So what are the attitudes that guarantee you success with your business?
In my last post I made reference to the book “How to be an Entrepreneur” by Steve Parks and one of the secrets of success he outlines is that of attitude.
From a simplistic point of view (and I love simplicity), if you start off thinking, “I’m not talented enough” or “there’s so much competition out there”… that’s an attitude that will lead directly to failure. So yes, a POSITIVE attitude is a must to begin with.
However, Parks claims there are six main attitudes that successful entrepreneurs share. They are:
- being principled
I’m going to talk about the characteristics which I believe to be particularly important.
A business owner is responsible for everything that happens in their company. Even if you are empowering your team by encouraging them to use their initiative and creativity, if something goes very wrong, you accept responsibility and immediately look for the action to take to solve the problem and move on from it. Time is not wasted apportioning blame. Employees respect and feel secure with this attitude and it creates an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.
You need to be passionate about what you are doing. It might be passion for your product, it might be passion for growing your business, it might be passion for the learning experience that running a business gives you, but passion has got to be in there somewhere. Perhaps the area where passsion is essential and will really make a difference to the bottom line is in sales. If you can’t get passionate about what you’re selling how can you expect the client to? I’ve often heard it said that selling is a transfer of enthusiasm, and that’s so right. Passion is what gets you up in the morning, what makes you pull out all the stops when the company hits a crisis. By the way, a crisis is a great learning experience, I believe every business owner should have several along their journey.
Which brings me to the third characteristic which I feel is important in an entrepreneur – resilience. How a business owner deals with a crisis is very revealing. It’s natural to want to panic at first, that’s a natural human reaction when we feel out of control. Entrepreneurs may feel pressured to act quickly by their staff, but giving yourself space to think and reflect, and assess the situation is essential. You need this space to collect your energy and determination to then move forward. If you have demonstrated the other characteristics of being principled, open and responsible and now demonstrate the resilience to pull through a crisis, your staff, clients and suppliers will be with you all the way.
I remember when we opened the extra classrooms to our academy 6 years ago. We did it quickly so as not to miss out on the start of the new academic year never thinking that we wouldn’t get the support of our bank. Unfortunately this move coincided with the scandal of the “Opening” chain of schools and for that reason(!) our actual bank wouldn’t give us any money to finance the project. It was only by negotiating wih our suppliers and employees, borrowing from our families and going without a salary until we signed agreements with additional banks that we avoided the business from grinding to a halt. If you have been conducting your business up until then with integrity, any action you decide to take is easier as people are prepared to collaborate to help solve the problem.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and profiles, but there is no doubt that when it comes to having the attitude that brings business success, the attitudes mentioned above have got to be in the mix somewhere.