This Entrepreneur Shares the 9 Money-Making Habits That Grew His Business for Over 20 Years

Samantha Miller

Over the course of more than 20 years of managing my computer consulting firm, which employs 10 people, I have identified the routines that consistently contribute to the expansion and financial success of my business.

While these may seem like little things, when done consistently, they may lead to significant growth for any company.

Even while my business is still relatively tiny in comparison to multinational conglomerates, it has enabled my family to live comfortably.

As we near the end of 2023, I want to make sure that I can keep improving in 2024 by recommitting to the 8 habits that have worked for me in the past.

1. Wake Up Early to Focus Deeply

For as long as I can remember, getting up at five in the morning has been my routine. When I wake up in the morning, I am at my most productive and imaginative. I am able to focus on my business, write, and plan because the house is peaceful and undisturbed.

In particular, I devote my first few hours of the day to doing things that are very important, including writing proposals, planning content strategy, and researching current trends in my field.

Doing this important task first thing in the morning sets the tone for a productive day. When I wake up early, I achieve more than all day long put together.

2. Track Key Metrics Religiously

Having a vision, dedication, and enthusiasm are essential for running a successful business. In the end, though, the numbers must add up. The most successful business owners, in my opinion, are meticulous with their financial records.

As part of my consulting practice, I review comprehensive financial accounts on a monthly, and in some cases daily, basis. New contracts booked and sales are under my watchful eye.

I look at the receivables and cash flow. Every member of my team has their billable and non-billable hours tracked. On projects, I keep a careful eye on the margins.

With these KPIs, I can objectively assess how well my business is doing. Great news if the figures add up. I swiftly investigate the causes and make the required adjustments to get back on track if specific data begin to trend downward. When you have access to the data, there are no surprises.

3. Get Face-to-Face with Clients

I understand this may sound paradoxical in today’s digital environment. An essential function of video calls is to facilitate remote meetings.

Having said that, nothing beats meeting face to face when it comes to making connections. People are still more drawn to in-person interactions.

That’s why I always try to meet with important clients over drinks or dinner whenever possible. Scheduled time throughout the year is also reserved for my attendance at conferences and other activities pertinent to my field.

I can meet new prospects, deepen my relationships with current clients, and expand my network at the same time.

Meeting face-to-face for an hour to discuss a potential project or obstacle gets you far more done than chatting about it over Zoom. Furthermore, nothing beats the in-person experience when it comes to building rapport and understanding body language.

Meeting in person on a regular basis has, in my opinion, been the single most effective thing that has helped my business grow.

4. Read Widely for Perspective

Reading novels late at night or on weekends helps me relax. In addition, I make it a point to read non-fiction books and long-form articles on a weekly basis in order to broaden my mind and gain fresh insights.

More specifically, I resolve to read a few biographies of notable businesspeople, in-depth analyses of certain industries, or historical books on a monthly basis.

For instance, I’ve just finished reading Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson and Phil Knight’s autobiography about creating Nike. Books of this kind introduce me to novel ideas or enduring wisdom that I may incorporate into my own business.

Podcasts about business and technology, such as Planet Money (NPR) and Technology Review (MIT), are something else I listen to on the go. This never-ending quest for knowledge compels me to question long-held beliefs and infuses new ideas into the challenges I face.

5. Exercise Mid-Day to Clear My Head

At least twice a week, I set aside some time in the early afternoon to work out. Squash has been a pleasant and active hobby of mine for a long time. I go for long rides on my road bike when I can’t make it to the courts.

Not only can exercise help your body, but it also helps your mind, particularly when you’re in the midst of a hectic workday. I find that taking an hour to play squash or go for a run on the trail helps me relax, clears my head, and then tackles office problems with a new outlook.

Every single day, I could work until lunchtime if I so desired. Renewing one’s focus and inventiveness is the payoff for firmly interrupting the need to cram in as much activity as possible. This is a practice that other business owners would do well to follow.

6. Embrace AI to Drive Efficiency

I keep a careful eye on AI developments because I think AI will cause businesses to undergo a similar level of disruption in the next years as the internet and mobile phones did a decade ago. I have already seen firsthand the incredible speed and scale with which AI can automate mundane jobs and derive insights from data.

So that we can ride this wave instead of being swallowed by it, I’m strategically investing in AI throughout my organization. To be more specific, I keep tabs on the AI-related product roadmaps of the software companies that make my customer relationship management (CRM), accounting, and other systems work.

I intend to put more resources into solutions that can automate administrative tasks for my team or derive comprehensive insights from data patterns to provide clients.

By releasing previously unrealized value for my clients, AI has the potential to greatly increase team productivity. I intend to completely embrace AI in the next months, rather than seeing it as a danger.

7. Check in With My Team

I am in charge of a small team of ten people. However, I guarantee that I will meet with each client separately once a month. Having these check-ins allows me to listen to team members’ issues, offer comments, and make sure they feel valued.

I also make it a point to hold frequent all-hands meetings where we can provide updates on new initiatives, celebrate successes, and discuss upcoming changes with the rest of the organization. On occasion, I also plan team trips outside of the office so that we can all get to know each other better.

Ultimately, the success of this business is due to the hard work and commitment of my team. Although it may seem like a no-brainer, making time for regular team meetings and individual check-ins has resulted in an exceptionally loyal and unified culture, giving the company a significant leg up in the marketplace.

8. Nurture My Support Network

Every day brings a new mountain of work for business owners. It’s simple to turn a blind eye to the demands of your employer and stay in bed all day. But after twenty years of business, I’ve realized that it takes a team to succeed.

My foundation is the love and encouragement of those closest to me. When I propose a fresh concept over dinner, my husband may try to discredit it. However, she is also there to encourage me when I am down.

As reliable counsellors, my closest friends keep me grounded with their honest criticism. New collaborations or recommendations can be accessed through contacts in my larger network.

Having a strong support system allows me to persevere, bounce back, and be creative every single year. So, I make an effort to balance my work with other interests, whether it’s volunteering, working on local projects, going on family excursions, or even simply going out to dinner with friends.

These solid personal relationships are the reason my business is still going strong.

The Bottom Line

Although these nine habits appear simple on paper, consistently putting them into practice over time requires tremendous self-control. Consistent expansion of the firm, more profits, and increased happiness are all results of that persistent work.

Although none of these habits is a panacea on its own, they have a multiplicative effect when implemented simultaneously. Rising early allows for more concentrated strategic thinking, which in turn fuels creativity.

Thorough metrics offer valuable information for making informed decisions. More money comes in thanks to more efficient AI and in-person sales. Partnerships and talent acquisition are both aided by strong ties to the team and the community. The cycle continues indefinitely.

Sometimes I meet ambitious entrepreneurs who are on the hunt for intricate business “hacks” or tactics to suddenly boost growth. On the other hand, there are no easy ways around it. Achieving long-term success requires a series of incremental steps taken gradually.

Based on my twenty years of experience, I am certain that any business can achieve constant success by adhering to these nine behaviors. They won’t let you down, I guarantee it.

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Samantha Miller is a business and finance journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the latest news and trends shaping the corporate landscape. She began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported on major companies and industry developments. Now, Samantha serve as a senior business writer for, profiling influential executives and providing in-depth analysis on business and financial topics.
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