The internet is brimming with expert advice, tested and proven methods, and inspiring testimonials for aspiring successful business owners. Much of it is valuable, applicable, and worthy of consideration.
A flawless business plan, sufficient funding, a brilliant team, and perfect timing can all be factors in launching your business toward your goals. But are they all you need?
Qualities of a Successful Business Owner
Inspiration abounds for business owners. We are persuaded to work hard, develop perseverance, and become innovative. Resiliency, creativity, agility, focus, diligence, resourcefulness, tenacity, and discipline are praised as characteristics of those courageous enough to branch into the world of business ownership. These are all good things – even essential things.
In his reputable experience, Steve Blank has observed that “it’s rare that the smartest innovator is the most successful entrepreneur”. It takes more than enthusiasm, a good idea, and expertise in your industry to build a successful business in your industry.
What Makes YOU Successful?
One underrated strategy is defining what success means to you. What is your vision of success?
Many business owners have dedicated their lives, sacrificed their vacations, forfeited benefits, and neglected their loved ones in efforts to achieve success. Regrettably, too many find that what they’ve accomplished has somehow failed to satisfy.
Before you get too deep into your business planning, take some time to determine what you actually want to achieve. Ask yourself questions like:
- What do you really want your business to become?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What is your ideal lifestyle?
- When will you know you’ve fulfilled your purpose?
Answering questions like these will give you a clearer picture of what success looks like to you.
The Realities of “Success”
“The sky’s the limit!”
Yes. We should dream big dreams. We must not become discouraged by apparent limitations. This is where creativity and perseverance and resourcefulness come in handy.
But bigger dreams mean bigger responsibilities. As you dream and set goals, keep in mind the whole picture – the challenges that come with it, not just the enjoyable parts.
Is Bigger Really Better?
For example, if you think success means doubling your sales in a year, will you need to double your staff? If so, will you have time to interview, hire, and train that staff? Will increased sales require more space or production equipment? Will you need a bigger location? If so, how would the disruption of a move affect your business?
There are many potential scenarios and factors to consider. If attaining your goal excites you in spite of the costs, demands, and potential challenges, then go for it! Don’t let the tough stuff hold you back! But don’t ignore the reality of what it’s going to take to carry out your plan.
You’re the Expert on Your Own Success
Not everyone wants to be the CEO of a multi-million-dollar international corporation. Frankly, not everyone has the necessary attributes to function well in that kind of position. And that’s okay.
Don’t let the experts dictate what your business must become.
If your vision of success means keeping your business small enough to enable you to work from home and have lots of time for family or leisure or pursuing hobbies… Own it! Be proud of it! It’s every bit as admirable as anyone else’s dream.
Your success is not my success. Your business is not my business.
You’re the boss. You get to decide what success means for you.