While there is no one winning formula for business success, there do seem to be character traits that most successful business owners share. In a 2010 study by the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute which polled over 1,000 business owners, the following traits were found to be the most common.
Ability to Collaborate
At the top of the list of traits that fuel successful entrepreneurship was the ability to collaborate. The business owners who can work well with employees and vendors are the same ones who build strong relationships with customers.
Most successful business owners take great pride in being their own bosses, creating something of value and having control over how much money they make. The ability to be self-fulfilled by “doing your own thing” is one of the traits that drives many towards business ownership.
Whether it’s planning for the day ahead or strategizing about long-term goals, business owners tend to focus their attention on managing the future and don’t dwell on the past.
Keeping up with technology that can improve business efficiency and insight is always a smart idea. Those who are the most successful often rely on leading-edge tools like social media, cloud-based phone systems and CRM software to generate more sales and make their businesses run more smoothly.
Business owners often put into play the old adage “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” The ability to turn adversity into action is a fundamental component of success.
The need to always be learning, growing and developing skills is essential to staying current and competitive. The businesses that are led by information-gathering individuals who want to know about the latest technology, industry trends or sources for finding great employees are going to have a competitive edge.
Desire to Delegate
Finally, we decided to ask our community on Facebook what they thought was the most important personality or character trait a business owner should have. We received a number of interesting answers, including this one from Donna Bordeaux of Bordeaux & Bordeaux Certified Public Accountants:
“I will use a riddle to answer this question: What is the difference between a business owner that makes $100k per year and one that makes $1 million in a year? The $100k owner is smarter since he/she knows how to do EVERYTHING him- or herself. The answer to being lies in the owner’s ability to let others help and not try to wear every hat there is to wear.”
We like your answer, Donna! And we love having the opportunity to play a part in helping business owners succeed.
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Originally published Jul 07, 2011, updated Aug 07, 2020