Climbing the business ladder is like crossing the red sea. You know how the popular red sea is described right? The waves are one that could flush you away in split seconds. Okay let’s not get distracted here we are just comparing the world of a business owner to it. It is hard, time-consuming and if you are not careful, you might just get flushed away by the sea. Okay, no one died climbing the business ladder. But you get the point; not everyone has the drive to reach the top. Do you have what it takes? After closely studying the leaders of today’s top organizations, there are certain signs and traits that they have. I would be outlining seven hidden signs that indicate that you’d be a successful business owner.
You are a constant lifelong learner
Business owners realize that school may end, but learning never does. Consider the fact that Aliko Dangote is one of the world’s busiest people and he finds time to read at least 1 an article a week. These days, I get to meet very interesting business owners and they have all said the same thing “reading is a way I learn new things and test my understanding.’’
A major sign that indicates that you are going to be a successful business owner is that you won’t stop learning. You can’t stop learning. You can’t just help yourself. There is a burning desire to get better at everything you go into. You are basically hungry for more or better still additional knowledge. A love for learning goes a long way, if you are a ‘figure it out’ kind of person, you will go much farther as a business owner than someone who craves rules and instruction that are all laid out.
You fall forward, not backward
Be ready to have a roller coaster ride when you are an entrepreneur because the ups and downs of your career can feel like one. The gag is, it doesn’t change. Unexpected market shifts can spoil your career if you don’t know how to respond or react to it. When you are faced with a business crisis, what do you see? Do you take it as an opportunity to do better or a threat to leave the game? Steve Jobs failed countless times before inventing the almighty Apple. Learning from failures led him to become one of history’s most fruitful inventors. Those who learn to turn their setbacks into progress are the ones who become successful entrepreneurs.
You are super competitive and you like a challenge
Successful entrepreneurs are always super competitive. It doesn’t matter what it is. They want to do it bigger, faster and better than everyone else. As a business owner, your one desire should be ‘I’m going to do it better than you’.
You are flexible but very persistent
Yesterday Nokia was a big deal in the tech industry; today apple is the premium brand. As a business owner, you must continuously learn and adapt as new information becomes available. At the same time you have to remain persistent to the cause and missing of your business. That‘s where voices in your head becomes so important, especially when it is giving you early warning signs that things are going off track. Successful entrepreneurs find the balance between listening to that voice and staying persistent in driving for success.
You do not work based on your plan
We all know this age-old interview question that makes everyone cringe. You know the popularly asked question ‘where do you see yourself in 10 years’. I hate that question so much because it’s so misleading. We all don’t know where we would be in 10 years. Making a 10 year plan to me sounds rather absurd. The more you tie yourself to a rigid plan, the less open you’ll be to opportunities that could accelerate your career even faster. Because you are sticking to the books.
Most people spend too much time ‘preparing’ instead of taking action. Great leaders understand they have to get started and sometimes, learn on the job.
You are not doing it all by yourself
Nigerians tend to glamorize people who can ‘do it all’ on their own, but i always consider this as a major downside of our love for independence.
As a business owner you started out doing everything yourself. From sales calls, invoices, tax, customer complaint, taxes, order fulfillment, web design, oh and don’t forget to actually perform whatever service you are rendering or make whatever product you’re selling.
But here’s the bitter truth: One-man shops aren’t salable. The art of delegation is one of the hardest and most important skills to master as a business owner because it requires trusting other people with the business you have worked the hardest to build.
To be a successful business owner, you must be okay with handing off non-core tasks.
You are self compassionate
Contrary to popular believe, self compassion doesn’t make you weak or un-ambitious. Instead, psychologists say it makes you more successful.
Research has shown that self compassion has three components which are engaging in a positive internal dialogue, understanding that everyone makes mistakes and being highly connected to your thoughts and feelings.
One strategy that has worked for me in my years of practicing self compassion is treating myself as i would treat a colleague or friend who has failed.