The Wise Entrepreneur

The Power of Habit in Entrepreneurship

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Welcome back to the Wise Entrepreneur Blog. It has indeed been a long while, but we are again resuming our posts, sharing information that might be useful to entrepreneurs and other interested stakeholders. Once again, welcome back.

Let us begin now by revisiting one important aspect of entrepreneurship – that is habit. I know some people simply can’t see the connection between habit and entrepreneurship – or the art of making money. I hope you are not among those, are you? Habits are extremely powerful and I don’t need to overemphasize this. Quoting Aristotle (I hope you are not asking me which one – because I know one historical one), ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.’ Again, in the words of Warren Buffet (the man from Omaha), ‘Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.’ But why the heck about this habit thing?

  • Your habits shape your entrepreneurial future and destiny. Don’t you think so? Just imagine that as an entrepreneur you always have some bad habits such as laziness, procrastination, waste of time, waste of money etc, do you think you can make much progress? May be on another planet and not mother earth! If the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc did not have good habits I guess we wouldn’t even know such name combinations exist. I want to request you to be honest with yourself. How many Bill Gates have you heard about? May be the copycats.
  • You can unlearn bad habits and learn good ones. Now, this is where your biggest opportunity to improve is – and if you can’t take advantage of it – that’s your business. Why not simply identify and begin to dismantle the negative habits that plague you as an entrepreneur? Could you be the type that monitors every coin that hits the bank account – and then proceeds to spend it right away on frivolities? Now, you need to get me right here. It’s not a taboo to monitor revenue but when you overdo it then you are not making money – you are monitoring it – and other entrepreneurs that are making money will overtake you. Could you be having the habit of yelling at your customers if they delay in paying you? Will they keep coming back – to be yelled at?
  • Habits, just like attitudes, are contagious to some extent. Your habits as an entrepreneur gradually flow down to your managers and staffs. Eventually habits become culture. If as a CEO you desire every staff to greet you in your office every morning, to confirm their presence, then you are simply creating a ‘greeting culture’ in your enterprise. Some people may greet you until you become annoyed – and possibly issue new operating guidelines. If your managers see you delaying decision on matters even if you have all it takes to proceed, you don’t need to blame them if they start practicing your ‘procrastination culture’ in the enterprise. I guess you will only do what you like, won’t you?
  • Habits operate on the inside-out approach or principle. They are not on the surface and that is why changing them require some effort. The bad ones that are deeply rooted in your enterprise are the sources of your downfall. The good ones keep you smiling from the inside. Good work habits for example, will flow from you to your team and to other people in the enterprise, once people are convinced from the inside. High productivity habit will flow likewise, and before you can say Jack Robinson, you will find everybody in the enterprise singing the high productivity song. Haven’t you seen this in practice? It starts from the inside.

In summary, you and your enterprise are the products of what you repeatedly do. According to J. Paul Getty, ‘The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of the force of habit, and must understand that practices are what create habits. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him, and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.’ You need to develop the habit of changing your habits for the better. Your entrepreneurial future arrives everyday through the habits and attitudes you have, including the decisions you make. You only reap what you sow, don’t you?

Till then,

The Wise Entrepreneur


Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka, a Ugandan chartered accountant and motivational speaker with 24 years of diverse experience, specializes in business administration, international consultancy, and lecturing. He advocates for personal empowerment through balanced living, qualitative leadership, and paradigm shifts, aiming to unlock individual potential globally.

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