Think about reading James Caan’s personal rules listed below every morning for a month. James delivers short, quick and easy to follow rules that make sense.
A few new rules I added to my daily ritual:
Work on a project for at least 30 minutes every morning before opening your email. Email messages can disturb your focus and weigh you down with urgent, but not necessarily important tasks. Emails can also crush creative juices to those addicted to checking their Inbox. Starting your day off being productive can build a momentum that lasts throughout the day.
Complete! Complete! Complete! Always finish what you start. It’s easy to get off track with email & phone interruptions. Never start a new task or project until you finish the one you started. Checking off your to-do-list is another way to create momentum.
The Eight Rules of Success to Think About Every Morning
I have said in the past that there is no magic formula when it comes to being successful in business but there are certain guiding principles that I have followed throughout the course of my career. Not everyone gets what they want in life but if you work hard and keep trying then some measure of success is bound to come your way. Here are a few of the personal rules I have stuck with throughout my career in business and still follow to this day.
No matter what people say true success does not come easily. Like everything in life, if you really want something you are going to have to work for it and put in the time and effort. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of hard work and everyone who has gone into business for themselves will tell you it is one of the toughest things they have ever done in life.
2. Believe in yourself
There is no point in going into business for yourself if you do not have any confidence or self-belief. When you set up your own company the only person you have to answer to is yourself – which means confidence is vital. If you do not believe in yourself and your product or service, then how can you get others to put their faith in you?
3. Be creative
If you want to be truly successful then you have to be prepared to stand out from the crowd. Although I have always believed that an idea doesn’t have to be brand new, the best businesses will still have a strong USP that sets them apart from competitors. Creativity is one of the most valuable qualities any person in the business world can have.
4. Be there first
It is a competitive world out there those who are not out of the traps quickly are the ones who are going to get left behind. I have always believed in striking first. Once you have established what the best course of action is, there is no point in being cautious because it will give your competitors the chance to get in there before you and win that vital piece of work or contract.
5. Build a brand
When I set up my first firm, the first thing I did was to go out and rent an office in the best part of London, as an address in Mayfair is great to put on a business card. The actual room itself was tiny and windowless, but nobody knew this as I arranged for meetings to take place away from the office. When it comes to doing business, building a brand and a good reputation is vital. Once you have done this, you will find things a lot easier, as most of us prefer to deal with people or companies that are recognized and trusted.
6. Seek advice
It is impossible to be an expert in every field and there is nothing wrong with seeking advice when you are struggling. When you are starting out in business it can be great to speak to someone who has years of experience behind them. If you ask for help you will usually find that people are more than happy to give their time and their expertise.
7. Get organized
Running a successful business can be very stressful and demanding and one of the most important resources you will have is your time. If you want to get the most out of your working day then you need to be properly organized and you also need to make sure you are not wasting precious time on tasks that can always be delegated to someone else.
8. Don’t run before you can walk
When you first start in business there is a tendency to grab every piece of work which comes your way, which can be a potentially fatal mistake. First of all you need to make sure that when you negotiate a contract there is a decent margin. Although you want to make your mark, there is no point in taking on work that does not yield a worthwhile profit. More importantly don’t take on more work than you can manage. It is one of the most common mistakes in business and can prove to be very costly.
Shout out to James Caan | Serial Entrepreneur & Investor in People with Passion
Breathe – And by breathe I don’t mean life-sustaining, autonomic, shallow breathing, I mean belly-filling, brain-cleansing breathing. With each breath take in enough air to expand your belly and with each exhale, expel as much breath as you can, pulling in your belly to extract every bit. Breathe in to a count of five and out to a count of five and do it five times. You’ll feel the difference.
Stretch – So much of the workday can be spent immobilized staring at a computer screen. In addition, if you have a stressful job (who doesn’t — a show of hands, please), tension can creep in on little cat paws. You don’t see it coming but at some point you realize you’re holding tension in your neck or shoulders or back. Raise and lower shoulders, do some head rolls, bend forward while sitting or standing, raise your arms over your head, do some side stretches. Take a moment to notice where you are feeling tight and focus on that area. Don’t push too hard, it’s not a contest to see how flexible you can make yourself, just stretch enough to release the tension.
Walk – Doesn’t matter where you work you can take five minutes and walk. Inside your building, around your parking lot, down the street in your neighborhood. Short breaks are uplifting and good for the body and mind. A walk will get your blood flowing and make your brain function better.
Say “No” – Getting comfortable saying no is a skill that pays off in many ways. Pick situations when you truly have a choice (it’s more often than you may think) and practice saying “thank you for thinking of me, but no, that’s not something I can do right now.” If you need to compromise somehow, you can always add, “But here’s what I CAN do.”
Be grateful – Write down three things for which you are grateful. These don’t have to be big things and frankly it’s better if they aren’t. If we can be grateful for a comfortable desk chair and a really delicious cup of coffee, we’re going to be grateful a much greater percentage of the time than if we are grateful for a fabulous vacation.
Volunteer – Volunteering takes our mind off of ourselves – which is a good thing. You can volunteer at a local organization that matters to you or even volunteer to help a colleague who could use a hand. Volunteering in any capacity is good for your spirit and has a way of spreading. A kindness done for others leads to more kindness being passed along.
Be mindful – Whatever you are doing, be fully aware and focused in that moment. Taking your first sip of coffee? Enjoy the warmth of the cup and the aroma, as well as the taste. Composing an email? Tune out everything else and focus on just that one task. Speaking with a colleague? Give that person your full attention.
Notice nature – This can be purposeful or on the fly. Driving to work or walking by a window pay attention to whatever nature you see. Having lunch, pick a seat where you can see outside, or better yet, sit outside. Listen to the sounds, smell the scents. Put a live plant or fresh flowers on your desk. Even for a few seconds, take in whatever nature falls into your line of sight.
Listen to music – Pick some music to suit your mood – or perhaps to change it. Listen to soothing music to reduce tension, upbeat music to re-energize you, or your current favorite song to lift your spirits.
Go on a media fast – Turn off the television and the radio. Stay away from newspapers and avoid online news sources just for a day. The news will keep happening without you and in fact will still be available to you later. This isn’t putting your head in the sand regarding current events as a lifestyle; it’s for a short while. Give your brain a break from all the sensational bad news stories out there.
Declutter – Take a few minutes and clear off a corner of your desk that’s been piling up or a drawer that over-accumulated stuff. Getting rid of stuff feels good. Completing even a small project can have residual positive mental effects for days.
Love & Peace to Mary Kutheis