Five Guidelines For Entrepreneurs - Management
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: Management

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Five Guidelines For Entrepreneurs

Written By: Jim Stovall

Article Date: 12-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

A pause for recreation, reflection, and rejuvenation can pay substantial dividends.

As entrepreneurs, dealers often fail to manage the most valuable asset they have: themselves.

Because the dealer's time, effort, and energy are what turns an opportunity into a great business, too often dealers get caught working harder, not smarter. That's especially true when business is as good as it is now. The old adage "Make hay while the sun shines" takes priority.

Judge Brandeis served on the Supreme Court for several decades early in the 20th Century. He had a very distinguished judicial career; however, there was a time when he was strongly criticized for taking a vacation just before an extremely difficult and complex case that was to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

His response to the criticism was: "I have found a way to successfully complete 12 months of work in 11. I have never found a way to successfully complete 12 months of work in 12."

This is a reminder to all of us that time to pause and recharge our batteries may be the fastest way to get ahead.

If you were to enter a coast-to-coast road race, you would find that the fastest way to get to the finish line involves stopping periodically for regular or preventive maintenance. Drivers who fail to take a pit stop are in much greater danger of burning out an engine and losing the race through default and not poor performance.

Studies have shown the most effective countries with regard to productivity are not necessarily the ones with the longest or most grueling work week, something that is overlooked by many organizations.

The most effective element in your personal and professional success is your ability to perform at your highest level. This is only possible when you maintain and care for your mind, body, spirit, and attitude.

As you go through your day today, remember Judge Brandeis and his admonition to all of us. Winning the race is quite often a function of caring for yourself well enough so that you can cross the finish line. These five guidelines are a great place to get started.

  • List the things you are uniquely qualified to do in your business. Focus on those things. If someone else can be doing it, they should be doing it.
  • Schedule your time off just like you schedule important appointments. As an entrepreneur, if you wait to take vacation until things are not busy, you may well die behind your desk having never left the office.
  • Take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. For 10 minutes, sit and reflect, listen to enjoyable music, or go for a brief walk. You'll get more done and feel better about your day.
  • Make your friends and family a priority. If people in corporate America can make it to softball games, school plays, and scouting events, those of us who work for ourselves should be able to as well. One of the reasons you went into business for yourself was to enjoy some freedom. If you don't exercise freedom, you might as well not have it.
  • Try to work your schedule around tasks, not time. Look at your business day objectively and determine the most important things to get done. When you've got those things done, you are done - at least for the day. If you don't control your business, it will surely control you.
Being in business for yourself is among the most compelling parts of the Great American Dream. Entrepreneurship can give you freedom, creativity, and an unlimited income; but unless you take control of your ship, you will find yourself working long hours for little or no money while you enjoy very few of the good things in life.

Make sure that your business works for you as hard as you work for it. Success and money cannot buy the good things of life, but they can get everything else out of the way so you can enjoy them.

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