“Successful founders were not born with a magic wand; they happen to be some of the most disciplined people in the world.” – This was one of the quotes from the faculty in the executive course that I am taking through the Harvard Business School platform. This hit me hard. All through my journey as a startup mentor, I have been speaking about being at the right time and right place. There is a good part of that “right time – right place” that has some magic, some play by the universe here and there.
I was working on this course where every word of it was opening 100s of thoughts that proved to me how correct they were. Saying that every successful entrepreneur has worked their ass off, in a systematic way and not for a few days, weeks, months but for years in a “one day at a time manner”.
Solving problems, taking up challenges by its head and making sure that it is beaten down to its minimum size and then solving it bit by bit has been one of my strongest skill set. So as these 2 words “disciplined entrepreneurship” settled in deep into my head, heart and soul, thus started my research, my reading, my connecting dots. How things have worked out for me when I have been disciplined, and how things have fallen into pieces even after tons of efforts without being disciplined. After hours and hours of breaking my head and putting down all my free time during the famous “lockdown” that is in progress, I am as of now the strongest advocate for Disciplined Entrepreneurship.
So here below are well thought out 5 things that you can do to start your entrepreneurial journey in a disciplined manner:
- Be clear on the purpose of your efforts as an entrepreneur – If you are unsure of what you are doing, you start being disciplined with it; it will get you to a place that you would not want to be in. So, get your thoughts as clear as possible, know your entrepreneurial self as clearly as you can, the purpose behind it and the problem that you are solving.
- Categorise your tasks in priority brackets – If you tell yourself that you will be 100% committed for all your tasks, then you are lying to yourself and to your business. You are a human being and not a machine, it is okay to be less in some places. Once you put down your priority categories in High Priority, Medium and Low Priority. You can give yourself the space to fall behind in things at times in the low priority category, therefore, ensuring that you deliver a disciplined approach to get 100% results inconsistent manner in the high and medium priority tasks.
- Forget long term goals once finalised – To be disciplined in an ongoing manner for a long time, you definitely need to have a long term goal, but once that is set, broken down to a daily goal, you need to let the long term goal be. Your line of sight must be to complete your daily short term goals successfully, every day. Taking it one day at a time is the only answer to the tasks becoming a habit. You don’t become disciplined overnight, you do, after doing things over and over again on an on-going basis for a long time.
- Delegation is not the Solution – As leaders, we are always advised and we hope too that one day, we shall have all our R&Rs delegated to our teams. Yes, that is the long term goal. Especially if you are just about to become disciplined in your business, delegation is a long term plan. You will have to get yourself into a process, have well-structured tasks with clear deadlines and delivery dates. Those dates should be met on a continuous manner by you and then when you go about taking in the team, they fall in line with the disciplined culture of the workplace.
- Finally, Measuring results with clear parameters – We all have a problem, a big one, we believe we are doing things and sometimes we go blind to the fact that the outcomes are not as per set expectations. So, if you set clear parameters to measure the outcomes of the tasks that you must execute as high & medium priority in a disciplined manner, then measuring them on weekly or even daily manner will give you a clear picture for you to understand if you are online with things as planned. Being the entrepreneurs we are, once we know we have slipped off the grid, we will figure ourselves to get back on track, the challenge is to accept that you have slipped and the faster you do it, the easier it is for you to get back on track.
Share your thoughts in comments and we could discuss this further…