5 Traits Effective Business Owners Share

I believe the single biggest thing that separates companies that grow from those that don’t is the owner’s awareness of the need for change and their willingness to do so.Traits shared by effective entrepreneurs

So, I was interested in a recent post about traits that effective entrepreneurs share. Sure enough, it contained a quote saying that if owners commit to learning more about themselves and becoming the best that they can be, they’ll find that challenges are really opportunities.

But what other traits, according to the post, do effective entrepreneurs have?

1.  They’re surrounded by people who share their passion. They need to be because, in our experience, entrepreneurs expect everyone to want to work long hours, get by on a shoestring and to continue to persist in the face of adversity.

We often find that even owners of well-established businesses expect every employee to feel the way they do about the company.

2.  They know themselves. The post makes the point that “When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you’re better prepared to build a team that complements you and can help you reach your goals”.

True, but while some of the owners we work with understand their strengths, they don’t – or won’t – admit their weaknesses. While prevailing wisdom may say that’s a bad thing, I’m not so sure.

Some of the personal characteristics that make great leaders – in politics, the military and in business – can also be considered weaknesses. But you can’t have it both ways. You have to deal with one to benefit from the other.

3.  They are true experts. Most of the successful business owners we deal with had been working in their industry for some time before going it alone. And they made the break to deal with a gap, shortcoming they saw.

So they are subject matter/industry experts. Unfortunately they often think this expertise extends to all other aspects of building a business.

4.  They take action. I totally agree. They are unafraid of risk and willing to make decisions without waiting for perfect information. And that is not the same as being reckless because, in fact, the best entrepreneurs are not.

5.  They fail well. Mainly, I think, because they see failure not as something negative, but simply as a step toward success.

There are so many examples. Like Edison and his 900 odd attempts before getting it right. Or Winston Churchill (not an easy person to be around) who said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

You will find the author’s take on these traits here.


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Tags: business owners, effective business owners, entrepreneurs, execution, growing a business, growth, industry experts, Jim Stewart, leaders, Leadership, passion, People, ProfitPATH, self-awareness, strategy, strengths and weaknesses, success, take action, take failure well, traits, willingness to change


  1. Many effective business owners are happy to acknowledge the efforts of contributing employees in ways that don’t always involve cash bonuses. For example, Michele Bailey, President & CEO of Blazing THE Agency describes in her book “It’s NOT All About You, It’s About the Company You Keep” that taking small teams of valued employees on memorable holidays is an excellent way to acknowledge good work and build cohesive teams.
    Conversely, effective business owners also realize that results come first and are not afraid to assess performance on a quantitative basis and reward only those employees who contribute to the business’s profitability.
    And they are not afraid to acknowledge that an employee’s idea may be better than their own, or that they have made a mistake.

  2. Jim Stewart says:

    Evan, thanks for your sharing thoughts. When I last had what my wife calls a “real job”, i.e. pre-consulting, we used to take a small number of high performing employees and their partners to the Caribbean in January of each year for a few days. It had enormous benefits for the company. Another measure I introduced was to let the employees vote for those whose performance was “outstanding” each year. That was another winner. Jim

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