Work Smarter, Not Harder ‒ Seven Positive Traits Found in Most Successful Consultants and Coaches

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 14th, 2017 10 Comments

There are a number of things successful people do differently than the “mediocre majority”. If you learn to develop these good habits, you’ll get much more done during the day. Consequently, you’ll have more freedom and time to do the things you really like to do.

Here are seven positive traits I commonly see among the most productive consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs:

1. Start your day early. Those who get up early tend to be more proactive and naturally have a more productive mindset. These “early birds” also seem to be better at prioritizing their day. Some concentrate on first handling the simple chores and getting them out of the way first. Others jump all over what’s most important. Many of the most successful and famous people in business and history, like Ben Franklin, Donald Trump, Ernest Hemingway, Vince Lombardi and Andrew Carnegie made it a habit to get up and get going early.

2. Focus your mental energy, don’t multi-task. To maximize your brain power and fully focus your efforts, do one thing at a time. I know this may go against the gain when it comes to many time management gurus who preach the importance of multi-tasking and being able to juggle a number of things at one time. When you think about it, you are most productive getting one thing done at a time – correctly and accurately. In fact, when you multi-task you get a lot less done. Work on one assignment for a pre-determined set of time before moving on to the next challenge.

3. Be fearless when it comes to the great unknown. Productive, successful people find ways to keep moving and push ahead even when they are nervous or apprehensive about the final outcome. They do not make excuses when something doesn’t go right or adjustments are necessary. They find an alternative and forge ahead. They have the drive to push onward and the confidence to know that even if things don’t go as planned, there’s something to be learned from everything they experience.

4. Business really does mean business. Even if you may work for yourself, be sure to set business hours and stick to them. Flexibility is nice and it comes in handy if you have to pick up the kids at school or want to go watch your child’s soccer game. But you should always set boundaries and communicate them to your family members, friends and clients. And they need to understand and respect your business hours. This is important because you will have fewer distractions during the day you’ll be more productive during your specified work times.

5. Set aside time to “work” on your business. Try to leave a block or two open in your day. It will give you some time to explore new opportunities. Use those time blocks to catch up on industry trends or reports. You can also use it for self-education purposes. It’s a good time to take in the “big picture” and size up your company, your competition and prioritize strategic moves for the future. If you don’t leave these blocks of time open, your schedule can easily become overbooked. This will eliminate any time for forward planning, which will ultimately slow you down when it comes to developing and growing your business.

6. Delegate responsibility. Concentrate on the things you do best. Have staff members or outside resources do the things you don’t like to do, as well as the things that are not essential for you to do. Too many people who work for themselves try to do everything. This can be counter-productive and stunt the growth of your business. As your company grows, sooner or later you will come upon a breakthrough or revelation of sorts. You will realize that there’s a lot of stuff your staff or assistants should be doing that you do not need to do. Once you learn to delegate and pass on the responsibility to someone else, it frees you up to work on the things that really matter.

7. Make a concerted effort to streamline your time. Take a look at your operations and figure out what is sucking up too much of your time. Then put a plan in place to eliminate these time wasters. For example, try not to constantly be checking your email unless you’re expecting an urgent message. Set aside a specific time during the day to read and reply. This eliminates a distraction and helps you focus on what you’re currently doing. Part of securing more time while making more money has to do with working smarter, not harder, and approaching things a little bit differently. If you try to work these seven habits into your daily business routine you will be more productive. This will in turn free you up to do more in less time. And you will then be creating the independence you were looking for when you first opened up your own business.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. David Hunter says:

    The hardest thing for me was to “Start my day early.” And, not just for business, but to get my workouts out of the way. Because, I noticed, if I waited until after work I’d never do them.

    I get up at 6:00am (which is probably late to some of you), so I can get all my none business related activities out of the way, so later I’ll have all the time in the world to concentrate on business.

  2. Phil Davis says:

    We all have heard multi-tasking is not productive, yet I still find myself trying to be the exception. It will never work. Time blocking will help.

  3. Greg De Tisi says:

    AWESOME STUFF Dan! You know I think that the one thing I need is a reminder of what to focus on every day and sometimes I think I know ‘me’ best UNTIL I am reminded of what is most important. it is sooo easy to waste time when self employed I know so thanks so much for this great reminder.

  4. Chidera says:


    No! You can’t be eating and reading at the same time. It doesn’t complement.

    The best thing to do is to block out time for whatever task you want accomplished
    and get down to it.

    I’m learning to wake up very early now. Start with my morning devotion to the Lord
    and thereafter, run through my mails, create and send newsletters after which i begin
    to work on my schedule for the day.

  5. Marion says:

    These comments are helpful. I especially appreciate the short history of Tom.

    Thank you, gives me something to think about.

  6. Marion says:

    These comments leave something to think about along with the article. I appreciate the information and must implement something–I waste a lot of time.

  7. Art Mason says:

    Getting up to start the day early has been easy for me. Which is very nice. I am usually up by 5 or so in the AM and begin my routine then. By around 3:00pm I start to become rather useless when it comes to the heavy thinking asplects and being creative. In the evening i teach my martial arts student which is the perfect time for me as I am winding down. When I get home, rest is easy.

    The hardest things for me has been learning to delegate. But now with a business still in Canada and one in Romania I am forced to improve this skill.

  8. Marie Jones says:

    First and foremost thing you need to put in is to get up early and i must agree that makes a very productive mindset. I get up at 5 and start my routine and that really helps me to get done things on time – be it personal or business.
    Secondly, you must learn something new to be in the race of successful people.

  9. Dan – Great article, wise words to live by to be most successful in any business endeavor! Great stuff. Best Cliff

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