In his popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, the late American businessman and keynote speaker Stephen R. Covey wrote “Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” His book outlined many key habits worth adopting, but the world’s business has changed dramatically since its publication in 2004. Read on to discover the new habits that help successful business owners excel.

Employ People who Challenge You

It’s a great misconception that successful business owners get to the top because they surround themselves with people who want to do their bidding. Instead, the best businesspeople know they must surround themselves with smart people wholl challenge them in order to grow.

“You shouldn’t blindly accept a leader’s advice,” affirmed Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group. “You’ve got to question leaders on occasion.”

Like this British mogul, successful businesspeople know the value of opposing opinions. They’re humble enough to judge ideas on their own merits to ensure their business succeeds.

They also know the value of a corporate culture which encourages the voices of many. When people feel comfortable expressing themselves, they naturally share more information, identify alternatives, and alert others to errors. All of this helps create a business that is much stronger.

Work While Working Out

[Image via Flickr by Elvert Barnes]

Catching up on TV and listening to music might help you stay motivated when you work out, but your time could be put to much better use. Jeremy Shepherd, the founder of online pearl marketplace PearlParadise.com, says he analyzes his business practices during his work-outs.

“When I run, I choose a challenge or an opportunity in my business and dissect every aspect of it,” he told AllBusiness. “This is the only time of the day I feel micro-focused, and I usually come to a conclusion or a decision.”

This healthy habit helps you hone your business plan while sharpening your body and mind.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is an amazing tool. With it, you’re able to gauge both public and professional interest in your company. You can get direct feedback and respond directly to people immediately.

There’s so many different social media networks, though, that it’s hard to keep up. That’s where Sendible’s social media management software comes in. With Sendible, you’re able to do everything you could do with a regular social network, and them some. Everything’s organized, so you won’t have to go to a million different places looking for the information you’re searching for. You’ll be able to monitor what people are saying and then interact directly with those people.

With Sendible, you’ll also be able to track the effectiveness of your social media campaigns, so you’ll know what’s working and where you need to improve.

Get Up Before Dawn

The most successful businesspeople don’t waste hours lazing about in bed. They know the early hours of the morning are perfect for connecting with clients and colleagues abroad and focusing on work before the office starts buzzing.

“I’m up by 4:15 a.m. every day,” said Peter Shankman, the founder of the Help a Reporter Out website and consulting firm The Geek Factory. “It’s truly amazing what you can get done if you get up early.”

Operate Finances Frugally

As your profits grow, it can be tempting to increase your corporate spending. However, Craig Wolfe, the founder of collectible rubber duck line CelebriDucks, cautions that reckless financial decisions can spell disaster.

“I’ve watched all these companies over the years spend money like demons, expand, and then go bankrupt,” he explained. Instead, he adopts much more frugal spending habits. He never carries debt, so he never incurs interest, and he only buys what he has to.

The approach has worked well and earned him priceless publicity. For example, his decision to manage his own PR led to a mention in a major newspaper. This exposure saw him landing a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and coverage on national television programs. By keeping spending small, Wolfe’s helped his company become a multimillion-dollar enterprise in less than a decade.

Incorporate these effective business habits into your own life and wait for success to follow.

Guest Post:

Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.