Successful businesses are run by highly effective entrepreneurs. There's no way around it: if you want to grow a thriving business, you have to be productive. Especially for early stage startups, small team businesses and self-funded businesses, your ability to focus and get the right work done makes the difference between success and failure.
Productivity for entrepreneurs comes down to 3 critical factors:
We live in an age of procrastination and distraction. Learn how to hold focus and you gain a massive edge.
We are what we repeatedly do. Learn how to build habits & follow through consistently to become unstoppable.
Use the select few apps & tools that can make you more productive. Avoid the ones that only distract you.
Below are the most important articles I've published, to help you find the right tools, develop optimal habits and build laser sharp focus.
Many so-called productivity apps are more of a hindrance than help. Let's take a look at what tools can actually help you & how to use them, to get the most out of them.
The goal isn't to get better at running in a hamster wheel. Effort and efficiency don't matter unless you apply them to the right strategy and you apply the right mindset.
Learn how to become the kind of entrepreneur who's consistently productive, works on the most important tasks every day & moves the business forward without burning out.
We've discussed productivity and procrastination on our podcast as well. Here are some of the most popular episodes on these topics, specifically tailored for entrepreneurs & digital nomads.
I publish new content on the topic of productivity for entrepreneurs regularly. Here are the latest articles that aren't listed in the groups above yet:
Due to overwhelming demand, I've created an online course that walks you through my complete productivity system. The course is called focus & action and it covers everything from goal setting, to habit forming strategies, progress tracking and scheduling.
It contains everything I've learnt about being a highly effective entrepreneurs - the skills that I've used to build up several 7-figure businesses in the last 10 years.
Hi, I'm Shane Melaugh, the founder and main author of this website. I create all this content around the topic of productivity because so much of my own entrepreneurial journey has revolved around this topic.
When I first announced I wanted to start my own business, friends and family advised against it quite emphatically. And they had a point: if you knew me back then, you'd agree that I was unlikely to succeed as an entrepreneur.
I was scatterbrained, suffered from crippling perfectionism, didn't have the focus, drive or work ethic to make it through university (I dropped out after just one year) and had zero experience or connections that could help me build a business. Plus, I was a loner - the opposite of the kind of people-person who'd be good at building and managing a team of employees.
Now, when I write "was" in the above sentences, I'm not being entirely honest. I still am a scatterbrain. I'm still easily distracted, I'm still a perfectionist etc. I think some character traits like these just stay with us for life. But there's a crucial difference: I've learned to manage all these traits, so they don't hinder me anymore. In some cases, I've even learned to harness the positive sides of the traits. Scatterbrain becomes creative. Perfectionism becomes attention to detail.
Today, people often tell me that I'm the most productive and most focused person they've ever met. As much as I like to brag, the reason I'm telling you this is not about me. What I'm telling you here is that becoming a successful entrepreneur has little to do with innate abilities. No matter what hand you were dealt and what your starting point, you can become a successful entrepreneur.
Along the way, there are many entrepreneurial skills to master, in many different areas. Productivity is perhaps the most important of them all.
This is especially true if you aim to create a lean, value based business. That is: you want to create a business that doesn't rely on outside funding (or going into debt) to get off the ground. A business that doesn't require a huge team or complicated infrastructure to start and one that generates real profit (quickly) and not just growth.
This is the kind of business that you can start single-handedly or with a small, tightly knit team of partners.
In the process of building a business, you'll encounter the problem of escape velocity. This is the amount of effort it takes to get a business from zero to something. This is often the hardest part - it's true that the first million is the hardest to make.
It usually takes an enormous amount of work and elbow grease to get a business up and running and to get it to profitability. And as a solopreneur or on a small team, the biggest factor in this process is productivity.
Your productive habits, your strategies and your ability to implement and follow through on those strategies make all the difference. Specifically, the difference between struggling away at a business for years with no results, only to finally abandon it and building up a business quickly and effectively and getting your first customer or client within months (or even weeks) of starting.
There's an extra twist to the matter of being highly productive as a business owner: you currently find yourself in the most anti-productive world we've ever known. And it's not by accident, either.
We've gotten to the point where attention is the most valuable resource and countless businesses (mainly online businesses) are in fierce competition for it. Websites and apps we use every day are being meticulously crafted to capture and keep our attention for as long as possible.
Entertainment, phone apps and even video games are taking design cues from casinos. Graphic design, notification sounds, timing and reward cues are all meant to get you hooked.
This means that by default, you computer, your phone and most of the environment you find yourself in is hyper-distracting. Most of us don't even notice this anymore, because it's become the norm. Many people don't even remember what it feels like to be focused on one thing for an extended period of time...
If you want to be a productive entrepreneur, that means you have to build habits and systems that guard you against this constant distraction. And it means that you need to deliberately create a productive environment for yourself. Otherwise, your work remains an uphill battle.
Overcoming all these obstacles & turning yourself into a highly effective entrepreneur is not easy. But it is possible. It took me 10 years to get to where I am today & I continue to grow and learn.
I have good news for you, though: I've seen friends, customers and mentees make the kind of progress that took me years, in just weeks or months. I've seen firsthand how people can leapfrog past problems, challenges and failures that held me back for a long time.
That's how I know that with the right strategies, tools and mindset, you can do the same.
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