RMay 130326 9051Barker  
 Photo by Robin May  
Zachary Barker  

As a new year begins, it’s always the same thing: People resolve to take action to improve their lives, whether that’s going to the gym, eating better, spending more time with family or finally starting that business they’ve been thinking about for years. Come February, many of those resolutions are forgotten best intentions. At the Opportunity Machine, we can’t get you to the gym or cook your dinner, but we can help guide you down the path of entrepreneurship in the new year.

How can your goals and resolutions be more easily achieved? Is there a secret to starting and maintaining momentum? What is the successful entrepreneur doing that you should be doing also? The secret lies in habits.  

Habits are the actions we execute consistently, often unconsciously —  for better or worse. From brushing our teeth daily to balancing our monthly budgets, our habits define our success or failure.

Let’s look at some common habits:

SUCCESS HABITS
• focusing on and working toward accomplishing a single overall goal  
• maintaining a “Top 5” to-do list
• setting quarterly (90-day) goals
• reading 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons

STRUGGLE HABITS
• not having written daily goals
• over-committing your time
• failing to delegate tasks
• never leaving your desk
• multi-tasking

To most of us, these success habits make sense, but we may not know how to start or keep up the momentum. That’s where the Opportunity Machine, Lafayette’s entrepreneur acceleration center, comes in. By providing hands-on training for habit building, the OM is helping Lafayette’s entrepreneurs break free of struggle habits and develop the success habits that will propel them into a successful future.

3PillarsSuccess

The OM utilizes “RockHabits” — a program based on principles from Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockerfeller Habits and The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss —  to help its members build success habits. Through this program, with support from OM staff, you will learn how to:
• establish a single overall goal
• set and review quarterly goals
• execute your Top 5 daily goals
• maintain a scorecard for measuring success (to verify our habits work)
• control time management (to assure that execution is done with the appropriate sense of urgency).

RockHabits-infographic

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10ReasonsCoFailSuccess habits help to increase productivity and revenue, enhance personal relationships and health, decrease stress and anxiety, create opportunities and eliminate distractions. Having good structure and coaching, such as that offered through the OM, builds these success habits, replacing those that keep us struggling.

This program has proven so successful that the OM requires all incubated members to complete the RockHabits training. We will also offer public sessions throughout the year for individuals and small businesses.

As February approaches, don’t lose sight of your New Year’s resolutions and goals. Start building your success habits today by engaging with the OM, a partner or a mentor. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an individual who would like to become an entrepreneur or a business professional, you can benefit from utilizing these principles.

For information on the OM RockHabits program or more information about the Opportunity Machine, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Zachary Barker is executive director of the Opportunity Machine, a LEDA-backed initiative that focuses on cultivating Lafayette’s entrepreneurial and technology-based industries. Barker is also president and owner of Acadiana Sports Leagues and past president of the705, a local young leaders group. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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