Stephen Richards Covey, one of the most renowned motivational authors of the world recently passed away. The overwhelming response to this news on social media channels was a true depiction of how many lives were affected by his book and how much he will be missed. His book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People remains one of the best guides for entrepreneurs for effective small business management.

Stephen Covey was an author, educationist, businessman and motivational speaker who wrote a number of self-help books. However, his first bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, became an epic success with more than 25 million copies sold worldwide.

It also holds the record for being the first non-fiction audio-book to sell more than one million copies. The book was translated and published in 40 languages worldwide, being included in the curriculum for different business schools and has changed lives of hundreds of people all over the world.

The book talks about 7 Habits that can change your personal and professional life to a great extent. For entrepreneurs who want to learn how to be a small business owner, this book can provide guidelines about what makes a successful business and how to be more effective and efficient in your small business entrepreneurship.

Here is a brief review of the seven habits discussed by Covey in his groundbreaking book. Read and understand how you can utilize them to become a successful entrepreneur:

1.Be Proactive

To accept your responsibility and take an initiative to make things happen is essential to gain success in your life. Determining what you can control and then acting accordingly can help you in reaching your end goal in a more effective manner. In order to get the results you want to achieve, it is important to initiate things and participate actively in them.

2.Begin With the End in Mind

Travelling without a destination is not a meaningful journey but a leisurely indulgence. While that might be relaxing, it is necessary for you to focus on your destination to make your business a success in true essence.

Before you start anything, determine where you want to be and what your ultimate goal is, and then formulate strategies to close the gap between your current position and your desired destination in the most resourceful manner.

3.Put First Things First

Prioritizing is the key to effective management. You need to plan out things according to the degree of their importance and the deadlines associated with them. A work done after deadline is no good, no matter how perfect it is, so complete things in the order they are required to be.

Create a schedule of each day and then work to keep that schedule in an efficient manner. Learn from your experience and complete what needs to be done, not what sound appealing to you to do first.

4.Think Win-Win

Try to find a win-win solution for each interactive situation you encounter. There is always a mutually beneficial solution to every problem. A win-win solution is reached through cooperative means and makes everyone associated with the decision highly satisfied and committed towards it.

It ensures that one person’s success is not at the cost of others. So, look for negotiations with your clients and employees such that they are not just good for you, but for all parties included.

5.Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Effective communication is a two way process which needs that both parties understand each other in order to interact better. Understanding requires you to give time to others to express their ideas, needs and wants, and listen t what they are saying.

Listening and non-verbal cues are the most important aspects of any communication process. If you want to influence someone, you first need to understand them. So, learn what your customers want and then provide it to them.


Synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of its part. It emphasizes the importance of team work. Different individuals who have mastered different skills can combine their efforts to reach the organization goals much more effectively.

Conflict in ideas and perceptions should be welcome since they add to your knowledge, giving a chance to learn from experience of others. A single individual have a limited scope of ideas, experiences and information. Hence, synchronized effort from a team is required for the growth of a business.

7.Sharpen the Saw

It is important to invest in your own personality, not just on the work front but in all other dimensions; physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional, as well. To be effective in your work life, it is important to keep yourself and your employees refreshed and rejuvenated.

Indulge your employees in extra-curricular activities to keep healthy and active and think of creative ways to seek inspiration. Looking after yourself is important before you can look after a business, however small it may be.


Stephen Covey was one of the finest and highly inspirational authors. With his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he has affected many lives around the globe, helping them become more effective in managing things.

For entrepreneurs, it can be helpful in understanding how to make a small business successful by following through the 7 habits of Covey. In general, reading self-help motivational books can help small business owners to be more productive and effective in their business management.

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