Since I started my business I’ve noticed some things about business owners. Some business owners have qualities that others don’t and all successful business owners have multiple if not all the qualities I go over today.
In no particular order, I would love to share with you some things I have both observed (a lot from Shark Tank) and learned since launching my business.
1. Willingness to Work Hard
If you’ve started your own business you know that it takes a lot of hard work. It takes a bit of a daily grind to get things going, to get those first clients, to figure out your systems, and to start with making your biz legit.
You must have a long term mindset and think of your business as a marathon instead of a sprint.
It takes continually going out in the wee hours of the morning, braving the cold weather, the rain, the hot humid sunshine, and running even when you don’t feel like it. It’s pushing yourself to make it happen.
You do what you need to do to get the miles in and that’s what you do for your business. You do what you need to do to get those clients: cold calling, putting yourself out there, and being persistent to get those first sales to get the momentum going.
2. Positive Attitude
I talked about a secret weapon of entrepreneurs in this post, but the gist is that you need to have a positive mindset and know that no matter how bad today was, tomorrow will be better.
No matter how much you feel like you failed in that pitch, your next one will be great. It’s continually telling yourself that you have something valuable, something worth sharing with the world, and something that you are passionate about that can give you the encouragement to continue on.
I think for me personally that’s one of my biggest strengths, having a positive mindset and knowing that it will all work out. Not being naive, but knowing that with persistence and diligence you can make your goals happen.
3. Not Being Afraid to Take Risks
I feel like the definition of being an entrepreneur is being ok with the idea that the road will be risky. That’s the trade-off: working for a company, doing a 9-5 gives you a stable income (if you don’t get fired), a reliable paycheck, and steady benefits.
Being an entrepreneur, you become your own boss, you have an unlimited income, meaning you are the one in charge of pricing your services and you can price as high as you want. But there’s risk because you are the one in charge of getting your work, no one is going to do the work for you. It’s all on your shoulders, and it’s risky.
4. Be (Yourself) Original
One of the hardest parts about business, at least for me, is being yourself and not being afraid of that. It’s hard when you put yourself out there and feeling like you’re not accepted or no one will take you seriously or even feeling like people don’t like you.
But the truth is, you NEED to be yourself because that is one way to make your business stand apart (see this for 4 ways to make your business stand apart). Not only is it a way for your business to stand apart and be original but it’s also a key to longevity in your business.
If you put up a facade of how you want to be portrayed and adopt a certain style that you like but one that is not your own, you can’t maintain that for an extended period of time. For you to truly be original and to keep your business true to you for the long haul you need to embrace how you are, quirky, outlandish, or intimate, however you truly are, own it, and celebrate it.
5. Ability to Get Back Up After Failure
I talk in depth about this topic in this in this post, but Barbara Corcoran talks about the people who worked for her - the ones who truly succeeded were the ones who got back up the fastest after failure.
“You have to be able to take rejection, handle failure, deal with disappointment and have no down time. Because it’s in the time you’re sitting there and thinking ‘Oh, poor me,’ that your competitor is running away with the bacon.”
6. Ability to Take Criticism
Something that’s hard being a designer is that I love my work and when I get feedback that isn’t positive about my designs I take it rather personal. It’s hard not to if you’re really invested and attached to a project.
But the truth is, especially those of us in the service industry, we need to be able to take criticism and make adjustments accordingly. Of course we need to follow our own intuitions on design and all that but it comes down to those you work with, the most important person to make happy is your client, and giving them an awesome experience of working with you.
As American businessman Michael LeBoeuf says "A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all."
7. Manage Time Well
This is so important. Having good time management skills is a must to running a business– not to mention if you have a full time job and if your passion is your side hustle.
It’s vital that you have systems in place that can help you do all the things you need to do to make your business run smoothly and efficiently. One of the things you can do is to make sure you have your priorities in line and also making sure you are focused, I talk about those things in this post.
8. Ability to Work Well with People
Like it or not, you need to work with people and work well with them in order to go far in your business. Personality is one of the biggest factors when people will hire you.
It’s key that you know how to present yourself, how to communicate clearly with not only your audience but your clients, and to make those who come in contact with you feel important, worthy, and valued.
9. Educating People on Your Value (AKA Selling Yourself)
This is very hard for a lot of us. Especially when you’re starting out in business and you’re trying to make your first sale or pitching your first potential client, it’s important that you know how much value you can bring to your potential client.
I was recently in a meeting where I was educating a potential client on the importance of quality vs. quantity in branding and the main thing I kept reiterating was the value of quality branding, namely printing.
It's not just a great printed piece, it's an extension of your brand. Especially as we're in a world that's so visual and appearance-focused, it's important that your materials are on par with the qualities and values of your company.
10. Determination & Persistence
Having a never quit attitude is very important when you’re blazing your own path, because sometimes that road is long and lonely. When you have a determined resolve to make your idea happen you’re encouraged by the smallest growth, you are patient knowing that it just needs more time, and you have faith in yourself.
This is an important trait of successful business owners. No matter how they have been pushed down or have been told that their idea won’t work, they go for it anyway and it turns out that they prove everyone wrong.
Did you possess multiple qualities of successful business owners? I hope this encourages you to continue on and don’t give up on your dream. Keep your vision alive by pursuing it wholeheartedly and you will succeed. And putting these qualities into practice wouldn't hurt either.
What qualities do you notice that are necessary to successful business owners?
Does one quality stand out to you as being more important than the others?