Rituals – the habits that we do every day, week, month, quarter, and year – are the driving forces of getting to our goals. But what are the most successful rituals for small business owners? And why do you need rituals (particularly if you’re a creative entrepreneur)?
In this article, we discover
- what are rituals and why implement rituals in the first place?
- what are the most successful rituals of small business owners?
- how to implement rituals?
- what if you can’t keep up?
Let’s dive in!
What are rituals and why do you need them?
Rituals are powerful tools that small business owners can use to help them achieve their goals. They provide structure and consistency in day-to-day operations, allowing business owners to focus on the bigger picture.
By creating certain rituals, small business owners can ensure consistent results over time, and that their team is aligned with the company’s vision and mission.
Rituals can be used to create a sense of identity and purpose within a company. They provide a way for employees to connect with each other and stay motivated. In addition, rituals can be used as a way to celebrate successes or mark milestones in the company’s journey.
By incorporating rituals into their daily operations, small business owners can benefit from increased productivity, improved morale among employees, and more meaningful interactions with customers. With these benefits in mind, it is clear that rituals are an invaluable tool for small business owners looking to make their businesses successful.
what are the most successful rituals for small business owners?
In our consulting & coaching program, The Avenue, we implement several rituals in the lives of our clients. While they are individual to you, there are some rituals that you should consider implementing in your business as soon as possible. Here are 5 of them!
How you start your day usually forms the rest of your day. That’s why having your own ritual to get started in the morning is important.
I get it – you are busy! You might have kids as I do, and depending on their age, your morning might look different. When our kids were small, our morning rituals were more of a solid mix of rushing around the house and making sure they got ready to leave the home for kindergarten. Today, our mornings look way different.
But, whatever your life or business looks like right now, you should consider having a morning ritual to get centered, set the intentions, and get a great start.
- Do you need to drink or eat something as soon as you wake up?
- Do you need to brush your teeth as soon as you’re up?
- Do you need to take a moment of solitude?
My personal ritual is simple: I get up earlier than anyone else in my family, go to the kitchen, drink a glass of water to balance my body’s fluid needs, and then make a strong cup of espresso. Then I go to my office, sit in my favorite writing chair (where I’m sitting right now), and check my daily tasks.
I'm using Notion to create a life & business steering board, a scorecard, which helps me to plan all my activities, business and personal, and collect them in one simple view, where I can see exactly what I need to do each day. If you want to use my templates, you can find them in the shop.
I need this moment of solitude (and coffee) to get a great head start!
Once you are done with your morning ritual, the kids are in school, and you have arrived at your workplace, you should have a daily ritual you do. This could be the same thing every day, or different things on different days.
Focus on one thing at a time
Multitasking is for amateurs, successful business leaders focus on one task at a time. This goes for your daily structure and also for your life planning.
If you have an 8-hour workday, split it into 1-4 sections and focus on one specific activity at a time. You can block your days to contain specific activities, such as “Fridays are for marketing creation” or “Monday afternoons are for sales calls”.
I also add small breaks in each session, and during those, I might pop into social media platforms, however, I don’t open my emails or customer projects until I have scheduled a specific time to do that.
“But I am creative, I don’t want to have strict routines!”
That’s okay, you can be extremely creative when you have reserved time to be creative, and you have created assets that allow your business to run by itself, giving you the luxury of focusing on your creative work.
The problems begin to pile up if you have no systems to run and grow your business with, and you do everything ad hoc, without a plan.
If you are serious about hitting your business goals, you need to create a structure around your work. The more structured you are with the activities we introduce you to in this book, the more time you will have to be in your creative flow. In fact, you should make sure you schedule creativity into your calendar too.
Align your rituals with your goals
Your activities should be aligned with your goals. For example, if you are growing a business, then you should have specific growth activities scheduled for your day. One of those could be marketing: create a ritual of taking 20 minutes every day to post your marketing materials to your most effective channels.
Again, your scorecard should give you a great structure and the possibility to check things off when you are done!
Closing the day
Just like the morning ritual, I also find it very helpful to have a closing-the-day ritual. This is only a few minutes, but it marks a definite break and is particularly important when you work from home. My ritual consists of the following:
- I check the following day to be clear on the activities
- I check off all the tasks from my daily view
- If I didn’t complete a task, I move it to another day or just leave it be. Sometimes things just get undone, which I think is fine, too.
- I’m also practicing switching off my computer, but that’s still something I regularly forget to do 🙂
You should create a ritual that you keep up with every week, no matter what happens. This ritual doesn’t have to take many minutes, but it’s very important you do this regularly. This ritual is about checking your wellbeing as the CEO of your company.
Why do we need to do this weekly?
Because if you keep pushing for weeks, months, or years even without checking in with yourself, you will burn yourself. Then again, there are times when extra push is required, and as long as you know it’s temporary, it’s doable.
Decide what day is set for your weekly rituals
I prefer to do this on Friday afternoon so I can close the week with clarity and knowledge that my following week is well planned. If I take Fridays off, then this will be moved to Thursday.
The key is that it closes my week and I don’t do anything work-related until the following workday.
I like to check and plan the following:
- Most important tasks in each project
- Next week’s meetings
- Next week’s project task and time allocation
After this ritual, I can close my computer (and brain), because I know what to next the next week, so I don’t have to think about it over the weekend!
Every month, follow your project progress and add Key Growth Metrics to your scorecard. If your business is growing super fast, you want to track your metrics daily, or at least weekly. But to avoid over-managing, particularly if you are a solo entrepreneur, it’s enough to fill out your data on a monthly basis.
Each month, check your numbers such as sales, cash flow, leads, conversion rates, and customer happiness. Check your quarterly goals, and update the tasks and the projects you are working on. Also check your personal happiness, and your team performance, and touch base with your key relationships.
I recommend you create your own version of the business flight check, where you or a team member go through the key functions and assets. This might include your tools and technology, making sure you have backups of your materials, customer and prospect database, and control over your accounts, taxes, and other highly critical function and systems.
The powerful rituals for Design business owners
There you have them, a few of the most powerful rituals to achieve a great structure for your life and business. What do you do every day, week, and month to keep progressing toward your goals?