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The tell-tale signs of a successful business owner

Being a strong business owner and leading your business to success is perhaps the most important goal for business owners. To achieve this, business owners must display very specific attributes. The possession of these traits distinguishes the outstanding business owners from the average business owners.

While many successful business owners share common and powerful attributes that help them drive their businesses forward, only those who use them to their advantage and embed them into their decision-making will see the wide-reaching success they desire.

Elite business owners typically possess five key attributes:

1. Ownership

Successful business owners ensure they take complete ownership of their business, going one step further than those owners who just take responsibility and accountability. Relating to the concept of extreme ownership outlined by Jocko Willink, successful business owners understand that there are no excuses and no time for sticking their heads in the sand. (1) Successful business owners fully own all outcomes in their business and proactively make things happen for their business to achieve success.

2. Strong learning habit

Elite business owners possess an extremely strong learning habit and are highly motivated to succeed. Recognising the amount of learning required to drive business success, these business owners invest lots of time, effort and money to improve themselves as leaders. Whether it be reading a book every week or listening to every podcast relevant to their business area, these business owners understand they must always strive to better themselves if they want to see success, and are motivated to put the measures in place to do so.

3. Persistence

Every business has a long list of unpleasant stories that appeared along the way to achieving success. Extremely successful business owners possess exceptional persistence to approach challenges head on and not give up when they experience failures. As all businesses face challenges at some point, the business owner’s willingness to keep going in the face of adversity is correlated to the success they are rewarded with.

4. High activity level

Successful business owners are highly active in the right areas when conducting business activity. Highly active in the early years of business, these owners pursue every opportunity and every customer to grow the business. These business owners also understand the importance of building strong alliances and relationships, improving products and making more sales. They also intuitively recognise and understand the difference between important and valuable activities versus the urgent but less important tasks. A successful business owner’s ability to identify what is important at particular stages of the business cycle lets them direct massive amounts of attention and time on the right activities at the right time, resulting in faster growth and success for their business.

5. Focus

Successful business owners have extremely high levels of focus to solve problems and add value, either as an individual or as a business. Passionately driven to improve and add value to people or organisations, elite business leaders maintain high levels of discipline when focusing their effort and time on specific activities, ensuring that every task they complete is a value-adding action.

While some of these attributes may be seen as naturally-occurring in some people, any business owner can cultivate their capabilities in these areas. They simply need to recognise the importance of these attributes then consciously direct their efforts towards improvement. While the specific actions driven by these attributes will be unique to each business and each owner, these five attributes are common to almost every elite business owner. The cumulative effect of incremental improvement in each of the five areas can see business owners leap from moderate success to outstanding success.

Andrew Laurie is an entrepreneur, CEO and elite business coach. You can read more of his informative business articles here. 


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Andrew Laurie

Andrew Laurie

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