Bridging the gap between generating ideas and implementing them isn’t intuitive for everybody, and one quality that separates successful entrepreneurs from the not-so-successful is their ability and willingness to get “stuff” done. It’s not a single habit that separates the winners from the losers but rather a multitude of behaviors executed consistently that support a larger goal. Consistency is the keyword here. Just as you don’t become stronger or faster with infrequent trips to the gym, developing soft skills works the same way. They require the same cultivation and dedication as anything else you want to become better at.
While everybody has their own behaviors and habits that work for them, here are five that I’ve found to yield positive results:
1. Make self-deposits.
When you make a promise to other people, chances are you uphold it because your personal reputation and the quality of the relationship are on the line. But what about making promises to yourself? It’s easier to break promises made to ourselves than it is to another, yet keeping our self-promises builds the self-efficacy and self-confidence upon which character is based. If you want to feel unstoppable, start by keeping the promises you make to yourself when nobody’s looking.
2. Capture your ideas immediately.
Good ideas tend to pass right through me like an oversized bowl of fiber (feel free to tweet that), and there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to recall a great idea that has since vanished from the mental repository known as “memory.” When a hint of inspiration strikes you, write it down immediately. Make a voice note, send yourself an email, write whatever keywords you have to that will spark your memory when you return to it later.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Yes, there’s the old adage, “if I don’t take myself seriously then nobody else will.” However, people are more prone to flock to others who show a little personality than others who put them to asleep. Just look at the humor used by Dollar Shave Club in their marketing videos. While the thought of buying a razor isn’t exactly inspiring, nor does it incite a deep personal connection with people, the personality shown in their YouTube videos certainly does. Of course, there’s a time and place to be funny. Know your audience and the climate of the room. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself saying something that sounded funny in your head right before you lose all your friends.
4. Build yourself daily.
I’m a big believer in setting personal challenges to build resiliency. The choices you make shape who you are today and who you will be tomorrow. Staying fit doesn’t stop at the treadmill or after you squeeze into a Speedo. There is mental, emotional and spiritual fitness that balance each other out and make for a well-rounded individual. We all know people with brilliant minds who have the social skills of a nat. Build your skills daily every opportunity you have.
5. Be candid.
If there’s one thing that everybody needs more of, and I could insert a lot of jokes right here, it’s time. If you want to reward people, be candid. Tell them straight up, in a not-so-rude sort of way, and don’t waste their time. People appreciate honesty and resent deceit. They will actually seek your counsel in the future because they know what you stand for.
These are just a few of the habits that I’ve found to yield positive results for myself and for others. What are yours?