2 Key Habits EVERY Business Owner MUST Be Practicing

Gif of Sandra's YouTube video "2 Key Habits EVERY Business Owner MUST be Practicing" and the words - DON'T PANIC are in front of her


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If you want a stable business that grows and scales smoothly and successfully, whether big or small, this is a video you cannot miss. We’re going to do a deep dive into 2 Key Habits EVERY Business Owner MUST Be Practicing to start building over time, without sugar-coating it or dancing around how hard building those habits will be. So, give it a listen, and let’s thrive together.

  • 00:00 Introduction – today’s topic
  • 00:25 Don’t Panic!
  • 00:49 Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • 01:11 What you’re in for
  • 01:44 You know what you gotta do?
  • 01:53 Habits take way longer to form than what people say they do
  • 02:40 Quick note about Scale Society
  • 03:02 Delegation (I know, I know!)
  • 04:00 The weekly reminder that changes everything
  • 04:54 Bonus habit!
  • 05:38 Another spot to clear things off your list
  • 06:00 Wait… do I need to do this?
  • 06:56 Habit 2 – Project management tools
  • 08:02 Why bother with a project management tool?
  • 08:44 Benefits of having all of that information out of your head and into a project management tool
  • 09:12 Setting priorities
  • 09:55 Summary
  • 10:31 Do you know somebody?


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hey! Welcome or welcome back. I’m Sandra B your Sidekick COO and today I’m gonna be sharing with you 2 key habits that every business owner MUST be practicing in their business, whether big or small if they wanna scale and grow smoothly and successfully. 

Now, this video is brought to you by Scale Society. There will be more on that later, but for now, let’s talk a little bit about habits.

Don’t worry, this isn’t at all a video about how to build habits. Smarter people than I have done copious amounts of research and produced gobs of information on the subject. So, if how to build habits is something that you need to know about, might I suggest just a quick little Google search around how to build habits?

Or, if you want a simple shortcut, you might wanna pick up Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is a really fantastic book, a really easy read, and gives you lots of fantastic practical advice on how to actually build habits that are all science-backed and study-backed. So, I highly recommend checking it out. But for today, what we’re gonna be talking about are two specific habits that you can use to help you scale your business.

And I am also going to tell you that these are two habits that you have probably already tried, and likely may have struggled with, and you may have already given up on them. 

Ah, Is that all? No! Also…

You may be thinking, ‘Ooh, I’ve already tried this and it doesn’t work for me. It’s just not who I am. I cannot do it’! But I promise these two habits, anybody can do. It just takes some time. Well, some time and some perseverance. 

Do you know what you gotta do? I don’t wanna know what you gotta do. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We Swim. 

And speaking of time, habits do take time. They take a long time to form. Way longer than that 21 days, you’re gonna see a lot of people spout over on Google. It actually takes on average, 66 days to form a new habit. According to research by Dr. Phillipa Lally over at the University College of London, she’s actually found that it can take up to 254 days to actually build a habit and have it become automatic.

So, if you tried this for a month or two and it didn’t work for you, please give it another shot and stick with it because these two habits will help you scale. Which is why I cover habits and specific habits that you should be building in your business in my program, Scale Society. It’s my six-month live group program that gives you the systems, foundations, and strategies to put into place that’ll get your business perfectly poised to scale bigger and faster with less stress. 

You can learn more about Scale Society and join the waitlist for it over at anyoldtask.ca/scale

Now on to the habits!

Habit # 1: Delegation

So the first habit I want you to actually build in your business is the habit of delegation. I know, I know you’ve tried it. I know you struggle. I know you probably think you just can’t delegate. And I promise you, you can. It is possible. It just takes time. It takes perseverance, and it takes a willingness to let go. 

You really need to be delegating your business. If you are not delegating, then everything is on you to get done, which means you are a bottleneck. Which means your business can only scale as fast as you can go and your business can only do as much as you can do. Obviously, that’s not a great path to growth. 

So if growing your business in any appreciable way at all is on your bucket list, I highly recommend practicing delegating. So, the first thing you might wanna do, is put a reminder into your calendar, into your phone alarm, or into your project management tool, that reminds you to look ahead and delegate things off your plate.

What I want you to do is, at the end of every week, go through each of the things one by one and ask, 

  • Do I have to be doing this? 
  • Can this be taken off my plate?
  • Who might be able to do this? 

Then delegate it. It’s really easy if you actually have a couple of people on your team or a couple of subcontractors that you know you can reach out to. Especially good if you already have a virtual assistant on your team. Whether a subcontractor or an actual employee doesn’t really matter, but even if you don’t have somebody on your team yet, I want you to get into this habit. Even if you’re like, “I can’t afford it, I can’t actually pay somebody to do these things just yet”. That’s totally fine.

Still start building the habit so that you can actually start identifying things that happen routinely in your business that you don’t have to be doing. And while you’re at it, why not start putting some money away so that you can actually hire somebody, whether part-time or not, to actually help you in your business? That’s probably also a good habit. Bonus habit!

But for now, just at the end of every week, take a look at what you have coming up for the next week. Go through each one, one at a time and say, Who other than me can do this? Then, if there’s somebody you can actually delegate that to, delegate it off your plate. If you don’t have somebody, you can delegate it to make a record of it somewhere so that you can start building up a bit of a job description so that when you’re ready to hire that person, you already have all the tasks aligned that they can take off your plate immediately. 

In addition to going through your workload every week, at the end of every week, and looking ahead, I’d also recommend doing it at the beginning of every single day. Because at the beginning of the day, you’ve probably thought of other things overnight that you’re like, Oh yeah, I gotta do that too. And you’ve probably added things to your list, or somebody else might have added things to your list. So if you do it at the beginning of every day, just give it another once over to see if maybe you missed anything.

While you’re going through your workload, you can also ask yourself if the task you’re looking at is something that actually has to be done. Every once in a while, you might find (maybe more than once in a while) you might find that there’s work that kind of creeps in that doesn’t actually have to be done. I’m talking about things like re-recording your lesson for your course when it’s perfectly fine, but maybe the brand colours are different because you changed your brand recently. But other than that, all the information is still correct and valid. You don’t need to re-record that just yet. Put it off. It’s fine. Maybe take it off your list permanently.

Really ask yourself, especially if you’re feeling super overwhelmed, really ask yourself, is this something that has to be done? Is this something that I have to be doing? Then, if you don’t need to do it at all, get it off there, and erase it. If it does need to be done but doesn’t have to be done by you, delegate it to somebody else. So that’s habit one. Get into the habit of delegating. 

Habit # 2: Use a Project Management Tool

Habit number two is actually going to help you with habit number one. Habit number two is getting into the habit of using a project management tool. Any project management tool will do. I don’t particularly care which project management tool you use. You can use a Google spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter. 

  • Use Asana
  • Use Trello
  • Use Todoist
  • Use Teamwork. (That’s my favourite!)
  • Use Clickup. (Clickup is amazing but you need somebody to set it up.)
  • Use Monday.com.

I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You use whatever you wanna use. Preferably, if you’re really adverse to project management tools, you’re gonna wanna use something that’s super easy for you to use, like Asana or Trello or a spreadsheet. But if you have a team or have somebody else that can kind of take this on creating this place to store all of your tasks, then you might wanna use something a little bit more complicated like Teamwork or Clickup or anything else. 

Using a project management tool.

The reason this is so important for business owners, and the reason it’s gonna help you scale and grow is because it is going to take all of that knowledge that’s in your brain right now. All of those things that you have to get done, and it’s going to put it somewhere that is accessible by other people. Being accessible to other people means that other people can do the work. Fantastic! And that’s how it’s gonna help you with delegating. All of those tasks in your list, you’re just gonna be able to quickly go through one at a time and assign them to somebody else. Set a due date, and assign ’em to somebody else.

The other benefit of having all of that information out of your head and into a project management tool? Well, there are a lot of benefits. 

  1. You can actually see how much there is to do. 
  2. You can more easily delegate. You can more easily identify things that don’t actually have to be done. 
  3. You no longer have to remember all the things that you have to do. 

You don’t have to worry about “what is it? Oh, I know I’m forgetting something. What is the thing I’m forgetting”? Because it’s all there for you. And when you’re trying to figure out what you’re gonna work on, you don’t have to go through this mental list of everything and go, “Oh, yeah, I gotta do that but that can wait until tomorrow. Oh, that other thing. Oh, that’s not until next week. Hmm. Yeah, I should probably do that today”. 

When everything’s in your head, you can’t assign due dates, you can’t assign priorities, you can’t figure out how long anything’s gonna take. Every time you go to start a task, you have to go through this whole Rolodex and then pick something and move. That takes a lot of time. You’re wasting time. You need to put that into a project management tool so that as you put it in, you assign a due date, you can assign a start date, you can assign a priority, you can put an estimated time in it, and then you don’t have to think about it until it pops up on your to-do list.

And you go, “Oh, that’s the thing I’m working on today! Fantastic”! 

So, those are the two habits that you need. Absolutely. Please. You need to be building habits around doing things in your business.

I promise you. I promise, promise, promise they will help you. They will help you scale. They will help you grow. They will help reduce your overwhelm (eventually) once you get used to doing both of those things. 

Now, if you’re somebody who’s already tried this and you’re like, Sandra, “I – I – I just can’t”! Please, please try one more time. For me!  For you! It’s worth it. And if you know somebody, I betcha any money while you were going through this video, you were like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so-and-so”. If you have a “that’s so and so” in your head right now, somebody who is a business owner who needs to be hearing this message, send it to them. Share this with them right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s okay. I don’t mind. 

All right. That’s it for me today. Don’t forget, together we thrive. Take care.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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