Activity is not the same as productivity. Being busy, working hard, and putting in long hours does not necessarily bring success. Yet many entrepreneurs strive to be successful by tackling everything all the time. What they need is clarity and focus. They need to spend their time, energy, and resources on the vital factors of their businesses–without distractions from the things that matter the least.
Four vital factors are critical for entrepreneurs to manage and lead themselves and their teams:
1.Vital functions: Entrepreneurs should identify the value they contribute to their businesses and the few vital functions that they must perform to make the businesses succeed, and then allow others to perform the rest.
2.Vital priorities: Entrepreneurs should clearly define a narrow set of the priorities on which they need to focus to accomplish their vital functions. Then, they need to perform only the tasks that are required to achieve those priorities.
3.Vital metrics: Entrepreneurs need to identify a few vital measurements to track performance–of themselves, their teams, and their businesses. If possible, they should narrow the metrics to one vital economic measurement that drives all the rest.
4.Vital improvements: Entrepreneurs must realize that learning is only the first step toward improving. They must also (a) identify the areas of improvement that are needed to achieve their three biggest goals, (b) invest in their personal development, and (c) find training resources and mentors from whom they can repeatedly gain deeper insights (instead of seeking shallow learning from single contacts with various sources).
By being unrelenting in monitoring, accounting for, and constantly improving these factors, entrepreneurs can stay in control during the entrepreneur roller coaster ride.