However, it is important to understand that if you are going to successfully lead a business you have to resign yourself to the fact that you cannot control anything or anybody except yourself.

The good news is that the beginning of a new year is a great time to change your habits - you can ditch the bad ones and cultivate some positive practices. Looking at things with your business head on, you should focus on those practices that yield a good return against the investment of your time - or, the habits that make millionaires. But how do you pursue these habits? Here are my top tips:

1. Have ideas

You may have twenty ideas a day. Twenty great ideas! They come and go. Ideas are perishable. They come in the blink of an eye, like a Eureka moment, and they hit you without warning. Half an hour later, you've forgotten them.

Most of your ideas are probably great. However, they are probably impractical as well. One day, you may have an amazing idea about international money transfers, and the next day you'll envision how to do stocktaking for a fast food chain. But if you're not in those sectors already, chances are it will be extremely difficult for you to get any traction without investing significant time and resources. Keep going: one day you will grab the right idea that fits the place you're at. The important thing is to keep those ideas trickling in.

Make a habit of brainstorming, and let your ideas flow. You'll have many crazy or impractical ideas, but you may bring together parts of different ideas, until eventually the perfect idea will strike at just the right time.

2. Ask for help

Sometimes we don't want to appear stupid, so we don't ask for help. It is, in fact, the single most important thing you can learn to do in life as it is the only way you will benefit from other people's experience. The reality is that most people love helping others, so ask for directions - don't keep driving around in circles looking for the petrol station until you run out of fuel!

Pinpoint what it is you need to know. There will be many things you need to know that you don't, and that is not a problem. You simply cannot do everything yourself, and you can't be the best at everything, so you need outside wisdom.

As an entrepreneur or a business leader, your job is to know what questions to ask and how to find the people who know the right answers. Hire professionals who know what you need to know. Most first-time entrepreneurs like to do everything themselves, but to be successful, you need to have others do things for you. You need to delegate.

Join a forum of like-minded business people or a mastermind group. Use this support system to gain and share knowledge and encouragement with other professionals who are walking the same path.

If you learn to ask people to help you, it will allow you the freedom to grow your own vision and do many more things that you're good at - like creating new businesses.

3. Turn up

You'll never succeed at things you haven't done. Show up and take that first leap forward. Sure, it's scary to step outside your comfort zone, to try to do what no one else is doing. But if you truly believe in your idea and yourself, you can do it - that's what makes you a leader.  

Stop telling yourself that you can't do it, or that it can't be done. Don't worry about things you can't control (which is pretty much everything) and focus on your own responses to situations. Believe in yourself and the vision you have for your life and your business. Have faith that you are where you're meant to be, and keep going.

Leaders are believers, and that faith is contagious. Build your business with people who are inspired by your leadership and have faith in what you are doing.

4. Stop procrastinating

Now is the best time to start. Not tomorrow or next week. Don't overthink things. Don't procrastinate. It's tempting to want to have everything perfect before you launch into something new. It's also a

great excuse to never get started. It saves us from trying and failing. It protects our sensitive egos. Fear of failure, embarrassment, ridicule, or being lost scares most of us.

Decide what you want to achieve, based on the opportunities available in your unique circumstances, and create a vision for your business and your future. Then commit to that decision. 

Pick one thing and do that. It always starts with a step. That's it. Only a step. Your venture doesn't need to be perfect at the start. That will come with time. Of course, you are afraid you are not ready, afraid you don't have all the answers, and afraid of the unknown. Most people are afraid of those same things, so if you have the courage to start now, you begin with a distinct advantage.

Do it quickly. There is power in just cracking on and trying things to see what works and what doesn't. If it doesn't work or you make a mistake, try something new. Learn as you build. When you're wrong, make adjustments until you get the model right.

5. Lead, don't manage

Entrepreneurs are not managers. You cannot be both a leader and a manager if you want your business to succeed in the long-term. So many people get this confused, and it's a fundamental problem when starting, growing, and running a business.

An entrepreneur is someone who develops a vision, knows the end game, and shares that vision with his team, investors, bankers, and customers. Entrepreneurs create change; managers make sure the change happens. Entrepreneurs design; managers build. It is impossible to do both well.

So make sure you devote most of your time to developing your vision. The other part of your time should be spent finding good people to manage operations. Managers make your life easy. You give them the plan; they make it happen.

Remember, it's your idea, your vision, and your company. Lead. Don't manage.

Paul Oberschneider is The BIG CHANGE Entrepreneur. He is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and the best-selling author of new book, Why Sell Tacos in Africa?, published by Harriman House. For more information or to download four free chapters go to