Source: Succeed as Your Own Boss, 8/23/16

It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur.

Not only do you have to know what you want to do in life, you have to be able to do it well enough to set yourself apart from competition. There’s competition in every industry, and it is exponentially more intense in the entrepreneurial circuit.

Are you thinking about starting your own business? Do you have a product and a demographic you think will buy it? Are you trying to get into freelancing? Whatever your entrepreneurial goals, these seven habits will help you be as effective as possible.

1. They wake up early.

The most effective entrepreneurs start their day early. They’re up getting showered, dressed and fed for the day ahead of them. On average, entrepreneurs wake up earlier than their nine to five counterparts. This is attributed to the fact that entrepreneurs simply have more to do.

Successful entrepreneurs never let a day get away from them. One day’s work can be the difference between landing a contract or meeting a new, high paying client. Effective entrepreneurs understand that some of the best business is done in the morning.

Don’t let your days get away from you. Do you know what needs to be done to further your business this week? Take some time to plan out tasks in the morning that will help you reach your weekly goals, and be sure to follow though. You’d be surprised how much you can get done by planning your day out first thing in the morning.

2. They self-promote.

Highly effective entrepreneurs are constantly trying to advertise themselves. They’ve always got their business and their bottom line in mind. No matter who they’re talking to, no matter what context, they’ve always got a way to bring up their business.

This can get annoying to people who aren’t entrepreneurs, as they may not understand how truly difficult it is to get business without spending millions of dollars on advertising. Let them be annoyed, at least they’ll have your business in mind.

3. They’re focused on pleasing customers.

One of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is that you have significantly more interaction with customers than you would if you were working for someone else. It’s hard to know what customers want out of your business if you’re not there to ask them.

Paying attention to customer feedback is extremely important if you want to be an effective entrepreneur. How can you possibly know if your product or service is doing what it’s supposed to do if you don’t listen to your customers?

In order to maintain a steady stream of work and keep an air of quality around your customer service, take this feedback seriously and make changes in the way you do business to reflect it. You can’t have a business without customers, and you can be an entrepreneur without a business.

4. They take their work seriously.

Have you ever dealt with a business owner that just didn’t care? They miss important deadlines, they ignore what their customers say about their business and they let their employees take the brunt of it all.

This type of business owner runs rampant in multiple industries, and it’s a shame. It’s no secret that the most effective entrepreneurs take their business seriously. They are much closer to the actual work being done, and they bring a unique perspective to the situation as a whole.

If you’re not taking your work seriously as an entrepreneur, then you run the risk of becoming someone else’s employee.

5. They allow themselves to be seen.

The most prominent entrepreneurs of our time are constantly in the press. They’re doing Q&A’s for their latest product offerings, interviews on national television and AMA’s on web forums like Reddit.

By keeping their faces in the minds of the public they are constantly reminding us of their presence. Granted, not every entrepreneur has the fame or money to get that kind of advertising, but that doesn’t stop them from using more accessible methods.

Do you have any social media accounts dedicated to your business? You should. Having a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr page for your company is a great way to advertise for free. You can have new customers “Friend” or “Like” your page and you can send out mass messages to clients about sales or new offers.

6. They invest time in themselves.

Entrepreneurs invest in themselves by default. By refusing to work for someone else, they take personal responsibility for their income and for the actions of their business. This is a level of responsibility that mere employees simply do not understand.

For an employee, work is a separate entity. After their shift ends, they can head home and forget about all aspects of the job. An entrepreneur has no choice but to take the work home with them. They constantly need to invest time in the business and especially themselves.

Investing time in yourself can be as simple as learning a new skill. Is there an area of your business that would improve if you knew how to do something differently? There are various online resources where you can learn for free. You can even get your new skills verified through several legitimate websites.

7. They make less decisions.

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate. They have to deal with all the usual problems of being human in this day and age on top of making sure their business stays afloat in an economy that’s currently less than its best.

It can be both mentally and physically taxing to make decisions, and often times we as humans are forced to make hundreds of small decisions a day. Anything from deciding what clothes we want to wear to what we want to eat for lunch.

Try to cut back on making decisions that are not integral to the improvement of your business. Eat the same breakfast every morning, wear the same outfit multiple times a week (just be sure to wash your clothes) or order the same drink at your favorite caffeine dealer every morning. As an entrepreneur, anything that gives you less decisions to make is best.