Subtle habits do make a difference as an entrepreneur. Master routines, task management and more with this fierce list of “Girl Boss” habits (that also apply to the fellas too).
18 “Girl Boss” habits for every successful entrepreneur
I’m big on Success Habits! Let’s talk about crucial habits that every boss needs to support a successful biz. In the video, I’ll share 18 “Girl Boss” habits to achieve success in your biz including:
- Habit #1: What to stop calling yourself
- Habit #2: The most important thing to protect
- Habit #6: What to focus on creating versus consuming
- Habit #11: What to stop doing
- Habit #15: Not letting your phone rule your life
Click below to read through the transcript or use to follow along with the video.
I’m super big on success habits, things you can put on autopilot to be successful as an entrepreneur, whatever your definition of success is. So just for fun, how about 18 Girl Boss Habits that apply to the fellas too, that you can start implementing or should start implementing right away and be sure to play along by adding your own girl boss habits to the comments as well.
I’m Tara Wagner, Breakthrough coach and lifelong entrepreneur. I help other entrepreneurs use a holistic approach to business so they can create profits they can depend on without burning themselves out. If that sounds like your jam, be sure to check out my free training on how you can do the same.
Stop calling yourself a girl boss. Now here’s the thing. I’m not dogmatic about language. You can call yourself whatever is fun for you. But what I want you to remember is that your connotation of a label is not necessarily somebody else’s. And I think as entrepreneurs and especially female entrepreneurs, it’s important that at some point we drop the labels, and we allow our work and our business to do the talking for us instead of somebody seeing a label coming in with their own connotation and making assumptions based on that, essentially be judged by your actions, not your labels.
Make your own rules. If you don’t like something, don’t settle for it. You got into business to work for yourself. Don’t become the boss you hate to work for. So many times, as entrepreneurs we do things because other people are doing them or because we heard you have to do them or because of our own assumptions that we should do them.
I want you to understand, in business, you can make whatever rule that you are willing to back up with the right actions. So, anything that you want to create, anything that you want to do, as long as you’re willing to say, what will it take to do it? And am I willing to do those things? You can create that rule. I talk about this all the time in the Inner Circle. The number one rule of business is you make the rules, stop settling for something that you don’t actually want, or that doesn’t feel like success for you, because otherwise you’re going to end up with a business that you hate.
Protect your sleep at all costs. Your mind goes a million miles a minute when you’re in business and it can be so difficult to shut it off and get good quality sleep. But the third, most important thing to your health after air and water is sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, it doesn’t matter if you’re eating well, it doesn’t matter if you’re exercising. None of those other things are going to make a difference if your body’s not getting restorative sleep. So do whatever you have to do to make sure that you can prioritize really good quality sleep and that you protect it, fiercely.
The one thing that I will never compromise on doesn’t matter if there’s an event happening, it doesn’t matter if I’m going to a conference. It doesn’t matter if people are in town. I protect my sleep because I understand that sleep is the foundation of everything else, I’m going to do. I can’t function in my business if I’m not sleeping well at night, there’s a lot of different ways that you can do this. If you’re new to this concept, just Google sleep hygiene tips, or watch some videos on it. Also check out this video on how to become an early bird. If you’re a night owl, those are the strategies that I use to be able to not just get up really early in the morning, but also sleep really well at night so that I could get up early in the morning.
Watch your posture. And this is for a couple different reasons. Number one, so much of our mindset is actually dictated by our physiology, how we’re moving our body. So if you catch yourself going like this a lot, that’s a very self-protective mode, right? We’re closing in around our heart. We’re closing in around our core. You want to make sure that you are practicing being open. That Amy Cutty power stance is a great example of this. It really puts us into that different mindset, that different state or way of being.
But the other thing is, as an entrepreneur, we tend to do a lot of physical work, either on our computers, repetitively doing the same things, or maybe we’re doing something else in our business, but it’s still repetitive work. We’re doing the same things over and over. If you’re not watching your body mechanics, you’re going to feel that over time. You’re not going to feel it in your twenties. You might not feel it in your thirties, but by your late thirties, trust me, it starts to catch up to you and you start to get really fanatical about great posture. Putting your body into a great position.
Learners are earners. You got to keep learning. You got to keep educating yourself. You got to keep up to date with things without inundating yourself with information overload, which is really tricky. I love to read. I love to be able to stay up to date with stuff, but it’s hard to be able to do that. If that’s something you want to do, be sure to check out this video on how I read a book a day. That’s going to give you some really great tips to help you to stay informed without being completely inundated. Let me know in the comments, if you agree that learners are earners, as long as they’re also implementers, right? But then also comment and let me know what is your favorite business or personal development book that you’ve read lately?
Creation over consumption. You need to focus on creating more than you consume. Yes, learners are earners. You do need to fill the well, you do need to learn new things, but you need to be careful that you’re not just constantly consuming your competitors’ work. You need to make sure you’re consuming things that you need that are going to develop you, that are going to encourage you, inspire you, that are going to teach you or train you really make sure that you’re consuming just the right stuff so that you can spend most of your time in creation mode. So many business owners do the opposite. They consume all of their competitor’s stuff and they don’t have time for creation.
I really want you to break that habit and go into creation mode. The more you create, even sloppily, not good content, the more it’s going to lead to really great stuff down the road. It’s better to create lots and fine tune it as you go then to consume a lot on how to create a lot, try to get it perfect, but end up actually creating nothing.
You’ve got to master your money management. So many times as entrepreneurs we’re so focused on running our business marketing and sales and clients that we forget to sit back and really master money as its own topic. Not just business budgeting, not just payroll, not just those types of things, but really understanding on a deeper level savings and emergency funds and investing and mortgage rates and interest rates. And when to go into debt and when to not go into debt, there is so much that you can learn about finances and the more confident you feel in finances, the more confident you’re gonna feel making money.
A lot of people have a fear of success because they don’t know what that looks like. They don’t know what to do with it. What it will mean. They have negative connotations in their mind that more money equals more problems because hello, we hear that all the time. But if you start to understand and master money as a skill, more money doesn’t equal more problems. It changes your mindset around it. It gets you more able to earn money and it gets you more confident as you do. You can really turn this into a habit by scheduling time, once a week, once a month, to sit down and learn and implement a new skill when it comes to money, the more consistently you do these types of things, the more consistently you sit down and budget your finances, the more this becomes a habit that you don’t have to think so much about.
Which leads into number eight, you have to schedule your CEO days. Do not assume that you’re going to be able to get it all done if you don’t have time set aside to just think about it, process it, make plans, reorganize things, learn new skills. I have a video on CEO days. I have a video on all the money management stuff too. I’ll be linking a lot of things down below this to help you with all of these habits, but really make sure that you have time set aside to act as CEO, not as the operator in your business, the person doing all the things you really have to have time to step back, take a bigger picture in and be able to really process through things and make good decisions.
Stick to your Zone of Genius. Comment below and let me know what your Zone of Genius is in your business. This, I think, is so tricky because there’s going to be stages in your business where you have to do a little bit of everything, especially as you’re still building your team. And that means you’re doing stuff that you’re okay at, or maybe you’re good at, but you’re not like freaking amazing at, right? Your Zone of Genius is the thing that you are so good at you were born to do it. It’s the thing that energizes you when you do it gets you excited and it’s usually easy for you to do.
As CEOs, as entrepreneurs we want to do as much as we can to build habits that will keep us in our Zone of Genius, as much as possible. There will always be times where you’re doing other things, sure, but the more you can stay within your Zone of Genius, the more you’re going to enjoy your business. You’re going to not burn out from it because it’s going to re-energize you on a regular basis versus just taking energy from you. Again, this takes time. There will be seasons in your business where you are completely not in your Zone of Genius. There’re going to be potentially a year or more where you’re doing lots of things, but the more you grow, the target should be the aim should be getting you towards the things that you can really shine in and building up a team in your business, that they understand their Zone of Genius and they work within it.
Which leads to habit number 10, you have to outsource more. I know you’re trying to do it all yourself to save a buck that is not realistic. When you really think about how much your time is worth and then you think about how much you would pay somebody to do the same thing. It’s usually like your time, the worthiness of your time or how much your time is worth is way up here and what you would pay somebody is down here and you need to really get clear on that so that you understand that everything is worth your time doing. You really must get into the habit of leveraging other people’s time and talent. Stop assuming you know it all, can do it all. You’re the fastest at it. You’re the best at it because it’s not true. Somebody else can come in and do it better than you, which is going to keep you in your Zone of Genius, but also keep you from burning out on things that you just don’t enjoy as much.
I know this is so tricky for entrepreneurs to do, especially if you’re in solopreneur mode, but as soon as possible, I want you to start figuring out ways to get things off your plate by having other people do them.
Stop apologizing. I know that this is legitimately a habit. Sometimes it’s a mindset thing. Sometimes we feel bad about asking for things or we feel bad about just showing up. And so, we apologize. I found myself sometimes apologizing for being in an aisle, in a store. Somebody’s walking by me, they have plenty of room to walk by and I’m like, oh, sorry for existing. Like what is our deal with this? We need to practice no longer apologizing. And one of the great ways that you can do this is to start saying thank you instead of I’m sorry.
So, some examples of ways that you could do this could be thank you for your patience instead of I’m sorry that you had to wait on me or thank you for understanding instead of I’m sorry that this turned out the way that it did, the more you practice saying thank you the more positive your energy is going to be. And the more other people feel comfortable too because it’s just as uncomfortable for somebody else to hear I’m sorry all the time when you didn’t make a mistake. Now, if you made a mistake and you need to apologize, apologize, that’s not what I’m saying here. Just don’t over apologize when there’s nothing to apologize for.
Own your own schedule. It’s really tempting to be at the beck and call of every single notification, every single person in our business, outside of our business, our clients, our customers, you can very easily feel spread too thin and just bouncing all over the place because we don’t have a schedule set up. We don’t know what we’re doing when we’re doing it. But if you sit down and you ask yourself, what are the best times of day or the best days of the week or the best days of the month, even to be focusing on this type of work and you time block that and you protect that and you say, you know, I only do meetings these days. I only do client calls on these days. I only do this type of work on these days. I only do inventory on these days, and you protect that. You can really get into a schedule that works for you, where you are doing your best work. You’re feeling your best because you’re able to create what’s going to be your best.
So, an example for me, I work well on content in the morning time when I’m freshest. So, I know from seven to 12, I don’t look at anything else. If I’m in content creation mode. Once a month, I set everything aside. I don’t see clients. I don’t do anything else. Except look at big picture planning, maybe do some content creation, do things that take a different part of my brain. And then I do more of what I call my reactive or interactive work throughout the rest of the month. I have days where I do the same thing. I see clients on certain days so that I’m in interactive mode. On those days. This allows me to also protect my energy. If I know that I’ve got a client day coming up, I can really protect my energy the day before so that I have what I need to give them.
Instead of letting my schedule be dictated by everybody else’s whims, everybody else’s schedule, which is going to pull me in a million different directions. This is tricky to do. At first, when I got started, I thought I had to be on call pretty much 24 hours a day. Like I was answering phones from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Once I got into the habit of doing this, I didn’t think I could do it. But I slowly started to create my own schedule and set my own hours. It created so much freedom and you know what? Nobody even noticed. Nobody minded. Everybody knows that businesses have business hours. Just because you’re used to being on call all the time doesn’t mean you have to be. So really set a schedule that’s going to work for you, own that schedule, protect that schedule so that you can keep it working for you.
Develop your personal weaknesses. I don’t like to spend a lot of time developing something that I’m not going to be doing, but if I know I need to be doing it on a regular basis, or it’s more of a character trait, something like patience or self-discipline, those are things that we need to develop. A lot of times we will talk about like the Clifton Strength Finders, right? And we end up focusing on our strengths and we talk about how great it is to focus on our strengths. And it is. But the guidance that I heard that I really love is to focus on your top out five strengths and your bottom five, because the bottom five are going to be the things that cause the most problems. The top five are going to be the things that cause the most joy. But if you don’t pay attention to that bottom five, you don’t shore them up. You don’t stabilize them. You don’t get yourself into a healthy place with whatever your personal weaknesses are. You’re going to see it impact your business, your progress, your life, your family, your relationships. We can’t just focus on what we love to do and what we’re good at. We do get to focus as entrepreneurs on the things that will trip us up. Comment below and let me know something that, you know, will trip you up, is a personal weakness of yours and something that you need to focus on to be able to shore up.
And then what can you do to turn this into a habit? Schedule time once a week or once a month to read a book on this topic, to practice a skill, to be able to do something, to put it into place. It’s not enough to just talk about these things. You actually have to turn them into habits. If you want to see progress on them.
Number 14 is a habit that I am learning very intimately in the past month. And that is taking time to putter around and do nothing. Like literally nothing. Nothing on your mind. You’re not planning anything. You just let your mind wander. And it just does whatever it wants to do. I first came across this concept in the book Hyperfocus, where they talk about just literally letting your, like, if you want to be able to focus more, you have to have unfocused time, time where your brain can just meander around. So, this could be going for a walk and just letting your brain do what it wants to do. It could be doing something like knitting or doing art, whatever it is to give you downtime. As entrepreneurs we’re so focused all the time. We’re always thinking about something. We’re always working on something. We need to balance that out with enough time to let our brain rest and sleep is one way that we do that for sure, but just unfocused time, not even reading a book or watching TV, because that’s still using your focus muscles, right? Playing on the phone is still using your focus muscles. You want to do something where your brain mentally can shut off. So, this is usually something physical, but mentally completely unchecked.
Turn off your phone. Like I literally either turn it off, shut it on silent. Put it on do not disturb, put some app limits on it. Do whatever you can to minimize the distractions of your phone. Oh my gosh. Like we’re constantly pulled into notifications and emails and requests and text messages and all of those things. And they’re important. They’re important parts of our business. However, if we don’t set boundaries on it, it’s just going to walk all over us. You can’t expect people to know when to reach out to you or what notifications you’re going to have on your phone or what might be disturbing to you, but you really need to set that up for yourself so that you can think clearly so that you can have a little bit more space. You can have more quiet because when you’re in business, you’ve got input all the time. Information overload all the time. The more you can create quiet spaces or minimize those things, the more you’re going to be able to process through what’s actually important. Focus on what’s actually important. Make progress on what’s actually important and not just feel like you’re scattered in 10,000 directions.
This is very much a mindset habit, you get to embrace messes. I often will refer to it as the messy middle. You might refer to it as mistakes or imperfections, whatever it is. As a business owner, you’re going to mess up. There’s going to be messes. There’s going to be things that are disorganized. There’s going to be things that are chaotic. There’s going to be things that could be better. There will always be things that could be better, embrace it so that you can practice focusing on what matters first and come back to those things when you have the time or the bandwidth or the team to be able to do so. Embrace the fact that messy is okay, embrace the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be powerful. The more you embrace this, the more relaxed you’re going to feel in your business, because you’re going to know what does matter, what you should be focusing on. And if you put all of your focus on those things, you’re not even going to notice the messes anymore. Also keep in mind that there are seasons for messes, right? Like the messy middle.
You’re going to go through seasons of growth, where things get more chaotic before they get more organized. They get worse before they get better. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep growing, right? That doesn’t mean, oh gosh, it’s starting to get worse. I need to stop and go backwards. That’s so common to do. I catch entrepreneurs all the time saying, well, if I grow, it gets chaotic and then I have to deal with a team and there’s all this stress and I don’t want to do that so I’m just going to keep my business at like, you know, the six figure mark, instead of trying to go for the seven figure mark, that’s a mistake to make yes, things will stay simple there, but they get simple again on the other side of that messy middle. So don’t let yourself stop just because it’s starting to get a little bit messy, do make sure that it’s a season and not a habit of staying in messes or creating messes or handling messes that you’re constantly looking at. How can I get these messes, you know, cleaned up and organized, but just remember, it’s going to be a process. You’re not going to get there overnight.
Dress like you mean it. I am really bad about this one. I like to be comfortable. I like to be practical. I don’t like to dress up. I’m very low maintenance when it comes to fashion and makeup. However, you and I both know that when you put on your favorite pair of shoes and I’m not talking like your favorite pair of like dirty sneakers, I’m talking about those shoes that make you feel like a badass and you do your makeup or your hair, or you get your best outfit on you feel freaking fantastic. That’s what I want you to be thinking about in terms of dressing like you mean it.
Dress like a CEO. Dress like you mean to be successful, dress like you mean to feel good. You mean to feel confident. You don’t have to do this every day. I still spend plenty of days in sweatpants or leggings or messy hair or no makeup. That’s totally fine too. When I mean to relax, I dress like, I mean it, but when you’re in your business and you want to feel really good, especially if there’s a really important day to focus on, I really want you to ask yourself, how can I dress? How can I show up in this day to really feel amazing dress like you mean it. And comment below, let me know if you have that favorite pair of shoes that totally makes you feel like a badass, what they are or what would you wear to help you have an amazing day to feel great all day long.
And then habit number 18 is probably one of the most important ones and that is you need to ask for help more often. We so often think that we need to do everything ourselves, that we need to be good at everything, that we should have it all together, that we should have all of the answers that we should even know, everything that we ourselves do in our own business, that there shouldn’t be anything left to learn. That is a fatal mistake of every entrepreneur. If you are not asking for help, getting coaching, getting mentoring, continuing education learning, or just saying, I don’t even know what I don’t know, but this is a problem for me. How can I solve this? And going and seeking answers, you’re going to end up staying in the problem because you have enough to do, enough to figure out in your business.
What I want you to remember is that somebody else already knows the solution. Somebody else has already figured out what works. Your job is to go to the people who’ve already done the legwork and just let them tell you, like take the shortcut, right? But don’t hold back out of some sense of imposter syndrome that says I’m a fraud if I have to ask this question, I’m a fraud if I have to ask for help or I can’t do it all myself, nobody can do it all themselves. Everybody gets to ask for help. Nobody knows all of the answers, and neither should you. And that’s okay. And the more you own this and really turn it into a habit of like, Hey, I’m cool with this. I know what I know. I’m good at what I’m good at. And these are the things that I need help with. That’s going to give you more confidence, not less, right? The more we call out the elephant in the room or the little shame that we hold around our backpack or haul around in our backpack, the more comfortable we’re going to feel about it, right? If we are the one to call out the elephant in the room, we own that elephant and nobody else can make us feel bad about it.
So, I really want you to own that for yourself. Where do you need to ask for help and go and ask for it? There’s no shame involved. Every successful person out there did not get there on their own. They stood on the shoulders of giants. They learned from the people that came before them. You need to do the same if you want to get further in your business and your life and your goals and your finances ask for the help that you need to be able to master the things that are going to get you there. And if one of the things you need help with is making over your business so that it does not burn you out. Be sure to check out my Healthy Hustle Roadmap.
ARE YOU READY TO implement these boss habits?
If you want more support and guidance on routines and processes to streamline and better support your business so that it takes less time and doesn’t burn you out, be sure to check out my Healthy Hustle Roadmap.
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WHAT ABOUT YOU, BOSS?
What girl boss habit do you struggle with right now?
Let me know in the comments below.