As an entrepreneur, you have to do more, faster, in order to succeed.  Entrepreneurs are at a significant output disadvantage. For every task that you have to complete, your larger competitor has three or four full-time employees working on the same thing.

Fortunately, with hard work, leverage, and the understanding that larger teams move slower and stupider, you can do more than all of them.

Here are my seven rules that have each improved my work ethic and productivity, which I’ve learned over the course of my career:

To get things done, get things done 

Telling people about your plans is fun, exciting, and the next logical step after making plans. I totally get that. But don’t do it. It’s counter-productive.

First of all, no one cares what you PLAN to do. They’ll care when you actually get it done.  You also risk losing credibility if your plans change.

The first commandment of entrepreneur work ethic is to get after it and get things done.

Stop Being “Busy

Busy-ness is often confused with hard work.  Sometimes it’s a symptom of a lack of focus or the avoidance of dealing with a difficult issue.

Instead of being busy and thinking about everything that needs to get done, think instead about what accomplishments would have the greatest impact.  Leverage is critical to your success as an entrepreneur, and the key to increasing leverage is focusing your energy on the things that will have the greatest positive impact.

What you’ll find is that many of the smaller “busy” tasks will take care of themselves as your focus on high-impact items starts producing results.

On top of that, constantly being “busy” can cut you off from significant opportunities, because when people think you’re busy, they don’t want to bother you.

Which leads us to…

Be Available

As an entrepreneur, I try to make myself available anytime.  I reply to emails and texts quickly and try not to rule out any meeting based on time alone.

I don’t do this because I think it’s important to reply to THIS email right away. It rarely is. I do it because I want people to think of me first when they need something or have an opportunity for me. The best way to do that is to have consistently provided a response at the moment they value it most…Now.

The downside is that,  occasionally, you’ll run into people who try to take advantage of your responsiveness.  The good news is, since you’re an entrepreneur, not an employee, you can cut them out.

One. More. Rep.

One of the most effective techniques in exercise is pushing yourself to do one more.  One more rep.  One more sprint.  One more push.  That’s often the difference between a great workout that results in gains and a good workout that simply maintains.

The same is true for your business. One more call before you head home. One more thank-you emails to a partner. One more proof-read before you publish.

Close it out with “one more”, every time.

Go to sleep with a plan…wake up with a purpose.

This one is self-explanatory but few people do it.  Going to bed at night with a bunch of things bouncing around in your head is a recipe for disaster. It disrupts your rest and creates anxiety about the next day.

Instead, try putting together a list of high-impact tasks and goals for the next day.  Visualize those things being accomplished.  The next morning, when you wake up, don’t do anything (especially with your phone) until you have once again visualized the accomplishments you will have that day.  It sounds corny, but it works.

Create a winning routine

According to the book Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson, the world’s most successful, stress-free people rely on routine. In fact, it’s common to hear them described as being “like a machine.”  Developing a routine that works for you and yields positive results day in and day out provides a significant advantage over those who float aimlessly through their day.

I work out every day from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, no exceptions. I leave the office and put myself through a concentrated, high-energy  workout.  This gives my morning a definite end and my afternoon an absolute beginning, which helps me maintain intensity through every project.

This system doesn’t work for everyone. Routines are not by a positive, simply because they’re routines. If you’re getting bad results, change your routine.

Follow every setback with “GOOD”

Every time there’s a problem, your next sentence should be “GOOD. (action) (problem).”


“I’m tired and it is time for a workout” leads to “GOOD. Workout tired.”

“We have no money to build a website” leads to “GOOD. Build a website without money.”

Instead of focusing on the lack of money and how that hurts your website, you are focusing on the fact you will learn how to build a website without money. With enough practice, it becomes  an enormous mental shift.  Excuses are 100 percent off the table and you’re embracing reality in a way that necessitates a positive outcome.

My bottom line advice to you is:  You’re an entrepreneur because you wanted this opportunity. Crush it.

-- Andy Swan is the founder of LikeFolio, which provides investors and companies with actionable research based on social-data.

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  • This is a fine-tuning moment; we take ownership of all these steps, revive some of them. 

  • I love studying about Entrepreneurs.... I have been on this course for many years now... 

    • Blessings and GA Apostle Trina, I love studying, learning, teaching, and talking about Entrepreneurs, Wealthpreneur's, Apostlepreneurs, and all that is connect to the Kingfinity family of God's Prosperity

  • Amen i totally get this frfr. This is conformation i am a entrepreneur amen

  • Amen

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