So, maybe you’ve thought about starting your own business … or you’re struggling with the one you’ve got, and now you’re wondering: What are the characteristics of successful business owners?
Are those who run successful small businesses made up of different stuff? In some ways, maybe they are. We’ve compiled a list of five secret characteristics that contribute to business-owning success.
How many of these traits do you recognize in yourself? Which ones can you develop more?
Successful Business Owners are … AGILE
The ability to bob-and-weave and pivot into a new direction is a classic trait of successful people everywhere, and might be especially true for small business owners. But the foundation of this characteristic is grounded in humility.
You wake up one day and have one of those mind-bending morning shower ideas that you know will change the world … or at least yours. Often, small business owners get so enamored with relishing this moment that they lose the ability to scrap large chunks of their original idea to work toward something that could actually succeed.
Yes, you want to stand out from the crowd and offer something unique, however, sometimes you have to adapt. Give yourself — and your ego — enough room to adjust to the changing market, customer demands, government regulations or budgeting restrictions that stand between your idea and the big payoff.
This may even mean a completely different revenue stream, product enhancement or service you hadn’t planned on. Finding new ways to do the work itself, adopting technology or bringing in trained staff are highly dependent on your agility. The key: Stay flexible and open minded.
Successful Business Owners are … RESILIENT
If agility is essential, then resilience is absolutely critical. Those who have both traits keep in mind that the one thing you can rely on is change.
The foundation of resilience is rooted in drive and passion, along with the belief that you can adjust in order to succeed. Whether it’s your competitiveness or determination that’s driving you, it’s your resilience that will enable you to overcome the challenges coming your way. And they will come.
Throw in some hustle, hard work and elbow grease, and you’ve got an unshakable combination.
Along with good ol’ tenaciousness is financial resilience. Healthy cash flow from the outset is an important factor that helps business owners rebound from setbacks. If you’re not great with budgeting, get help early on.
Successful Business Owners are … VISIONARY
Forward-thinking leaders are those who do not get caught in the weeds of day-to-day work. They find the human resources or digital tools that help manage the here and now, so they can keep their eye on the future.
This trait, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the ability to focus and block out distractions. You started your business on a dream. That’s inherently futuristic, and successful business owners keep their gaze several steps ahead of everyone else.
Visionary individuals take the time they need to keep the dream alive, whether that’s setting monthly stretch goals or journaling their ideas of what the next phase of the business will look like. They pay attention to trends, and try to anticipate how those trends will impact their work.
Perhaps most important to visionaries is the ability to relay their vision to others. Successful leaders are those who effectively communicate their vision in order to get others on board.
Successful Business Owners are … CONFIDENT
By now, I think we can all agree that confidence is a no-brainer for these individuals. But there’s a distinct difference between confidence and the dreaded arrogance.
Being confident is an internalized trait. Confident folks do not look for outside reassurance, because they believe in themselves. This is often a quiet confidence that doesn’t need to make a lot of noise to be known.
In fact, truly confident people tend to also be humble, since they typically have a healthy relationship with knowing what they do and don’t know. Being confident boosts your competitive edge, but it also allows you to recognize your weaknesses.
You know when to stay in your lane and when you can spread your wings. A very powerful trait, indeed.
Successful Business Owners are … PURPOSEFUL
OK, we’ll try not to end on a new age-y note, but we love this characteristic. Simply put: The most successful business owners are in it for more than the money. They actually want to make a real change in their world.
They dream up products that make day-to-day tasks easier, or services that help their customers enjoy their lives more. They’re big ideas that provide service beyond themselves.
And those who are successful find ways to give back to the communities that support them, which builds genuine trust and goodwill that circles back to the business tenfold.