Consistency is a commonly referred to metric for social media success. It’s also the secret ingredient behind the personal brands of leaders in industries as diverse as technology, television, journalism and publishing.
Nearly every guru or expert mentions consistent engagement as a routine or habit that contributes to online success.
Ever since the publication of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, people been fascinated with the notion that there are some common traits, habits, rituals or routines that all successful people embrace. They extrapolate that by adopting these same routines or habits they, too, might be able to tap into their own path to personal and professional success.
In speaking with leaders in a wide variety of fields, I’ve come to realize that this is not entirely true. The habits or routines followed by leaders are as diverse as are their talents.
Still, a recent Twitter conversation about daily habits and successful business leaders, prompted me to ask 14 top performers in a wide variety of fields to share one thing they do, every day, they feel has contributed significantly to their success.
Here’s are the lessons I gleaned from what they shared. The headlines are my interpretation of their routine or habit.
1. Associate with interesting people
Robert Scoble, Robert Scoble, Blogger, Tech Evangelist and Rackspace Executive
“For years now my main habit is to have a different conversation, every day, with someone who is DOING something interesting! I’ve kept doing that for years, and recording almost all of them, and that has enriched my life immeasurably (and my career, too). I make sure I always keep my calendar full with at least one conversation with someone different.”
2. Pay yourself first
Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analyst, Altimeter Group
“Opening and responding to emails is often the act of paying someone else –instead I ‘pay myself first’ by researching, reading, and writing my thoughts on a blog each morning for about 2 hours before responding to email.”
3. Make technology serve your needs
Ben Parr, Editor-At Large at Mashable
“I have a private wiki that I use to organize my entire life. It has a list of what I want to accomplish, my personal philosophies, important links and even my bucket list.”
4. Clear your head and keep your energy high
Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic.com and LeWeb.net Conference.
“I run nearly every day. That makes me relax and take some distance about daily projects. While many think it’s tiring, when you get into it you actually feel an incredible energy kick for the entire day if you run in the morning. It makes me feel happy and nice to my coworkers and makes me forget about annoying things I would otherwise have a tendency to focus on. Otherwise, I could not understand technology the way I do if TechMeme wasn’t there.”
5. Eat your own dog food.
Laura Fitton, CEO/Founder Oneforty.com and co-author of Twitter for @Dummies
“I actually ‘eat my own dog food!’ Every day I use SocialBase (our social media productivity management software) to stay on top of my social media presence. It lets me easily track tasks and bookmark the tools and platforms that I need to keep updated every day. It reminds me of my daily, weekly & monthly recurring tasks, and gives me a jumping off point to execute them in one single spot.”
6. Flex your spiritual muscle
Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com and author of Launch
“I pray! I thank God for working through me, pray for inspiration and ask for encouragement during the difficult moments. The Lord has always taken care of me. This is something I do in my car just before I walk on into the office.”
7. Practice what you teach
Mari Smith, Facebook, Social Media & Relationship Marketing Specialist, Author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day
“Every day, I personally respond to as many messages as I can, whether by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I do my best to make time to thank and acknowledge people. As Sir Richard Branson says, “lavish praise on people.” I agree wholeheartedly. People love to be heard and I pride myself on being inclusive and treating others as equals. At the end of each day, I can sleep peacefully knowing I’ve reached out and connected with as many people as possible and it ultimately all helps to build social equity.”
8. Keep an inquisitive mind
Rieva Lesonsky, CEO GrowBiz Media
“One of the keys to my success, is I “explore” every day. I check Twitter, read the newsletters I subscribe to, go to my favorite websites. There’s so much information out there which can inspire or inform something I’m working on. As busy as I may be, I make sure to do this every day.”
9. Replenish your resources
Gretchen Rubin, author of New York Times bestseller, The Happiness Project
“My habit: Getting enough sleep. Research makes it clear that sleep has an enormous influence on our mood, health, energy, athletic performance — lack of sleep may even contribute to weight gain! The top two reasons for people to be in bad moods at work? Tight work deadlines and lack of sleep. As a writer, my mental acuity and energy are critically important. I see a huge difference in my analytical capacity, my creativity, and my productivity based on how wide-awake I feel. It’s hard to turn out the light before I finish that chapter or answer one last email, but now I’m zealous about getting enough sleep.”
10. Plan for success
David Zinczenko, Editor in Chief, Men’s Health
“I get in before the rest of my staff almost every day. It’s the only time that I can concentrate on writing, editing, and other close work. Once the team is here, it’s all about meeting and managing. I’m a nutrition guy, so I stock my office with healthy snacks and drinks like almonds, trail mix, dried fruit and coconut water. It keeps my energy up, and I don’t need to waste time running out to look for something to eat. And, I go to the gym almost every day at lunchtime, and read through emails on a stationary bike. It makes the second half of my day much more energetic, and I take less time—and get more done—during a workout than during most business lunches.”
11. Trust your intuition
Maria Andros, The Video Marketing Queen, creator of The Social Media Traffic Blueprint and The Video Conversion Formula.
“I think that the biggest key to my success has always been strengthening my intuition on a daily basis. I download ideas and get inspiration for the content of all my programs much like an artist does. Often it’s very easy to let our analytical minds take over and keep us stuck. I feel that the more we are in tune with our inner guidance, the more we can make the right decisions to move our businesses forward. For example before I partner with anyone, or create a new product, I listen, for if it’s a hell YES or not. If not, I do not proceed, as that will only have a impact down the road. I have learned the hard way in the past. I practice listening to my inner voice and my gut and it’s almost always accurate. I highly recommend building this muscle as it can make a great difference in your results. I think that some of the most successful people in business are very in tune with their intuition and this helps them to stay on track and moving forward.”
12. Banish the naysayers
“I get out of my own way. ”
13. Find your creative zone
Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestselling author of She’s Come Undone, and I know this Much is True
“Since I began writing fiction 30 years ago, I have always found the shower to be a place where my creativity is unleashed. I hit the ‘rain room’ each morning before I hit the button on the computer. The earlier the better–5:00 a.m., if possible.”
14. Create space to think
Peggy Rajski, Academy Award Winning Director Of Trevor and co-founder of The Trevor Project
The daily habit that contributes to my success is morning meditation. I’ve done it for over 20 years. I usually sit for 20 minutes or more, but honestly, even 5 minutes does the trick. I feel more resilient, ready to take on the challenges of the day, and less likely to experience ‘I think I’m going to kill you if you don’t do what I want’ versus ‘I think this is kind of funny that I can’t get what I want.’ But more often than not, I do get what I want–or understand that what I’m getting is what I need regardless of what I think I want.
15. Cindy Ratzlaff, Author, Speaker, Consultant
It’s only fair that I share mine as well. I set a success goal every morning, for that day. I write it on a white board in my office and when I find myself being pulled off track, I ask myself “will this action serve today’s goal?” If not, I set it aside until I’ve accomplished the daily goal.
Are there habits or routines you can incorporate in your own life to achieve a higher level of business success? Please share and let’s see if we can enrich one another’s daily practices toward higher levels of achievement.