Why is it that we put off business habits that we KNOW would help us make more money? Why do we procrastinate or avoid them?
From working with business owners for the last 6 years, I’ve heard time and time again how much entrepreneurs put things off.
For example, you might decide to set up a new habit of publishing one Instagram post every day for your salon. Monday through Friday.
You decide that by posting a picture daily and using hashtags, over time you’ll grow a new following, some new prospects, and potentially new paying clients.
Monday rolls around and it feels overwhelming. You’re not sure what to write on the post. You don’t know what to tell people. Maybe you feel unclear as to what they want to hear from you.
Then you question which picture to put up. Should it be a Canva image? A real behind the scene image of your salon? An image of the shampoo and conditioner you sell? Or maybe it should be a stock photo so that it looks more professional.
That leads you down a rabbit hole of thinking that maybe you need to hire a professional photographer because your iPhone photos might not look fancy or “good enough” for Instagram.
Before you know it, you find yourself scrolling through Instagram feeds, looking at other beauty salons. Comparing your brand to theirs. Possibly feeling inadequate.
As time passes, you realise it’s already lunch time and you have to start cooking. You get off your office chair and walk over to the kitchen, feeling discouraged and incredibly unmotivated with this new marketing habit you’d set for yourself.
After lunch, you go into the salon and help your team out and train a new staff member.
Your goal of posting a new Instagram post every day doesn’t get done and you put it off to yet another day.
Now, for you, it might not be an Instagram post. It could be that you have a goal of working on your SEO for your site. Or monitoring and tracking your ads each day. Or putting out a new sales offer each week.
It’s so easy to put off new habits. Even if we KNOW a habit would allow us to bring in more potential clients!
So what is the solution? How can we actually stick to our business habits?
Especially since we know those daily actions will create the long-term results we want in our business (more leads, more sales, more profit, more impact).
Well, it turns out that one solution is making your habits TINY.
BJ Fogg, founder and director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab and author of the book Tiny Habits, says “the easier a behaviour is to do, the more likely the behaviour will become a habit.”
Through his research, BJ Fogg found that one of the most effective ways of sticking to a habit is to make it tiny. The smaller it is, the easier it’ll be to do.
He explains it in this way: “take a behaviour you want, make it tiny, find where it fits naturally in your life, and nurture its growth. If you want to create long-term change, it’s best to start small.”
In his book, Tiny Habits, Fogg gives the example of flossing your teeth. Often, he says, people try to adopt the habit of flossing ALL of their teeth. This is too big of a habit he writes.
Instead, he recommends setting the goal of just flossing one tooth. That’s it. Just one tooth. Every morning.
If you do more than one? That’s just extra credit! Go you!
He says that by making the habit this small, you’re more likely to just get it done! There’s less “friction” between you and the behaviour. The ease of it makes it that much more effortless to achieve.
Now, how does this relate to your own business habits?
I’m guessing there are certain habits that you’d love to crush daily, not just once in a blue moon!
For example, maybe it’s writing an newsletter to your email list weekly. Or tracking your incoming cash flow each day as money mindset mentor Denise Duffield Thomas recommends. Or maybe it’s networking with one new business each week to increase your business visibility.
Whatever your new desired business habit is, this is my recommendation to you: Make it tiny.
Even if it feels kind of ridiculous how small it is! Let me share my own personal experience with doing this in my business:
Years ago, I had this goal of meditating daily. After reading about meditation in so many business books and hearing from high performers in countless podcasts, I realised it was something I wanted to incorporate into my day.
On top of that, I’d read some of the research and it was amazing the impact it had on focus but also on our health and overall immune system. I was convinced it was worth my time.
The more focused I could be in my business, the more productive I could become.
As a result of seeing so many people recommend a 10 minute meditation, I felt like that was the right place to start.
Unfortunately, it brought up way more resistance than I thought it would.
The next morning I noticed the thought “I should really do that 10 minute meditation…”
But my whole body was against it. I felt SO much resistance.
My mind was saying things like “I don’t know. It’s going to be so boring. 10 minutes of just sitting there. I don’t think I want to. What’s the point? This probably won’t have that big of an effect on my life anyway. I just really don’t feel like it. I’ll just do it later…”
Yup, you guessed it. Later never came. I didn’t do it that day or the next day or the next.
Every time I’d have the thought, I should really meditate right now, my mind would come up with 10 more convincing reasons not to do it.
After a few weeks of this, I realised 10 minutes was just too big of a hurdle to start with.
I needed to start way smaller. So I tried 5 minutes.
Unfortunately that didn’t work either! It just felt too long. Too much time. Too much effort. My mind would just come up with so many excuses not to get started.
Remember, this was a brand new business habit for me.
Finally, I reduced it to 3 minutes. For some reason, that worked. Not every day. But some days. I’d actually do a 3-minute guided meditation.
In the morning, I’d go on YouTube, type in 3-minute meditation in the search box, and choose the first one that popped up. Some days, I’d just put a 3 minute timer on my phone and focus on my breathing, the sounds in the room, or any emotions that popped up.
At some point – I don’t remember exactly when this was – my husband and I started meditating together. We were doing 7 or 8 minutes daily except on the weekends.
Months passed of doing this. We later stumbled upon Sam Harris’ daily meditation app, which we decided to pay for. His meditations were mostly around 10 minutes.
Before we knew it, we were meditating practically every single day, weekends included. We had a bit of a system too.
We’d get up, work out, have breakfast, shower, and then sit down at our dining room table and put Sam’s app on for 10 minutes.
Now, looking back, I know for a fact that I was only able to get to the 10 minute habit by starting MUCH smaller. Aka 3 minutes. And for someone else, it might be just doing 1 minute!
It might feel tiny at first. But it works!
I’ve actually done this with other habits too, like stretching (just doing ONE stretch a day), which then led me to doing 5-10 minutes a day later on.
I did this with tracking my business numbers too. For some reasons, I couldn’t get myself to track my numbers for ages. At some point, I just decided, I’m just going to track ONE number: my incoming cash flow.
That’s it. Nothing else. And I was able to do that.
Before long, I added new numbers onto it like tracking the number of email subscribers I had, the number of website visitors, the number of likes on Facebook, the ad cost per conversion, my YouTube views, and the list goes on.
Now, I effortlessly track different business measures each day with so much less resistance than before.
Personally, I’ve found that starting small is simply more effective. So that’s my recommendation to you! Start small.
Actually, better yet, start TINY.
Whatever your new desired business habit is? I want you to reduce it to something so freaking small.
Let’s say you want to start journaling daily, maybe writing down your business goals and vision for the future. Start with just ONE sentence a day.
That’s all. One sentence a day.
You’re going to see how much easier it is to convince your mind of writing one line in your journal than writing a whole paragraph!
It’s amazing how well this works. Before long, you’ll naturally modify or tinker this habit and make it bigger and bigger.
One sentence will increase to two, three, and then ten! Personally, I found that this increase just happens naturally.
Once the “tiny” habit is ingrained (it might take a few days or weeks), it naturally leads me to increasing it bit by bit.
I can’t wait for you to give this a go! Let me know in the comments which tiny habit you’re going to start with below!
And if you need help breaking down your current big habit into something smaller? Let me know below in the comments!
Looking for more help? I’ve just made a free guide for you on how to overcome your self-doubt in business. In the guide, I provide 8 easy steps that you can work through to build your self-confidence and finally grow your business!
You can grab it here for free: 8 Easy Steps To Overcome Self-Doubt!
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