Must-Read Business Tips

By Brooke Tajer on

Entrepreneur recently collected a few must-read tips for small business owners. The tips, which we have reposted below, may surprise you:

1.) Don't Feel Compelled to Set Goals

"Goals can be detrimental to long-term progress," says James Clear, an entrepreneur, weightlifter and photographer who writes about how to improve your work and health. Once you reach a goal, that goal is no longer there to motivate you. "When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?" Clear asks. Instead, focus on the process (marketing strategies, hiring patterns and other actions you take every day). That way you'll remain motivated no matter what the numbers look like.

2.) Incorporate Positive Habits Into Your Daily Routine.

"Your brain is three times more creative in a positive state," says Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage (Crown Business, 2010) and Before Happiness (Crown Business, 2013). Devote some time each day to a positive habit like meditating and writing down things you've accomplished or things for which you're grateful. Achor found that a test group of workers who engaged in one of these positive habits for a couple of minutes a day over 21 consecutive days reported a higher level of job satisfaction, greater job effectiveness and reduced stress.

3.) Consult Your Staff Before Making a New Hire.

You may think you know what's best for your staff when it comes to adding new people, but you run a good chance of making a mistake if you don't consult your employees first. If staff members are telling you they need an extra body to help them with the workload, then ask them to specify exactly how a new employee would help, says Mark Feffer, the managing editor of Dice News. "Bringing in a developer may get your existing developer's nose out of joint if he believes he's got everything under control," Feffer says. "While his feelings may or may not change your mind, consulting with all involved will help you identify any challenges you'll have to address to keep everyone happy and productive."

4.) Provide Yourself and Employees with Holiday Downtime.

Employees perform best when their energy level is high. For many people, the year is a marathon and the winter holiday season is a necessary time to slow down and relax. Managers should respond accordingly, easing up on demands and giving employees a break, says Bob Marsh, chief executive of LevelEleven, a Detroit-based software company that creates apps to motivate workers. "Creating a comfortable and understanding work environment is crucial for employee productivity," he says. "Organize an office-wide coffee break on Friday afternoons featuring staff-favorite seasonal blends, or provide an afternoon off to make a dent in holiday shopping," says Marsh. "When you respect them, you motivate them to give the best to you and the company."

5.) Resist the Peer Pressure to Rise Early.

If you're a natural early riser, more power to you. But if not, it's better to listen to your body and work when you're most alert and productive rather than to force an early start each day. While some entrepreneurs and executives make getting up before the sun a point of pride, others manage to build successful businesses with saner hours. Athelia LeSueur, the founder of New York-based clothing company Shabby Apple, calls herself "a ferocious worker" despite getting 10 hours of sleep a night. "An early day often starts at nine for me."

Want to see Entrepreneur's full post? Click here.