As a business consultant, I have the opportunity to meet with many business owners in various stages of their business. After seven years in business for myself, ten years in corporate America, and growing up in a family business, I have noticed that I am pretty accurately able to predict if a business will thrive or not. I have been surprisingly accurate in my assessments to date, and I can usually tell by the interactions I have with the business owner, without having to delve too quickly into their business or personality.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that I am pretty intuitive by nature. I can blame it on being a Pisces, but more likely I am just tuned to a different frequency than some business owners. It is a gift and a curse, but I think awareness of your strengths and weaknesses is more important than you ACTUAL strengths and weaknesses. You can decide whether you use them in the right manner.
But more than that, I think business owners are pretty quick to “show their cards” when it comes to indicators for success. All the markers are there if you just know what to look for. I wanted to share a few basic indicators of success that you as a business owner should be aware of, and also work on if you feel that these don’t come naturally to you. Because let’s face it, some behaviors that bring about success are learned, not in one’s nature.
Here are some top indicators of what makes a successful business owner:
They Show Up. Even when it is a crappy day, even when things are falling apart, or when they just don’t feel like it. They show up for their business, for their clients, for themselves. They know that it is their responsibility to show up and “do the thing” every day. It might be hard, but the more you show up, the easier it is. The less you show up, the easier it is to not show up. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there propels your business forward, and it also helps you achieve the success you want for your business. Now there are times when they truly can’t, we are all human. But if you aren’t going to show up, then say so. It’s ok to be realistic, but you need to differentiate between true inability and excuses.
They Communicate. Tying into showing up or saying you can’t show up is the concept of communication. You need to communicate as a business owner. If you aren’t able to complete something in a timely manner, you communicate that to your clients. If you are not interested in working with someone or have changed your mind, you should communicate that. If you want something, you communicate that. If you want the sale, client, opportunity, whatever, then you communicate that. Communication is so key in business and sometimes business owners shy away from communication because they don’t want a confrontation or uncomfortable situations. Let me let you in on a little secret – business is uncomfortable. You are exchanging money for goods and services and competing with others with similar offerings for business. Competition and money are huge stressors in people’s lives, so you are connecting with these stressors in the process of conducting business. Keep that in mind when you are communicating with people.
They Know What They Don’t Know. Humility is important as a business owner. No one knows it all, and to be the best business owner you can be, you must always be self-aware. Knowing that you still have so much to learn makes you better, because you know to be constantly seeking out opportunities to improve. By devoting even a small portion of each day to improving strategies, learning new concepts or seeking out other opportunities, business owners truly have the ability to grow.
They Value Accountability. Entrepreneurship and success do not happen in a vacuum. If you have no real goals to meet, stakeholders to satisfy and at the end of the day, they want to pay themselves. All of those things happen when you internally understand that you are accountable to produce. While self-motivation is so important as a business owner, it is even more important to value outside expectations. It keeps you from sliding or moving goal posts instead of working harder. If you don’t have an accountability partner or stakeholder – find one.
I have seen quite a few business owners who don’t understand or possess these concepts and their businesses have fallen short of expectations or folded altogether. While I can’t attribute lack of accountability directly to falling short, I also start to see patterns among those that fail to have that lack of accountability. It truly comes across in conversations and interactions when people just don’t have a certain ”je ne sais quoi” that makes them really stand out and build the success they desire.
If you are finding that your day to day in business doesn’t allow for these self-aware concepts, you are probably in a reactionary mode in your business. If there is not enough time in your day to be accountable or to learn new concepts – you need to build that into your processes and routine. Having real systems and processes in place help you show up when you need to, communicate better, understand where you can improve, and most of all create accountability measures.
To create space for these things, you need to have true systems in place. My passion in life is to help business owners dust off their inner successful business owner or learn new strategies to make success a part of their reality. If you are ready to truly get control of your systems, control of your business and attain the success you desire, let’s chat. I truly feel that the first step to success is acknowledging that you can achieve whatever you want, and the second step is to actually get up and do it.
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I work with business owners three ways – DIY Products, Guided Support, and Full Implementation. We can find a solution that fits most budgets and time constraints.