1) There is no shut-off valve
If you plan on working until 5 and then turning if off for the day, you may not find the success of many entrepreneurs out there. It isn't that you have to keep your nose in your business day in and day out, but you have to think about it constantly. More importantly, you have to enjoy thinking about it. People don't turn off thinking about their loved ones or enjoying hobbies that they have. Your business is a large part of your life. You chose it. You should love it. If you don't, and you feel that you can only think about it for so many hours in the day, then you won't succeed like the person who loves thinking about their business, even at 11pm.
2) Learn constantly
There is a lot to know when starting and running a business. The moment you decide to limit anything, including the time you think about your business (see above) you set yourself up to fail. Some would argue that knowledge is even more important than time. You need to be constantly learning about your industry, about your customers, about the role you've chosen within the company...and did I mention learning about your customers?
Because there's no way for you to know it all, you also should surround yourself with smart people. There is no room for pride in this. You do not need to be the smartest person in the room. If you are, odds are good that you aren't growing. Find mentors, interview people who do what you're doing, and read everything you can get your hands on.
3) Rethink what I just said about "pride"
As an entrepreneur, people are going to question your choices all the time. You have to be confident in what you want and in the business you are creating. It is not uncommon for people to turn away from a course of action when doubters surround you. The hard thing with entrepreneurship is that many people don't understand it. And so, they question. Sometimes aggressively. But, you chose this life for a reason. You chose your business because you knew it could do some good in the world. You have to be secure enough in what you're doing that doubters do not sway you.
This does not mean that you should strive to always be right. There are people you should listen to. That's why you keep smart people around you at all times. But, you also have to know how to stick to your guns. If you can't, you and your business are destined to failure.
Have any more tips on how to be successful with your small business? Share them in the comments. We'd all love to hear them.