Traits of Successful Business Owners


There was an article online which was about “what successful people don’t do”.  We like being positive, so this is about  “What Successful Business Owners Do”.

Some of them overlap, but it takes a while to form a habit, so we’ll play a little game of repeater (that’s for you Super Troopers fans out there).

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Organized/Scheduled – have a plan. If you are taking a trip cross country, and need to be at your destination within a certain timeframe, wouldn’t you map it out?  Successful people have a plan, a business plan.  Where will the business come from?  What does your workweek look like?  When and how will you execute?
  2. Focused – stay the course with your goals. Who will help you?  What are your SMART goals?  What are your HARDER goals?
  3. Honesty/Integrity – do what you say, and say what you do. An Earl Nightengale reference: “if you make a living by deceiving others, in the end you will only deceive yourself.”
  4. Professional – dress the part. You want to be looked at as a subject matter expert.  Can you be a subject matter expert in your jammies?  Tip:  dress one step above your customers and clients.
  5. Productive – what income producing activities are necessary for your business? What are some of the non-income producing activities you could delegate to an assistant?
  6. Lifelong Student – be a market or subject matter expert. Will you ever know everything is there to know?  If so, beware of competition looking to disrupt the patterns.  Learn as much as you can and more importantly, share that knowledge with those who could benefit from it.
  7. Create change – drive change. Change is a constant.  Do most people like change?  No.  Do you?  What if it led to outpacing the competition by wider margins and making more money?  Would you rather be the one causing a change, or the one having to adapt?  Just ask Blockbuster after Netflix entered the market.
  8. Work life balance – time management. We prefer “choice management” to time management.  How many hours a day do you have?  How many hours does your competition have?  It’s up to you on how you invest your time.
  9. Personal Relationships – do you care? What do people like to talk about?  Themselves.  Don’t be that girl/guy that dominates the conversation.  Be genuine and ask questions to show you care.  Connect and reconnect.
  10. Image/Brand – what is the perception of you in the marketplace? Do you work toward one thing, but you are perceived another way?  Be consistent in your brand and image.
  11. Invest in themselves – take risk for the reward. Great business people invest in themselves, whether financial or time.  Be confident and believe in yourself.  As Earl Nightingale said, “believe and succeed.”
  12. Discipline – know when to say no, and when to make a change. Stay the course and don’t get distracted.  It’s easier for someone to pull you down than boost you up.  Boost yourself and others around you, UP.
  13. Consistency – production numbers will skyrocket if you are consistent. Too many distractions and changes, you’ll get off course.  Create (or mimic others) systems and processes that work for you.  Some may work for others, but not yourself.  Tweak systems and roll with them.
  14. Perseverance/Tenacity – be proactive and aggressive. Don’t give up.
  15. Innovative – again, like creating change, improve the way things are done. Make it easier for clients to do business with you.  Help your clients get more time for themselves.
  16. Positive Outlook – keep your nose to the wind and your eye along the skyline. Stay focused on your goals.
  17. Consultant vs Salesperson – again, ask questions to better devise solutions for your clients.
  18. Communication Skills – get out of your comfort zone, to use that cliché. One of the top fears of people is public speaking, even ahead of death.  Conquer your fears and learn different approaches and techniques of communicating with people.  The more people you interact with, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
  19. Community Service – be a servant. Generosity will lead to prosperity.  You will get out what you put in.
  20. Handle Failure like a pro – win with dignity, lose with dignity. If you hit .300 in professional baseball, you’re one of the best.  That means you aren’t getting a hit 7/10 times.  Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and move on.
  21. Respect – earn it. Respect is earned, not commanded, unless you exert position power.  Respect others, in time you will gain trust.
  22. Accountability – the most successful people hold themselves to a higher standard. Share your goals with a select group of people.  Ask for assistance to stay the course.
  23. Play to your strengths. It’s like in school, if you’re great in math and science, but struggle in English; what happens to your math scores if all you study is English?  Play to your strengths, do certain things better than everyone else.   If you are strong at math and science, be the best at math and science you can be.

What is one thing you’ll start doing?

What is one thing you’ll stop doing?

What would you add to this list?