What makes you smile?
You will be fostering an entrepreneurial habit of your choice. In order to increase your likelihood of
success, follow these tips on how to successfully build habits.
1. Start tiny.
Make the habit so small you can’t say no. Make the habit so easy you can get it done without a ton of
motivation. Make the habit so small that you don’t have to psych yourself up each day to do it. For
example, say you want to start a habit of doing push-ups every day. Start with 1 push-up a day instead
of 50 per day.
2. Create an anchor to insert your habit into your daily routine.
Everyone has an existing routine—to create new habits, anchor them to already existing ones. This helps
you to make a behavior a habit without forgetting or relying on electronic prompts (that we ignore
anyway!). Find things you consistently do EVERYDAY that you can anchor your new habit to and be as
specific as possible.
3. Celebrate every little win
Emotions create habits. If you celebrate each victory, you are more likely to keep doing it. Feeling good
about your tiny successes may feel strange to you, but when you celebrate you create a positive feeling
associated with your new behavior. What makes you smile? A fist pump in the air? A mental “well
done!” A mini-victory dance? Choose something that you can do after your tiny behavior to create a
positive feeling inside yourself, feel that warm “sunshine in your soul.”
4. Plan to fail.
The boxer Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Understand that
you probably will get punched in the face at times and fail. But you need to realize that this is ok in
terms of practicing your new habit. Research shows that failing to do your habit once has very little
impact on the long-term progress of performing your new habit. Even the best performers fail. The
difference is that the best get back on the horse, so to speak, and keep riding, keep trying to do their
new habit. So, if you don’t have the motivation to do your push-ups one day, then don’t think, “I’ve
missed one day; I might as well miss the whole week.” This is habit-defeating thinking. Instead say, “I
missed today but it’s no big deal; I’m going to get back on track tomorrow and do my 20 push-ups.”
Now it’s time to apply the four tips to an entrepreneurial habit of your choice. This could be looking at
problems with a growth mindset or looking beyond what you are supposed to look at, as in the Research
at Work feature Study on Luck. It could also be getting out of your comfort zone once a day or once a
week. It could even be getting more comfortable with rejection or perhaps learning one impressive new
piece of information every day. The possibilities are limitless, so use your imagination.
1. What amazing entrepreneurial habit do you want to build?
2. How can you break it down into a tiny behavior? What are you committing to do this week?
3. What is your anchor moment? WHEN will you do this tiny behavior each day?
4. How are you going to feel “sunshine” after completing your tiny behavior?
After 1 week of implementing this entrepreneurial habit, you can now fill out the Critical Thinking
Questions (20 points, write up your answers and upload it here)
5. What were the challenges you faced while trying to implement this habit?
6. At what moment did you experience failure, and how did the learning inform your next attempt?
7. What can you change to make this habit more feasible to implement in your life?