Setting Yourself Up for Success as an Entrepreneur

business 101 Dec 30, 2022

In the blog:

  • To be a successful business owner, certain things must be done. Leigh Wilson shares her top 5 tips to set yourself up for success as an entrepreneur. 
  • Goals, goals, goals: set them and stick to them. Remember, 20% of the things you do, bring you 80% of your business. 
  • Your personal life cannot be neglected if you hope to succeed in business. Stop trying it.
  • Too many distractions can be detrimental! Start by reducing those as soon as you can.
  • The hustle-and-grind mentality is great, but rest is just as important. Rest, relax and reset!
  • If you would like further guidance on implementing these tips into your success plan, click here to schedule a complimentary coaching session with Leigh, at your convenience!


If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, some items are simply non-negotiable. Yes, motivation, determination, and perseverance are all important aspects of a successful entrepreneur. No one is arguing that those things are necessary. So, excuse us while we jump over the obvious and dive into the things people often deny, avoid or ignore when it comes to entrepreneurship. Things like balance in your personal and business life. Or accepting that we require 7 - 8 hours of sleep each night. Or your staycation belongs on the calendar just as much as next quarter's big deadline. 

Work-life balance is key for any entrepreneur to succeed and is the central point for all we do at Focus Forward Business Design. Over and over, client after client, we have seen self-neglect, overworking, and burnout take control, leading to missed deadlines, lack of organization, and failed projects. The good news is that client after client, we saw success for the ones who implemented Leigh's 5 non-negotiables.


Leigh's 5 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success as an Entrepreneur 

1. Set goals and remain accountable to them.

Don't worry about setting a goal for each tiny task you have. Not everything you do requires a goal. I want you to find your big rocks, your top 20 percent. Remember, I have drilled this into you before, the top 20% of the things you do, bring you 80% of your business. Those big rocks require a goal. 

These goals are not just for your business. You need to set goals in the personal arena as well. Be sure you set daily goals, short-term goals (weekly, monthly or quarterly) and long-term goals (1 year, 3 years or 5 years). Once you set your goals, you have to be accountable for them. Don't just write it somewhere and forget to look at it until next year. Place it somewhere you can easily see. Make a screensaver of your goals or even frame them and hang them in your office. You can set a weekly reminder to review your goals which would be great to do each Sunday as you plan your week or whenever you choose to reflect. Whatever method you choose, hold yourself accountable to the goals you set. 

2. Lose it, leverage it, or automate it.

I have talked about this before, but it is so important. I want you to make a list of everything that you have to do or are responsible for. You can make this list based on your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual tasks. I try to make a list for each one, but the method that works for you is the one to go with. Once you have your list or lists, highlight all the totally unnecessary items. That is your  "lose it" part.

Next, I want you to think of what you could have someone else do for you. Do you have an assistant? Do you have teenagers? What could they be doing from this list? Highlight those items in a different color, and you have your "leverage it" portion.

Now, on to "automate it." It's time to talk about systems. Where are you lacking? What chinks do you have in your operation? Look for the things on your list that you do more than once and can systemize. Creating a process or system for tasks that you do regularly saves an amazing amount of time which every entrepreneur must do. 

3. Create a routine that works for you.

What does your morning look like? Are you waking up with purpose or hitting snooze as long as the day will allow? Structure a morning routine that works for you and gets you out of bed eager for the day. Early morning, snooze brain is not going to make responsible decisions. So, plan what matters. Do you want to meditate each morning? Or workout? Do you need a big breakfast? Did you leave time for 20 minutes of reading? Whatever is important for your morning routine, don't leave it out. A solid morning routine is critical for a good business owner. But that is where most people stop and just let the day take them.

What does the rest of your day look like?

What does your morning look like when you get to the office?

What are the first things you do?

I have two systems that I like to share with my clients. The first one is 50-minute time blocks. This system requires you to block 50 minutes on your calendar and allocate that time for one project only. Maybe you are writing a book and want to start a chapter. I understand the chapter won't be complete in a single time block, but the point is to get started and have zero distractions during each 50-minute time block. 

The other system is Done by One. This one is super important for my routine and is where those big rocks come into play. For Done by One, you will need to schedule those 20% items that are so important before one o'clock. You can still set up your 50-minute time blocks, but be sure the blocks before one only have 20% items in them. When the afternoon arrives, everybody else's agenda jumps in on you, your big items are taken care of, and your business is moving forward. 

Don't forget to schedule time for exercise and healthy eating. If you are like so many business owners, you are skipping meals and neglecting your personal health. So, friendly reminder to calendar those things, if needed.

4. Reduce and eliminate distractions.

I'd love for you to eliminate all distractions here, but I know how difficult that can be. So, we will start with baby steps here and reduce distractions. As you are scheduling things and doing your 50-minute blocks, keep in mind, you will not be checking email during your blocked time. Then, we will remove texting and social media during your 50-minute blocks. 

Setting boundaries is an important part of eliminating distractions. If you leave your door open and have people coming in and out and asking questions, a boundary must be set here. Let them know you understand their objectives are important, and that you find them important, but you want to help them at the highest level possible. If you are implementing Done By One into your routine, you can let this person know you are available anytime after one o'clock. This allows you to get your priorities handled and your mind cleared, so you are best prepared to help. 

I like to ask my people to make an appointment using my Calendly account as it integrates with my Google Calendar, however any free scheduler that integrates with your calendar will do, that is just what I currently use. Setting an appointment allows them to choose the time they need with me while ensuring it will not conflict with other arrangements. During my meeting with them, I have no distractions or concerns about time constraints, which optimizes my ability to help them and shows I was not pushing them off, but rather I was dedicating a time block for their needs. 

5. Reset, Relax, and Rest.

Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Leave the office at the time you set for yourself. Some people stay until 9 o'clock at night but do not come in until noon. That's okay, but whatever works for you, honor that boundary. We do not want to see you starting at 6 in the morning and leaving at midnight. 

Planning time away is key for an entrepreneur to reset and ensure success. I request that my clients plan a long weekend every ninety days. I do this because it has been proven that taking a couple of days every quarter is an amazing reset. It does not have to be a grand, three-week vacation, you need a reset to refresh and refocus. 

You also need time during the day to let your brain clear and get rid of the fog. Those 50-minute time blocks I have been telling you about have some strategy behind them. The ten minutes left in the hour is for you to get up, walk around, meditate, do jumping jacks or whatever it is that will clear your head. This is NOT a time to check those emails or text messages. These ten minutes are for you to release. Maybe you close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Great, let yourself relax and watch how much better you feel going into your next 50-minute block after a quick reset. 

Rest, relax and rest. Those are just as important as anything else you do in your work day.


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