William McRaven is a retired four-star Admiral who served in the United States Navy for 37 years. He is known for his inspiring speeches and books on leadership. One of his best-selling books is “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe Even the World.” In this engaging, easy-to-read book, McRaven begins with the compelling suggestion that the simple act of making your bed every morning can set the tone for the day and enhance your productivity in a meaningful way. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should consider incorporating the strategies from McRaven’s book into their daily routines and how they manage their businesses. Here are a few simple, yet meaningful tips for small business owners to “make their bed” and be more successful.
1. Develop a consistent routine. McRaven suggests starting with simple tasks, like making your bed, that you can complete every day. This creates a sense of structure and will help you stay motivated and focused. As a small business owner, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the volume and magnitude of the responsibilities, risks, and tasks you need to manage on a daily basis. Consequently, it is important to establish a consistent routine to keep you organized and productive. Start with a checklist of daily tasks, and focus on completing each task, every day. By consistently addressing the small things, you will become more productive and better positioned to focus on the bigger picture of growing your business.
2. Stay committed to your goals. McRaven talks about how committing to the small things can lead to big accomplishments. Stay committed to your goals as a small business owner, and even if progress seems slow, recognize and celebrate the fact that you are steadily moving forward. Strive to build and maintain a strong work ethic featuring consistency and perseverance in the same way you make your bed every morning.
3. Embrace Failure. McRaven emphasizes the importance of embracing failure and using it as an opportunity to grow. All small business owners face challenges and setbacks, what is important is to learn from adversity and keep moving forward. As McRaven says, “you can’t paddle the boat if you’re afraid to rock it.” So, don’t be afraid to try new things, take calculated risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.
4. Keep a positive attitude. McRaven emphasizes the importance of having a positive attitude in being a successful leader. Small business owners should apply this mindset by staying optimistic and looking for the upside in every situation. An optimistic mindset will help you respond effectively to adversity and inspire others to follow your lead.