I have always talked about things entrepreneurs should do to achieve success in business. However, it is equally important to note that there are actually things they must STOP doing.

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Most business owners may not even be aware that they are doing some of these things. Contrary to what some people may believe, being productive is a lot more about managing your energy and a lot less about time management. It is basically about spending the least amount of energy to get the most benefits. It’s about working smart, not hard.

You cannot focus on something you are not clear about. Shifting your perspective on these choices will help your business to operate at a much higher level.

These are the things that smart entrepreneurs never do:

Flying by the seat of your pants

Never start your day without a plan. Take time to plan your activities for the next day before you sleep. Having a plan allows you to get started with the most important task and get far more accomplished than others. Would you let a home builder build your home without a plan? How about trusting a pilot to fly you from one city to another city without a flight plan? Planning plays a crucial role in managing your time efficiently.

As a business owner, you have a lot to attend to such as meeting deadlines, completing paperwork, getting the job done, making decisions, responding to emails and a lot more. If you fail to plan your day, your time will be taken up by other unimportant activities. And that is how distraction gets into your day and life. Consider the following tips:

  • Prioritize tasks in order of importance (especially activities that are most beneficial to the business), it’s not always about ‘quick win’s’.
  • Utilize a schedule (Ignore emails, phone calls until the time you’ve set aside to handle them).
  • Set aside time to deal with interruptions, meetings, conferences except in urgent cases.
  • Keep a to-do list, but do not be consumed by it. Some items on your list may not get done, make adjustments when necessary, reprioritize as soon as possible and everything does not have to be about generating revenue.


Talking about yourself

It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to keep going on and on about their business, products, and services to the extent that it becomes all they ever talk about. However, if your business is all you talk about then it is easy to seem self-centered to others around you. Learn to be conversational, show genuine interest in others around you. Get to know them on a deeper level and create meaningful relationships. Become curious about others. Look for opportunities to help others.

The key to long-term success is connecting with and building an efficient and supportive team. Your family members, spouse, siblings, children, employees, clients and business partners deserve your attention. You will meet many people in your journey, as much as possible be polite, help others, and let your raving fans and others talk about you. My mum would often say, ‘let others judge your good qualities without your help.’

Eating French Fries

Financial freedom is a great feeling but does you no good if you are not above ground to enjoy it. Healthy eating and exercise have been included on this list because it makes the other items on this list doable. And it has a direct impact to your quality of life.

As your business heads to the growing phase, it’s common that your health will likely suffer. You will likely give up on healthy activities and put on weight. Avoid consuming food high in carbs and sugar such as French Fries, and consume alcohol in moderation if you must. Avoiding those type of foods will make it easier to get back in shape when you’re out of that stressful phase in your business growth or working in your business.

You will need both your mental and physical strength to maintain focus and clarity. Set aside at least 20 minutes daily to get your heart pumping and pay attention to your diet or you may be leaving feet-first out of your business, and miss out on the wealth you’ve worked so hard to build.


Multitasking has its place in the business realm, however, there are times you may need to avoid it completely. It is important to know when to focus on a single task. Multitasking two separate projects can result in an unsatisfactory result.

In fact, a recent study conducted at Stanford University reveals some fascinating details about multitasking. It revealed that multitasking decreases your efficiency and productivity. Yes, you read that right. There’s more research to convince you. Another research conducted at the University of London, reveals that multitasking can damage your brain and decrease your IQ.

The brain is hard-wired to focus on just one task, multitasking forces the brain to switch focus from one task to another, which can actually reduce productivity resulting in loss of precious time.

The business environment is highly competitive and as such, it may not be easy to avoid multitasking, however, there is task management software available that you can use to manage things more efficiently.

Waiting for the right moment

There’s no perfect time to start something, just get things done. There’s nothing like perfection, things can always be tweaked, improvised and revolutionized over time. Waiting for the right moment before you do something that needs to be done will only waste time that you can never get back. Your time is extremely precious, you can never get back lost time. Unlike money, time is not a renewable resource, so make the most of it.

Getting started with whatever you have or know right now will get you more results compared to not starting at all. Some business owners make the mistake of trying to learn everything first before taking a particular step, all under the umbrella of copious ‘research’. Most of them later realize that the time could have been spent gaining valuable experience. Define the one thing you can do today that will help grow your business and not just keep you busy. Make it more about taking the very first step, and the other steps will follow.

Pleasing others first

It’s intrinsically normal to desire to be liked and connected to others. So, you can easily fall into wanting to please others. The best advice a flight attendant could give you is, ‘don your own mask before assisting others.’ Some people are just naturally compelled to always help people, and for some serving others fills them with joy. It’s not about helping others that is the problem, it’s more about the need to please others. If you are like this you’re not flawed or weird. However, if you feel obliged to always please others — even at the expense of other higher priorities — then it’s crucial to condition yourself to be more aware of your needs and less sensitive to other people’s needs.

Remember that it’s impossible to be liked by everyone or even please everyone. Pleasing others first at your expense is draining. Neglecting your own needs leaves you feeling exhausted, disconnected, and even resentful towards the people you are pleasing. Focusing your time and energy on trivial issues is a waste of time. Focus on the people and activities that really matter, and you’ll be better off in the long run. Why settle for being busy when being productive is a step away?

Avoiding the numbers

It is quite shocking that a sizeable number of business owners do not regularly check their income and expense reports. It is understandable; you can get carried away with other aspects of the business such as production, content creation, and marketing that this aspect of the business can fall to the side. However, you need to know where you stand and what improvements must be made to scale your business. Spend a few minutes daily to analyze deals, pricing strategies, and profit margins.

A good business owner must know where the business stands. And hire an expert when possible, starting with a bookkeeper. Make it a habit to review your monthly financials and adjust when necessary. Be deliberate about cutting expenses that will have an impact on your bottom line next quarter. Create a strategy plan from the numbers on how specifically you are going to acquire more business, increasing revenue, and being deliberate with actions that will yield better results. You cannot manage what you don’t measure.

The Bottom Line

Simple is hard enough. With so many business owners walking around being busy rather than productive, it’s no wonder they have grown resentful of the business they use to enjoy. Instead of focusing on all that you have to do and being responsible for, start with the seven suggestions above that will help any business owner perform at their best, provide focus, limit stress and generate more income.

Share with me one or two other tips and tricks that business owners should STOP doing every day in their business.



About the author: Kyle Kalloo is the Chief Executive Officer, Business Coach with Change My Life Coaching and Strategic Leader. Through his management training and experience with McDonalds, Famous Players (Paramount) and WestJet, and all of the ongoing learning and development he’s completed, Kyle has refined and perfected skills and processes and is eager to share how to execute them efficiently to help individuals and companies achieve even more of their dreams. 83% of Kyle’s business comes from referrals. https://www.changemylifecoaching.ca and https://strategicleader.ca