An attitude for success
Having the right attitude can make all the difference when it comes to the success of your business.
You may think your business idea is what’s most important, but there are many behavioral elements that are also critical to your success. Your mindset may be most important of all.
Know who you are—and who you aren’t
As a business owner, knowing your strengths and areas for improvement will help you identify where you can run the show solo and where you may need some help. Let’s consider a few examples:
Imagine being a highly skilled graphic designer, who freelances for a number of local businesses. Your portfolio speaks to the quality of your work, but as an introvert, you may find it hard to connect with new clients or even to socialize with existing ones. But by identifying that, you’ve won part of the battle. Now you can seek out an agency who actively represents and markets your talent, leaving you free to focus on your strength, design.
Now let’s imagine running a gourmet bakery. It’s likely you know what it takes to make a tasty product, what it should look like, and even the small details of your packaging. What you may not be so good at are the numbers: bookkeeping, taxes, payroll. If that isn’t your strength, then you know having a trusted accountant or bookkeeper can help you focus on being the best baker you can be—all while leaving the financials to someone who excels at crunching numbers.
Identifying what you’re good at is one important step in having the right mindset as a business owner, but it’s not the only one.
An entrepreneur doesn’t give up, so developing a thick skin will also serve you well, now and in the future. Apple founder Steve Jobs was rejected time and time again—even fired from Apple at one point—before transforming it into the empire it is today. He knew how to take rejection and channel it into seeking other opportunities.
Staying focused when something goes awry is a critical component of the entrepreneurial mindset. A smart entrepreneur hears feedback and either deliberately chooses to ignore it or pivot. Regardless of the choice, they don’t throw in the towel and walk away. They always keep going.
Flexibility doesn’t mean always changing your mind about your business ideas; rather, it means being open to the possibilities to make it better. Business owners often start a business to solve a need of their own, and one they know others face, too. But as you discover the nuances of different customers, you may realize your original idea isn’t big enough or broad enough. Being adaptable to your customers and the marketplace is a key trait of successful entrepreneurs.
Rely on others
Lastly, the best business owners don’t operate in isolation; they’re inclusive. When they learn a way to become more efficient or discover a great vendor, they spread the word. Building communities is what entrepreneurs are all about, so it’s important to surround yourself with other inspiring, positive people who will help you if you help them.
Aside from these more attitudinal qualities, there are some practical skills that can help you as a business owner, too. Explore which qualities you already possess, and which ones you might to work on. Here’s where you can ask others to help you assess yourself.