Five Traits of Successful Business Owners

No question about it, people want to succeed in life. They put in the time and effort to move forward; they work hard to accomplish what they set out to do.

In all likeliness, you too have the same aspirations. You’ve put in the time and effort to earn your credentials, and you work hard to deliver good care to your patients.

Have you accomplished what you set out to do? Are you successful?

Of course, you are the only one who can answer this question.

So how is it that we talk about someone being “successful”? How do we know? After all, isn’t success different for everybody?

Yes, at its core, success looks different for each person.

It’s Not Just About The Money

Even though success is often measured in financial terms, success in life comes in many flavors and is far from limited to money.

There are many traits we evaluate as success, such as being happy, being educated, that do not include money at all.

Right or wrong, money is frequently used to measure success; this is particularly true when it comes to business. By default, money is used also to measure the success of the individual business owner.

With that in mind, what is it that sets truly successful business owners apart from the not so successful ones?

  • Is it that the successful ones were born with unique talents and gifts others lack?  No… there are scores of talented and gifted, but unsuccessful business people. Talent alone does not translate into success of any kind, including business.
  • Maybe it’s good luck that’s responsible for the success of some?  No… many people are blessed with all sorts of good luck: good health, being born into a well to do family or growing up in a country, such as the US, where education is available to those who want to get educated.  But not everybody takes advantage of the opportunities available to them. And if they do, it does not always translate into success.
  • Is it simply hard work and the consistent execution of goals and plans that lead to success in business (and life)?  Perhaps…

They Think Differently

Business Owners Think Differently

Time and again it’s been shown that successful people not only have a different approach to business, but they also think differently.

While there are numerous traits common to successful people, here are a handful I think are of particular interest.

  1. Successful people love what they do; many have a passion for what they do! This makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s much easier to get good and improve on something you enjoy doing as compared to doing something that “leaves you cold”.
  1. They effectively manage their time.  Successful people have become masters at managing their time effectively. They know which activities have the highest value to them and they focus on those.
  1. They have learned to deal with failure and rejection and bounce back quickly. Failure can be the shortest route to success. While many equate failure with having failed as a person, the successful know that failure is simply part of the game.  Expect to fail, don’t take it personally, and most importantly… get back in the game!
  1. They know what they want and they know how to get there. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. Successful people don’t just “get in the car and start driving…” They know where they are going and which road will take them there.
  1. They plan, have written goals, and take action on those goals.  They know what they want and what they need to do to get there. They have clearly defined, written goals; and they know the steps to take to reach their goals.

Are You Successful?

  • Are you doing what you love to do?
  • Are you good at managing your time?
  • Are you ok with getting rejected and/or failing?
  • Do you know what you want and how to get it?
  • Do you have a plan, a written plan?

Are you clear on what you want to accomplish in your business and in your life? For most, finding the answers is not a one-time event but in fact ongoing.

Here’s what to do next:

  • Set aside some time for yourself.
  • Start thinking and planning… always start with the end in mind.
  • Determine what it is you really want from your life and your business.
  • Formulate clear goals and write them down.
  • Determine what you need to do to accomplish your goals.
  • Start your plan… begin to implement.

P.S.  If you’d like some help with planning, particularly for your business, “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians” can help. You can find out more about the program here.

Image Credit : Greg Hernandez,  Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians” and regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog.

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  1. Great article. Resiliency is so important. you have to keep going, and keep your eye on the goal. There will be setbacks, but nothing is fatal unless you make it so.

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