The Discipline to Act

One of the most important aspects of self-employment is to take care of business in a timely manner.  Discovering the way to successfully manage your time is essential for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Some of us keep regular work hours, while others choose to be deadline-driven – working or not working as the needs demand.

Since starting on my own in 1989, I have learned to manage my work time, often while juggling the needs of my family and personal interests. Unfortunately, there is one issue I struggle with almost daily:  The tendency to avoid or delay tasks that I don’t want to, or like to, do.

One of the habits that impresses me most is when someone tackles a difficult or time-consuming issue right away. I have known a few people who immediately address issues and put them in the past. DONE. For example:

 ·       Your competitor has just come out with a new, superior product. Research it – don’t ignore it. How can you improve yours in a different or better way?

·       There is a rumor that rents are going up in your building. Potentially long lead times make it essential to start developing a Plan B. Ease stress by identifying alternatives and improve your bargaining position.


Indeed, many of us add the new item to our “To Do” list, put it on top of the growing pile of papers, and re-focus on the immediate task at hand. This process is often known as burying our heads in the sand.

Of course, we can’t act quickly unless we keep up with important tasks on a regular basis. And, we cannot do everything if we have more must-do tasks on our plate than time to do them. My problem is the latter: too much to do and too little time.

What can we do to make this better? Set priorities every day, perhaps every hour if that is what is needed. 

When the most successful entrepreneur I know hears a good idea, he spends months on research and, if it stills show promise, turns it into a new product or service. If he is not satisfied with the potential and the risk, he drops it and moves on. He doesn’t add it to the pile. He doesn’t think about it for years. He takes action. Over the years, he has built a substantial, highly-profitable operation. 

Anybody can have a good idea. But, it takes action to turn an idea into sales, jobs and products or services that improve the lives of others.

When we have the discipline to act, we can be more successful.

What actions do you need to take today?


Until we meet again,

The Entrepreneur’s Friend


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The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC.   Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton.   Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.