6 Things You Need Stop Doing

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Being self-employed comes with a long list of things you need to do. To counteract that, here are six things that you actually need to stop doing if you want to be successful in your business:

1. Comparing yourself to others

It’s an easy trap to fall into but one that needs to be avoided at all costs. Just because you started your business at the same time, just because you are in the same line of work, just because you work longer hours, etc. does not mean that things will progress for you in the same way that they do for someone else. When you get into the trap of gauging your success based on what someone else is accomplishing, it’s time to reevaluate what it will take for you and your business to be a success on your own terms. Focusing on those items is a much surer bet.

2. “Shoulding” all over yourself

Maybe you feel like you ought to be spending more time networking or tweeting or [fill in the blank]. But, here’s the thing: if you are clear on your priorities and they match up with your goals, it will be obvious how to best spend your time and efforts. Stop the shoulds and go with the plan you’ve so thoughtfully created.

3. Transitioning too often

If you make a phone call, check on Twitter for a few minutes, look at your projected sales numbers to see how you’re doing, and then answer a few emails, you are spending too much time in transitions. To maximize your efforts and minimize wasted time, return all of your phone calls at once, group sales calls on a certain day of the week, and set aside a couple of times each day to tackle emails. You’ll be more productive and less frazzled in no time—and that will make the road to success easier to travel.

4. Worrying about the same things repeatedly

If your thoughts keep coming back to the same topic and you haven’t found resolution yet, set aside some time to create an action plan, decide when you’ll get started, and then guide your thoughts back to the task at hand during the rest of your work day. Spending hours on the same what-ifs over and over again means less time to focus on the things you can control as well as the things that will get you where you want to go.

5. Thinking you can do it all yourself

Even if you’re a solopreneur, doing it all yourself is never a good idea. Determine your skills and your strengths as well as the things that will propel your business forward and then spend as much of your time as possible doing those things. If something is a struggle for you or you often put it off until the last possible moment, that’s a good indication that you’d be better off having someone else take care of it.

6. Saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way

Just because someone wants some of your time, doesn’t mean it’s a good opportunity for you and your business. Of course, when you are first starting out, every opportunity may seem like a good one. Setting up some criteria in advance, though, can help you determine whether the answer is “Yes, I’d love to” meaning it will move you toward your goals or “Thank you so much for thinking of me but I have to pass.”