Entrepreneurs are independent by nature. It’s your drive that made it possible for you to achieve your dream, and you’ve had to work to make sure nothing gets in the way of that.

However, this drive isn’t enough. The path you’ve chosen is anything but easy, and you’re going to need to develop these 3 habits if you want your dream to become a reality.

Cultivate self-discipline

As you know, being an entrepreneur is hard work. Being your own boss doesn’t mean unlimited vacations and endless freedom. If you can’t handle yourself, it doesn’t matter how good your idea is; you’re going to crash and burn.

This is where self-discipline comes in. Contrary to popular belief, no one is born with a stellar work ethic. Self-discipline is a habit that can be developed through simple actions in your daily life. By showing up for yourself in different areas, you can create an overall improved sense of determination.

One surefire way to do this is to work out. You might be sick of hearing about how important working out is, but it’s repeated so often for a reason. Working out has so many benefits for one action; it boosts creativity, helps you set goals, and lowers stress (which all entrepreneurs definitely need!)

Another way to cultivate self-discipline within yourself is to set a strict schedule. It can be tempting to kick back and procrastinate, even as an entrepreneur. If you’re working from home, you have incredible freedom in what your day to day looks like. You just have to make sure that freedom doesn’t stop you from achieving your business goals.

Do this by setting a schedule. Wake up at the same time every day, practice mindfulness, enjoy your cup of coffee. Whatever gets you inspired and refreshed is a good start. Then, allow yourself to take breaks throughout the day, check in with clients, and dedicate time to planning ahead. This will save you time and energy you have previously been using on stress and scheduling.

Get Networking

A crucial part of running a small business is networking. No man is an island, and no entrepreneur can become successful entirely on their own.

Sure, your personal drive is a huge part of whether you can make it in your industry. However, you need to get out there and making connections to thrive.

If you’re feeling too busy to get out to events, a great way to start networking is to connect online. Social media is made for this kind of connection!

Follow your peers on Instagram and Twitter, and comment on content that resonates with you. Don’t spam anyone’s pages, of course; you want these interactions to be organic and thoughtful. Most entrepreneurs are thankful for any engagement on their posts, and this can open the door for guest posting and other opportunities.

Once you’re comfortable doing this, it’s time to get into the real world. “For entrepreneurs, networking is much more,” Small Biz Club reported. “It’s the exchange of crucial, learned lessons, both big and small, that can mean success or failure.”

Go to local events in your community, like small business mixers, mentoring match-up programs, and conferences in your industry. The connections you make here will lead you into lasting partnerships, which are invaluable for your success.

Pace yourself

Lastly, you need to develop an ability to pace yourself. This is contrary to the “rise and grind” hustle culture a lot of entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurial wannabes) cultivate, especially on social media. This can be flashy and appealing, but you need to prioritize your health and mental well-being.

Luckily, there are small steps and big steps you can take to prevent this. On the smaller scale, make sure you’re taking breaks during your workday. “Taking breaks means you can work smarter, not longer,” says Answer 1. “This will result in more productive work days, higher levels of personal success, and better overall health.”

Make sure every 20 minutes you’re getting up and stretching, walking a quick lap, or refilling your water. You should be taking frequent breaks away from all screens as well, to rest your eyes and give your brain a break from the information overload of smartphones.

On a larger scale, you need to make sure your business model is sustainable in the long run. When getting your small business off the ground, you will probably be answering all calls, doing marketing, running social media, developing content, and producing your product.

This is not sustainable for your business in the long term! Your personal life and health will suffer if you try to do it all. You need to delegate tasks, outsource whenever practical, and most importantly, ask for help when you need it.

You can’t do it all for your business, and you shouldn’t want to. Reach out to those new connections you made networking, find a business mentor, and lean on your community when you need to. Your business will thrive as a result.

Being an entrepreneur is risky, but incredibly rewarding. If you actively work on your schedule, networking, and pacing, you’re going to set yourself up for a successful business life.

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Parker Davis
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @Answer1 and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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