Humans are creatures of habit, and it's habits that define what type of person we become. Using habits to fuel growth is one of life's best tools for gaining success.

Transition periods in life are when these habits create a constant that provides stability and aid in success.  One of the biggest life transitions I faced was leaving my corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur and e-commerce CEO.  

Although this was a rocky time in life, I found these five habits to provide the biggest difference in making the process worthwhile:  

1. View time as a valuable commodity.

Time can either work for you or against you. I made the strategic decision to keep my corporate job while building my side hustle. This demanding schedule instilled that time focus is a huge proponent in success.  

When you only have a few hours in the evening to push the needle of your business forward, you quickly learn how to make the most of it. When I stepped fully into entrepreneurship, time optimization was deeply ingrained into my core values. Create this habit of time management now because as a full-time CEO, it will only become more important.

2. Adjust your financial mentality.

Financial stability is one of the main perks and golden handcuffs to a corporate job. The first month you step away from a steady paycheck will be an emotional shock. 

One of the best things I did, on top of saving a solid amount of money, was set up a small salary paid to myself every month. Regardless of how the business was doing, when you have that small monetary constant set in place your emotions will stay in check. Not to mention, this provides a myriad of tax benefits since you can file as an S Corp instead of an LLC.   

Starting a business is going to be emotionally demanding, and the last thing you want on your mind is added emotions around personal finances.  

3. Embrace the uncomfortable.

The only constant in life is change.  

Things are constantly changing, and with it comes a continuous state of discomfort.  This is more apparent than ever with the entrepreneurial life, which is anything but comfortable.  

In order to succeed, embrace this and force yourself to seek out the uncomfortable.  Put yourself into situations and conversations that push you to become better and motivate you to strive for more.  

I do this is by continuously seeking out training or events with like-minded people. When I am the least accomplished person in the room, I know I am in the right place and walk in ready for the challenge. It is through this discomfort that growth occurs for you personally and for your business.

4. Prioritize your mental health.

Mental health is the top priority in the age of entrepreneurship.

You are your most valuable asset, so never neglect to prioritize taking care of yourself. For me, I began to journal, exercise routinely and practice therapy. All of these commitments have helped keep my mentality positive and created a practice of self-reflection and awareness. When you add a habit of reflection into your daily routine you open yourself up to capture positive lessons from every situation. 

Foster these positive habits that keep your mind clear so the next time you are faced with making a major company decision or dive into an intense meeting, you will be better prepared to stay present, focused and make the best decisions possible.

5. Never forget to have fun.

You are now your own boss, enjoy this from time to time. 

If it is a Friday at noon and you want to head to a brewery with a friend, it is your freedom to do so.  Or perhaps you want to pause work for the afternoon and head to a 2 pm yoga class--enjoy it.

It can be easy to get lost in the grind, so remind yourself that sometimes in order to get ahead you need to take a step back and have some fun.  

Adjusting to the entrepreneurial life as a CEO takes time, but if you start to build in positive habits beforehand you will be better off for the long haul.  

Published on: Jul 19, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.