image of barbellI have been a leader for many years and have worked with all kinds of different people. The hardest person I have ever had to lead is myself.

That’s usually the case for most people, especially small business owners. If you’ve never been completely self-employed I will tell you, it’s not as glamorous as it may look.

The freedom I have is my greatest blessing, it’s also my biggest challenge. I set my own schedule, always have. So if there is nothing scheduled I need to make sure I am doing productive things for the business.

My best days & weeks are the ones that are carefully planned and followed. That takes the most self-discipline. Not only to sit and plan ahead but then to actually follow the plan. I’m not a morning person either (is anyone that’s in the cleaning business)?

If nothing is scheduled then getting up can be a challenge. If I have an appointment (most days) then it’s no problem at all. The key is proper time management, and the discipline to fill my calendar with the right things.

You may be wondering how to fill your calendar, especially when you are starting a new business. Well start with you and taking care of yourself. Are you doing some form of physical activity? Even if you do not want to commit to a gym membership you can always walk outside.

If the weather is bad then go to a mall or indoor area you can walk in. A body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion stays in motion. You need to stay active doing healthy things, for you and the business.

What are some other things you can do when you’re first getting started? How about 3 hours of telemarketing? Schedule it, have a list ready, sit down and start dialing. It’s not fun but it does work.

You might need to call for 2-3 hours to get a lead but if there’s nothing else scheduled then why not do it? The more you do things that you don’t want to do, the easier it gets.

When you get to the peak of your business career you may need the discipline to say no to people sometimes. Successful people are usually busy and sometimes get asked to do many things.

Sometimes it’s for a good cause too like a church or community event, but if you are overloaded then you will soon experience burnout.

What else? Well, that depends on your personality. For some people, it’s easy and natural to be disciplined, for others it’s not. I believe that it comes down to the small things in life.

Each small decision adds up, make the right decision one at a time and you will start to see success. Here are some important areas to stay disciplined in when you’re a business owner:

  • Keeping the books- don’t take shortcuts or get lazy.
  • Maintaining your equipment.
  • Constant and steady prospecting for new clients.
  • Followup with proposals that have been given.
  • Making good health choices.
  • Updating and reviewing your goals.
  • Taking time to properly train and supervise employees.

These are just a few examples and remember success causes us to over celebrate sometimes. Have the self-discipline to stay focused and on track. When you practice self-discipline, it becomes natural. You will find that when you need it the most, during those challenging times, it will be there to carry you through.