Do you want to (continue to) be a successful business owner? I do. It’s what I invest most of my time doing, really — performing activities that help me serve my members more effectively. Ideas pop into my head all the time. Thank goodness for Lydia and Lauren, who receive a steady stream of dM’s New Ideas all week long, and who, after just a few weeks on the job, are doing a great job of separating the wheat from the chaff.
They help me say, “No” (see item #4 below), and it’s a good thing, because I’m not good at it myself. My life is spent working with, encouraging, and socializing with small business owners from all walks of life. The emphasis, of course, is on handmade business owners — people who make the amazing products they sell with their own hands. Based on my observations, these are ten habits of highly effective business owners.
1. They are curious
Effective business owners are either naturally curious or they quickly develop an insatiable appetite for information they can use to make things happen.
They are constantly learning. They study statistics, the habits of successful entrepreneurs, competitors, and read industry trade journals and blogs so they can see what works and what doesn’t work.
They are constantly connecting these dots to form a working strategy that pushes their business forward.
2. They know when to stop being curious
As curious as they are, they know when to stop asking question and get busy.
They know that knowledge is not power unless it’s action upon. They develop a sense of when they can stop researching a topic and start doing something with the knowledge they have.
They appreciate the danger inherent in collecting so much information that nothing ever gets done. And they avoid that danger like the plague.
3. They are doers
After collecting information, and knowing when they have enough of it, they roll up their sleeves and the next thing you know, something amazing is done.
A new product line is launched.
A new blog post is making its way across their social networks.
A new crop of product photos is on display at their FaceBook Page and their Pinterest.
A new social sharing icon is added to their website.
A new newsletter is published.
A new pitch is on its way to their customers’s favorite magazine.
At the end of each day, they can look back and point to 2 or 3 specific things they did to push the wheel barrel up the hill. They celebrate and then do it all over again the next day.
4. They say, “No” a lot
…Well, they do if they want to remain sane.
Th”ey learn to say “no” because they say “yes” for a really long time, and then get to the point where they learn to say “no.”
Every successful business owner learns this lesson. Saying “Yes” to too many things will land you in one of two places: the poor house or the crazy house
I don’t want to be in either.
4. They limit FaceBook time
This is big, and pretty self-explanatory. You see them there, but they are not all over FaceBook like it’s a new job.
They’re there like they have a reason for being there beyond socializing. They are interacting with customers, learning something new, sharing something they think will help others, or generally making it easy for new customers to find them.
It’s a fine line, but at the end of the day, you just don’t see them idling away time on FaceBook.
6. They are orderly
Effective business owners don’t just arrive at the beginning of each workday wondering what they are going to do next.
They have a plan and when they veer off track, which they inevitably do, they quickly come back into line.
No new product is launched by accident.
Careful consideration is given to new ideas to see if they fit the master vision for the business. If they don’t, they fall on the cutting room floor. If they do, well, see #3 above.
7. They maintain a schedule
You can see almost exactly how they run their businesses just by looking at their calendars. That’s how disciplined they are. If it’s on the calendar, it can happen. If it’s not, it had better be an emergency. Otherwise, it won’t happen.
8. They are teachable
I’ve been a business owner for 12 years.
As much as I know, every day, I find out more things I don’t know.
It’s difficult for a lot of people to be teachable because they don’t want to admit that they don’t know something they think they should know. Effective business owners aren’t like that.
They are curious, remember? And they ask as many questions as they can while they can. They know that when you’re teachable, people will teach you things, and that will make you unstoppable.
9. They are teachers
I love this part — you often see effective business owners sharing what they know.
Whether it’s their passion for fitness or their love for a particular charity, effective people reach out into the world and sprinkle what they know all over it, like fairy dust.
They make magic in at least one person’s life every single day.
10. They develop themselves
No laziness here.
Effective entrepreneurs know that if they don’t lead themselves, they cannot possibly lead a business.
This is tough. It takes discipline.
I’ve met a lot of great people with great products. The ones who develop their products more than they develop themselves don’t make it.
Question: What habit do you think is most valuable?
What do you think the most important habit of a highly effective business owner? It might be one of the ones listed here, or something totally different. Let us know in the comments!