Many people turn to entrepreneurship because they think you can live a life with less structure when you start a business–that’s just not true. Instead, I’ve found that successful entrepreneurs have more structure for themselves than a boss would provide. They attribute their success to their devotion to their routines. In this article, we’ll be talking about 18 routines for entrepreneurs to achieve success in business and personal life.
Why Routines are Important
The term “routine” may come along with a negative connotation. You might be thinking time-consuming, boring, or monotonous, but surprisingly, routines are one of the top keys to becoming very successful. The routines don’t have to be time-consuming and they don’t have to be identical day-after-day, but it’s a pattern that has an effect that carries energy throughout the day and week.
When you don’t have a routine, you go from task to task. You don’t notice as easily when something is “off”, or when things you’re doing aren’t compounding towards your long term goals. It’s very easy for things that aren’t a priority to slip in when you don’t have routines established. When you have routines established, it’s like you’re being intentional about making sure your highest priorities are built on consistently.
As a result, it’s been noted that the most successful entrepreneurs have several routines they incorporate that make them successful and keeps them successful. I want you to achieve success in your business too, which is why I wanted to share with you these 16 routines every entrepreneur should have.
16 Routines for Entrepreneurs
Without further ado, let’s discuss the 18 routines for entrepreneurs that lead to optimal success in personal and business life.
1. Morning Routine
It’s so easy to wake up in the morning and get sucked into checking social media, responding to unimportant busy work, and overall, to miss out on productivity you could have. Simon Cowell, Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Toni Robbins, and several other entrepreneurs all talk about the importance of a morning routine. They each focus their morning ritual on activities that can help them to have the highest amount of energy, most positive mindset, and be prepared for the tasks at hand.
Some of the tasks that are common with entrepreneur morning rituals includes:
- Waking up early (typically between 4-8)
- Doing a little exercise (or in Toni Robbin’s case, he jumps into ince-cold water!)
- Creating a to-do list or getting clear about the day’s goals
- Eating a healthy breakfast
- Prayer, meditation, jouraling, and/or a gratitude practice
- Spending time with family
- Getting dressed
- and heading off for work
Many of the morning rituals have their variations, but the morning routine is very important, and it’s one every entrepreneur should intentionally think about.
How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life – in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.– Hal Elrod
2. Customer Acquisition Routine
In addition to a morning routine, every entrepreneur has to have a go-to process they use to acquire more customers. Customers and sales are the lifeblood of every business, so you don’t want to have periods where you don’t have customers and you don’t know how to find them either.
Customer acquisition is typically a routine. It consists of daily tasks that contribute to more people becoming aware of your business, products, and services, and potentially trying them.
Customer acquisition is important for businesses of any age and size. It allows your business to 1) make money to meet costs, pay employees, and reinvest in growth, and 2) show evidence of traction for outside parties such as investors, partners, and influencers. Being able to systematically attract and convert new customers keeps companies healthy and growing — and investors happy.HubSpot
3. Sales Conversion Routine
Once you’ve attracted people who might be interested in your product or service, you need to have a routine that works to educate, answer questions, eliminate objections, and turn a prospect into a buyer–this is called your “sales conversion routine”. Some entrepreneurs have their sales conversion routine offline and some prefer to handle this process completely online.
“If you do not have a defined process that moves your people forward so the can achieve greater results, then what is it you are managing?”Keith Rosen
4. Networking and Collaboration Routine
Business can only grow so much without partners, allies, and advocates. For this reason, companies big and small incorporate things like partner programs, opportunities to collaborate with complimentary companies, and involve themselves in networking of different sorts. Networking and collaboration helps to increase brand awareness, build trust with other influencers, and grow your reputation.
“Everything you want in life is a relationship away.”― Idowu Koyenikan
5. Customer Fulfillment Routine
It’s a disgrace to have a clean customer acquisition routine, a good sales conversion routine, and to get lots of customers, then disappoint them. Unfortunately, many companies put all of their emphasis on getting sales, then on the backend, the product or service doesn’t have enough substance to satisfy customers. It’s very important to create a customer fulfillment routine that lives up to the promises made when you made the sales.
You want to create satisfied customers and raving fans.
“There is only one boss. The customer―and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”―Sam Walton
6. Business Strategy and Planning Routine
In his book, the E-Myth, Michael Gerber talks about how many businesses fail because the entrepreneur is more focused on being a good technician than on being an entrepreneur. It’s very easy to become laser-focused on the tactical things that need to be done, and never to look at the bigger picture strategies, which is why it’s important to have a routine where you step outside of the day-to-day grind and analyze what can be done to grow the business, what can be done to improve the workflow, and how can the customers be satisfied even more.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”Benjamin Franklin
7. Procedure and Documentation Routine
Most entrepreneurs want to be able to experience more freedom than they would have if they had a job. In order to reach the point where the business gives them more freedom, it requires the use of people, technology, and routine systems with documentation that governs it all. In order to set the system-building process in motion, you (the entrepreneur) has to put a documentation routine in place.
When you’re doing your day-to-day tasks, it’s important to think about documenting what you’re doing well enough that someone else could come in and follow your directions to get a good result–this will enable you to delegate easily when the time comes.
“As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”Richard Branson
8. Bedtime Routine
As much as we’d all like to be able to keep going and going, there’s an end to every day. For some of us, we close the day with alot on our minds, with lots to worry about, or we simply collapse when we’re exhausted enough.
A bedtime routine helps to make sure you close the day out peacefully, maintain healthy sleep patterns, and are prepared for a productive tomorrow. Some entrepreneurs end the day with:
- Calming music
- Reading books
- Meditating or praying
- Taking a shower
- Brushing their teeth and washing the face
- Spending time with family
- Writing a to-do list for the next day
- Or other activities that help to calm the mind and prepare for the next day
You’d have to decide what bedtime activities work best for you. Either way, it’s important to have healthy sleep patterns. If your sleep patters are off, then it negatively translates into your energy levels and productivity.
“Don’t fight with your pillow,But lay down your head and kick every worriment out of the bed.”Edmond Vance Cooke
9. Relationship Maintenance Routine
Relationships are the substance that makes a business work, however, it’s very easy to become transactional when you’re focused on quotas and numbers. A relationship maintenance routine will ensure the relationships that matter to you have the appropriate tender love and care they need to thrive (even while you’re running your business).
10. Family Building Routine
Although the family is built from relationships, I decided to discuss this separately. The family is the foundational structure of societies. Healthy families make healthy societies, however, families are undergoing lots of tugs against their unity. The demands within the economy can lead parents to focus more on income-driving activities than family-building activities, but they’re each required for a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.
A family building routine might include:
- Family game nights
- Recreation activities
- Meditation, Prayer, and Spiritual discussions
- Family meals
- A family bedtime routine
- A family morning routine
- Exploring passions, dreams, and goals together
- And more
You don’t want to let work overtake family building. Family and business has to have a harmony where they both compliment one another rather than take away.
“Opportunity cost” is the principle that whenever we spend time, money or energy on something, we lose the opportunity to spend that same time, money or energy on anything else. And it is lost forever. A sustainable work/family balance suggests that we bias our opportunity costs in favor of the priorities that matter most, especially our families.– Focus on the Family
11. Life Planning Routine
In his book Living Forward, Michael Hyatt talked about how we plan our vacations, but many people don’t plan their lives. You might be able to relate. You see big goals and a “bucket list” of things you want to accomplish before your life is over, but you don’t have a plan with activities that compound on top of each other to accomplish your life goals.
Life planning is the method of turning your life goals into reality by breaking them down into day-to-day tasks. If you’re interested in getting started with life planning, check out my free Life Plan download here. You can go back and revisit your life plan as frequently as needed to evaluate what you wanted to do versus what you actually did, and you can make improvements to your plan as you go. Grab your copy of the Life Plan download here.
12. Goal-Setting Routine
Similar to life planning, goal setting is a routine that helps you to break down things you want to do into measurable chunks. Goal-setting is a routine that’s done to ensure productivity and progress is being made towards activities with a future benefit. Most successful entrepreneurs talk about having a goal-setting process that includes:
- Daily goals
- Weekly goals
- Quarterly goals
- Annual goals
- and some entrepreneurs go into 5-year goals and beyond
13. Community Involvement Routine (For-Profit and Not-for-Profit)
Humans are selfish by nature. We can be so focused on what we need, what we want, and what we have that we overlook how many people contribute to our daily standard of life. When you get more involved in the community, you get the opportunity to learn how things work, what skills are present around you, how we each help one another, and you gain a greater appreciation for the people around you.
I think it’s important to be involved in the community for profit and doing some charitable work. You may think volunteering and serving in your community helps the recipients, but it also gives you a sense of fulfillment because you’re helping people without asking for anything in return.
14. Personal Development Routine
The most successful entrepreneurs in the world have been known for their aggressive approaches to gaining more knowledge. They have a personal development routine that keeps new and fresh ideas flowing. If you find yourself stuck, without ideas, and confused, then it mught be a good idea to add onto your personal development routine.
- Some personal development routines include:
- Taking courses
- Participating in accountability groups
- Having aggressive reading schedules
- Hiring coaches and consultants
- and Attending business events
15. Prioritization Routine
Life happens. One minute, your routines can go as planned, then a new circumstance in life can completely change your schedule and routines. For example, when I had each of my kids, the new responsibilities completely changed my schedule.
As a result, I had to revisit my priorities and decide what’s important in the new season. From time-to-time, you might notice more distractions creeping in, or maybe you’ve taken on new habits that aren’t serving you like you want. It’s important to review your priorities, so they’re consistent with your values.
- How to Prioritize as an Entrepreneur – For Business and Personal Life
- Stephen Covey on Time Management and Prioritization
- How to Improve Work Ethic
- Scheduling Ideas for Startup Entrepreneurs
- The Business Growth Framework e-course
16. Preventative Health Routine
Health is a form of wealth. What’s money if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it? Most people don’t think about going to the doctor or taking care of their health until there is a problem: a broken limb, a bacterial infection, or something debilitating.
Sustaining good health means you’ll have more time, energy, and focus to give within your business, Monitoring your health preventatively can help to ensure your body is functioning at peak potential. A preventative health routine might include:
- Routine physical
- Well women/men exams
- An exercise routine
- A healthy eating routine
- A healthy sleep cycle
- Eye exams
- Dental exams
- and solving problems with the physical body that wears on your confidence
17. Spiritual Health Routine
We all can get in ruts if we’re not careful. We can find something to blame about everything that’s going wrong and become discouraged from opportunities that could grow us. Spirituality is the space where you look beyond the logic and see from a different vantage point. For some people, they believe there’s a higher power that shares the weight of our day-to-day lives. For others, their spiritual practice is more of a mix of appreciation of nature and the things around them.
Either way, a good spiritual health routine helps to:
- Sustain a positive mindset
- Identify the ingredients for long term happiness (aside from material things)
- And, it helps to answer questions like “Where did I come from?”, “Where do I go after I die?”, and “What is my purpose on this Earth?”
18. Dress and Appearance Routine
Last but not least, it’s important to have a dress and appearance routine. How we dress and carry ourselves helps us to feel confident and it helps others to perceive our personalities. Some entrepreneurs (like Marc Zuckerberg) like to dress very simple so very little time is spent on choosing what to wear, but this practice doesn’t work well for everyone. Others who try to wear the same clothes daily might feel very insecure about themselves. It’s important to choose a dress and appearance routine that works for you.
These are 18 routines every entrepreneur should have. Entrepreneurship doesn’t mean less structure. In fact, it’s about serving enough people that you can support yourself and give jobs–this requires lots of structure and routines. If you have questions about this, please leave them below.