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5 traits of a Successful Business Owner

October 30, 2013 | Valerie Wong

What do successful business owners have in common? This is a question you may have been asking yourself if you're planning on starting a new business. Don't go thinking that all entrepreneurs are super geniuses who have managed to build a successful business due to their superior intelligence. While being “smart” will help, there are many more important traits that entrepreneurs share which has helped them succeed in the business world. Here are the most common ones: 

Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation 

When you work on your own business, you are your own boss. There is nobody telling you to get to work at a specific time, nobody assigning tasks to you, and nobody breathing down your neck if you don't work fast enough. While some may enjoy this feeling of independence and of being in complete control, it is important to know that as an entrepreneur, you, and only you, are responsible for your success. 

You will need to be motivated to complete your projects well and to work diligently, without letting yourself get distracted. 

Ability to Take Risks 

Unlike a traditional job, where you get a paycheck every two weeks or every month, if you own a business you are the one who is in control over how much money you make. But to build a business that thrives in the long term, you must be willing to take calculated risks. With every decision you make, there is a chance that it may have been the wrong one, and there is a chance that you will have lost both time and money. But there is a way to mitigate this, by calculating the amount of risk you are taking and the expected rewards from your decision. 

Ability to Learn on their Own 

Any university, community college or technical school will have courses and programs about entrepreneurship and general business administration. While these can be quite useful in teaching you certain general concepts, such as accounting, or how to manage staff members, there is no “step by step” course that will teach you everything you need to know about building a business from the ground up. 

You will be required to do your own research and learn information that would be specific to the type of business that you are planning to open. If you want your business to thrive, you will always need to learn how to sharpen your skills, whether it is learning by experience, or looking up information that is available on online forums, in business magazines, books, etc. 

Welcoming Attitude Towards Change 

In the business world, things change all the time. If we look at the last 20 years, there was no social media and now people communicate more on the social media channels. As an entrepreneur you should accept and try to understand this change and adapt a business strategy to reach your target market through these new communication channels. 

Industries that were established for long periods of time, such as consumer goods and financial services, have also evolved significantly. A successful entrepreneur will always welcome change and see it as a way to grow and adapt their business in an industry that is evolving. 

A Positive Attitude 

Many companies, even the hugely successful ones such as Apple and McDonald's have experienced periods of downturn. But an entrepreneur sees the problem his business faces as just another challenge to be undertaken. He will be looking for creative solutions and will always focus on what CAN be done, as opposed to dwelling on what he can't do. 

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