7 traits successful business owners share
When I launched the Real-Life Business podcast back in April 2021, my intent was to normalise the fact that noone has their shit 100% together, 100% of the time. No matter how long someone has been in business; no matter how "qualified" or "experienced" they are; no matter how perfect their Instagram feed looks... EVERYONE has their moments, everyone has stuff going on behind the scenes and everyone has days where they have no clue what they are supposed to be doing.
The thing that stands successful business owners apart from the rest; is how they handle those situations and what they make them mean.
The Real-Life Business podcast aims to bring real stories, from real business owners, about real stuff into your eardrums; and now through the power of this blog, into eyeballs too!! I believe that if one person, takes one thing, from one episode that is going to help them overcome an obstacle that has been holding them back in their business, then that is a bloody awesome thing; but imagine the ripples on an even greater scale!!!
Throughout season one I have interviewed 21 amazing guests from across the globe and in this season wrap-up, I highlight the key themes that have come up through all these conversations. I have summarized this into 7 traits that successful business owners have in common, and whilst I don't believe this to be an exhaustive list; implement them into your life and your business and I dare you NOT to notice any positive difference!
Let's get into it...
#1 SAY YES & THEN WORK OUT HOW
I remember hearing one of my mentors tell me this on like Day One of my coaching training and thinking "yeah right, as if I'm gonna do that!" I was always someone who liked to have every i dotted and t crossed before I did anything. But when I reflect back on the major life changing events over my 40 years on this earth, they ALL came about from living by this mantra.
You see, if we seek the day where something external to us gives us the confidence to move forward (a training course, a qualification etc) we will never find it!! The trick is to recognise the confidence we have inside ourselves to trust that we will figure it out! Say yes, start and THEN seek help, research, learn, ask questions, be curious...figure it out as you go and make improvements with every step you take.
#2 FOCUS ON WHAT WE WANT
We now live in a world rife with distraction and it can be very easy to be drawn into someone else's version of success and then feel compelled to achieve that. This is one thing that shone out crystal clear throughout season one of the show, in that we need to identify what success looks like FOR US and focus on achieving that.
We hear it branded about all the time that "we're all on our own journey" and we are! While to some people, success might look like a 7-figure business and a team of 100; to someone else it might be working 3 days a week, during school hours, earning enough to pay the bills and go on a nice holiday each year.
Both are 100% awesome and 100% achievable if that is what WE WANT.
When I work with small business owners, one of the first things we do is identify what success looks like FOR US because by doing that, we can generate internal motivation to achieve it and we create a business that is going to meet the needs of our life, rather than take over our life.
#3 APPRECIATE ONE STEP AT A TIME
This feeds into the fact that it is so easy to compare ourselves with others in this day and age, which I believe is both a blessing and a curse. I like to identify people that I look up to; that inspire me to keep raising the bar and moving forward; BUT there is a very fine line. We have to appreciate that we are not going to click our fingers and be an overnight success.
I don't care what anyone says, business takes hard work; that's not to say it can't be fun in the process, but we don't get things handed to us on a platter...we need to work for it; and that is where this trait comes in.
We have to accept that we must take things one step at a time. We can focus on one thing at a time to improve or to learn. We can set a big, hairy, audacious goal and that is amazing to do; then reverse engineer, break it down and have smaller targets to work towards to ensure we hit the mark.
#4 BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LISTEN TO
The online world is full of trolls and naysayers who can completely sap our mojo and leave us feeling deflated. But we need to remember that even the people closest to us, could be having a negative impact on our growth, without us even having conscious awareness of it.
A well-meaning friend, a concerned family member, a risk-averse colleague...all can add little seeds of doubt into our mind and whilst they would probably be devastated to hear they have hindered our business growth, they can't help but want to keep us safe!
It stands therefore, that we need to be incredibly mindful of who we are listening to. Do they have the results we want? Do they inspire us? Do they help us raise our game; or do we always feel defeated and defensive in their company?
I'm not saying ditch people from your life; just accept that some people are on a different plane and it is up to us, who we listen to and take advice from! Which leads us very nicely to the next point...
#5 DEVELOP A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK
Almost every single person I interviewed in season one of the Real-Life Business podcast, talked about the importance of a strong support network. People who inspire us, people that energise us, people that call us out on our BS, people who will keep us accountable and people who can support us in areas we may not be as knowledgeable or as skilled.
A successful business owner doesn't do it all. They recognise where their strengths are, understand what they do best and seek support to fill the gaps!
This is a big one and can apply to two different levels to our business and personal development. To me it is vital that we keep looking forward and focusing on the person we need to become in order to have the business we seek to have. HOWEVER...
...to do that, it does require regular reflection. What is working, what is causing me challenge, what do I love, what is frustrating me? Who am I working well with? Who do butt heads with? What could I do differently? What must I keep doing more of? Do I really need to maintain that subscription? Do I have the best terms possible negotiated with that supplier? When was the last time I looked at my insurance?
All these are examples of questions we should be asking ourselves at least quarterly to ensure we're running things as optimally as we can, and not slipping into auto-pilot mode!
#7 ROUTINE & RITUALS
The final trait that I uncovered from season one of the Real-Life Business podcast, is the importance of routine or standards that we set for ourselves. If you're in business, you will appreciate there is so much that is out of our control and this can leave us feel a little out of balance.
It therefore becomes imperative that we create our own internal control, or sense of calm to raise our resilience and bring us back into balance. Now what that looks like is going to look different for everyone...I'm not saying join the 4am club and meditate for an hour under the light of the moon, before journalling, doing some yoga and having a cup of herbal tea!
Find something that works FOR YOU and do that.
Have a cuppa in bed before starting your day, set an alarm to make sure you move your body every couple of hours, plan your day the night before...whatever it is, have something. Something that becomes your thing, to set you up for your day; and make it non-negotiable.
SEASON TWO of the Real-Life Business podcast is coming and I cannot wait to share it with you. In the meantime, catch up on all the fabulous episodes from SEASON ONE right here and be sure to subscribe on your app of choice to never miss a new episode when it drops!