8 Habits of Highly Successful Business Owners
Success in business is generally the result of hard work, persistence and a few lucky breaks. But having and maintaining the right types of habits can lead to success as well. This means having the discipline to adhere to those habits, knowing they’ll likely generate both short- and long-term results.
Here are eight habits that most successful business owners share in common:
1. Look ahead. You’re not timid in your outlook or behavior or you wouldn’t be doing anything as risky as leading a business. Successful leaders are always looking ahead, knowing they’ll have to take bold steps that sometimes go beyond current market trends. “Bold steps” is another way of saying, “Take chances,” with the understanding that sometimes things don’t work out. It comes with the territory.
2. Be organized. Are you the type of person who meets deadlines, shows up to meetings on time and sticks to your business plan? Having an organized lifestyle increases your odds of success—far more so than the person who’s chronically late, can’t ever find the documents he needs and leaves everything to the last minute.
3. Go with your gut. Every day you make decisions, large and small. If you hesitate too long, the right opportunity might pass you by or a little problem can suddenly become a big one. Successful leaders have confidence in their decision-making abilities and aren’t afraid to go with their gut. They know what they know and what they don’t know. They also know there are times when delegating a particular decision to another, more knowledgeable person is the right thing to do.
4. Constantly reassess. The world never stands still, nor does the marketplace. What works today can become outmoded tomorrow. Cultivate the habit of continuously re-evaluating business operations, looking for places to cut fat, speed the collection process, manage inventory differently. The more you evaluate, the deeper your knowledge of your own company in particular and your industry in general. This is knowledge you can draw upon to solve problems and make informed decisions (see #3).
5. Listen to others. A successful leader knows one thing: She doesn’t know everything. Make that two things: You learn more by talking less. If you’ve hired the right people, they’re going to bring you great ideas to improve the business. All you have to do is listen.
6. Take care of yourself. Sure, you could work 100 hours a week if you put your mind to it—but for how long and at what cost? Successful leaders understand they’re in it for the long run, which means staying sharp through a balanced diet and regular exercise. (Sleep is another key health factor.) They’re unwilling to sacrifice their health for the sake of the business.
7. Be always learning. As noted in habit #4, the ever-changing world demands attention and an ongoing drive to learn new things. If there’s something you want to know more about, read a book, subscribe to a business-related blog, attend a conference. Success demands a constant influx of new ideas. You just have to supply the curiosity to go out and discover them.
8. Help others. As noted earlier, your success comes from hard work and lucky breaks. It’s also the result of help you’ve received from other people along the way. Successful leaders take time to share what they’ve learned and offer opportunities to others just starting out. It’s good karma, but it’s also good business.
Sticking to these eight habits isn’t a guarantee of success, but not sticking to them likely ensures some costly failures. Think of success itself as a habit worth cultivating and one you won’t ever want to break.
If you’re ready to cultivate productive habits and reach the next level of success, we invite you to join other CEOs, managers and senior-level executives in a confidential group setting where you’ll be challenged and rewarded like never before in your professional life. Learn more about becoming a Catapult Group member today.