going to be able to compete with the Detroit manufacturers. Today, he is proving his naysayers wrong and trending toward one of the biggest disruptions in the automotive industry.
- “The rich invest in time. The poor invest in money.” This statement was said by Warren Buffett and it exemplifies my next point. The wealthy understand the value of time.
- Self-made millionaires live within their means. They do not splurge outside of their budget and often, they will work diligently to stay under budget.
If you are a data person like I am, then at this point you must be interested in some numbers. I have a strong affinity for women owned businesses. So, let’s look at data as it relates to women owned business.
- More than 9.4 million firms are owned by women.
- The 9.4 million firms employ nearly 7.9 million people and generate $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015.
- 9 million firms are majority-owned by women of color in the U.S.
- 2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of 1 million or more.
So, what needs to be done to improve these numbers for more women owned business to reach a level of success that includes generating at least 1 million dollars in revenue. Does discipline play a role in the level of success that women are seeing? Partially, but there are so many other factors that go into success. And one thing that none of us should get into the habit of doing is making excuses. We all have to deal with our own realities and accept our starting points. What we can change is where we end up. We can put in the work to not only reach our goal but to exceed it.
In this blog series, we are going to dive deeper into success, the role discipline plays, and what all of this means for women business owners. One thing we know is true and that is if you are male or female, discipline is an important factor to achieving your goals. No one can really tell you where you need to increase your level of discipline, but you will have to get systematic in your efforts. Start with small changes, be patient, but remain consistent with your eyes on the goals you hope to achieve.