Tips on Getting Things Done

By Leila Banijamali One of the popular recurring themes we have seen among our brilliant startup clients is that success is not about ideas, it's about making ideas happen. It's about planning how to make things happen and being determined to take the lead, even in uncharted territories. Our most successful clients are certainly inspired, but their success is probably best-attributed to hard work. Here are some tips on getting things done:

  • Work hard every day and maintain a disciplined schedule. There's really no way around this. I get up at about 6am every morning, workout, read the news on my iPad, eat breakfast, and I'm in the office by 7:30am. Some of the CEOs of the Fortunate 500 companies also follow a similar regimen (including Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter). I use my Reminders app in combination with my iCal calendar to keep track of all the items that need my attention throughout the day - and each item gets checked off the list as I complete it. I don't let any meetings interrupt my lunch or dinner schedule and make sure I get plenty of rest so that I can offer 1000% of my attention to our clients.
  • Love what you do. When all else fails, if you love your work, you'll be motivated to overcome even the most disheartening obstacles. Baratunde Thurston, author of How to be Black did a great talk at one of our favorite conferences, Behance 99U in New York City where he started by saying that "getting things done is inspiration plus sheer willpower." The video of Baratunde's talk can be viewed here and is really funny. He is a perfect example of someone who has seen success because he has aligned his projects so well to his own personality and interests.
  • Track your progress with checklists. I don't have data on the popularity of checklists but I consistently use a combination of apps (Apple's Reminders app and Catch to name a couple) to keep track of all my new business and product ideas. I'm also a co-founder of Hive, an app that will help entrepreneurs to keep track of and develop their ideas. Try to track in this order so that you stay focussed the tasks ahead and the tasks at hand: to do, doing, and done!
  • Track your success with conversations. We don't measure success with dollar figures and decimal points ( -- we consider those to be results of work). We measure it with the quality of our clients and relationships. We value our work because it affects people we care about in a meaningful way and enables them to launch groundbreaking products and companies that will change the world. The most successful entrepreneurs are always dialed into a network of advisors that they admire and respect and those advisors are carefully cultivated over time.
  • Lead the way. Good leadership requires executive thinking, not expertise. Executive thinking is a mindset (not a diploma) where you decide that you will find a solution or a series of options and you will accomplish your task and inspire others to do the same. Don't be intimidated by question marks, be inspired by possibilities!
Leila Banijamali is Founder and Principal Attorney at Bedrock ( and has successfully founded companies in the technology and fine arts sectors prior to starting a law firm that caters primarily to entrepreneurs.




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