I was recently listening to an interview with master salesman Steve Clarke (you should check out his website www.newschoolselling for some great sales tips). In it, he mentioned three traits held by every successful salesperson he's ever met. After listening to him, I realized that these same three traits are essential if you want to succeed in business.
First: The business owner must not make excuses! To put it simply, this means the business owner must take responsibility for everything in their business, whether it goes well or fails. If you don't like something in your business, don't complain about it! You created the business you now have.
It is almost impossible for me to help a business owner who is always blaming someone or something else for his problems. Until you take responsibility for everything that happens in your business, there is no way for you to change your management style. But of course, it is much easier to blame the new competitor down the block, the Internet, lazy employees, or banks who aren't lending. The list of excuses I hear goes on and on.
So if you really want to improve your business, stop looking for excuses as to why it isn't working, and start looking for things that you can do to improve it.
Second: The business owner must be a self-starter! When you own your own business, no one is there to make sure you show up to work every day. No one is there to make sure that you do the work that is necessary. And no one is there to make sure you focus on the hard work of growing your business.
Being a self-starter can't be taught. Either you are or you're not! But I have often found that it is much easier to get started on a project when you really enjoy what you're doing. So a key question here is: Do you enjoy the work your business does?
Third: You must be resilient! Every business owner is a salesperson, and every business owner will fail to make the sale at some point. They will also fail to close a business deal, fail to hire the right person, fail to make a profit, and sometimes just have their business fail in total. There isn’t a single business owner I know that hasn’t had some failure!
But a successful business owner learns from their failures, figures out how to do it better next time, and never gives up!
So do you have what it takes to be a very successful business owner?