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What it takes to own a business

Nov 05 2016

Being a business owner / entrepreneur is not for the weak, lazy and feeble minded.  It takes a lot to own your own business, and be successful at it.  You must have patience, vision, self-perseverance, a good support system and network and a list of several other traits and qualities I could go on and on about separating them by commas but I think overall you get what I’m saying and for this article I’m going to talk about the four things needed and why they are important.  You still can own a business if you lack any of these qualities but your success will be short lived if you do not acquire these traits and skills.

                These by no means are in any order of importance because at any one given time one of these can be more important than the other.  The first trait I’m going to discuss is patience.  To be a success in any start up business or entrepreneurial venture you must be patient.  You know the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day?”  Well besides being a catchy phrase there is a lot of wisdom in that statement.  Rome was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, empire ever to be on this planet in all recorded history.  Centuries of work into building this classical empire that dominated for many more years to follow.  While it won’t take you centuries to build a business it does take time.  Success does not come overnight when building a business and you need to be patient and put the work in.  You must have meetings with potential clients and investors, you must do research on the business and venture and become a student of it so that you can learn it inside and out.  You need to put work into pouring over cost of product, investments, operations and any other factor that can come up so that you can prepare.  You must be patient with people and meet with them multiple times to convince them why they should invest with you either as a capital partner or as a potential client.  Remember it does not happen overnight (most of the time) and the work you put in at the beginning starts to lay the foundation of what could be the tower of your success. 

                The next trait I’m going to discuss, which is typically the first one you need, is vision.  You must have a vision of what it is you want to accomplish and do.  Not only do you need an initial vision for your business or venture but you need to continue to have vision as you develop and grow.  Entrepreneurial visions are constantly changing and growing.  Ever hear of a five- year business plan?  Well what you may not know is that every year business owners are redoing their five-year plans!  Why is that?  If they did one last year what is the need to change?  Because as your business grows and takes on new life and direction what was in your planning for next year may change.  Very few business owners and entrepreneurs I have met have had the same five-year plan for more than one consecutive year.  So, while you need the initial vision, or plan, such as “you want to own ten apartment communities” or “you want to own five locations of a particular chain” you need to also need to continue to have that vision evolve and grow as your business grows.  You may decide that after your first couple years in that you do not want to own 10 apartment complexes but instead own two or three extremely large ones or instead of five locations of a chain that you now want ten – fifteen because they are profitable and easy for you to run.  Bottom line is you do not know what growth you are going to go through or how fast you will experience it but you need to have constant vision of where you are going and where you want to go to be truly successful.

                Self-preservation is the third trait I’m going to go into.  When you are building a business or a new entrepreneurial venture you will come up short at time.  You will be faced with road blocks and challenges such as not enough capital, or no cliental, or the deal that you need just isn’t there and often you will be told no by people you need to say yes.  You cannot let this stop you. A lot of times you only need one yes to make it all worth it so if the first ten to fifteen people say no to your service or investment offering you need to keep going and keep searching for the one person that understands the opportunity and wants to make that investment.  But self-preservation does not stop there.  When you are building a business, you will often face road blocks and negativity with your family, friends and other people close to you, therefore a good support network is important but I’ll go into that one next.  When the negativity starts make its way into your mind you must have the self-perseverance to push it out, keep focused on your vision and goals and move forward.  You need to be your own biggest cheerleader, fan and believer or you will not be successful in the venture.

                The last trait I’m going to discuss isn’t a trait but it’s a “thing.”  It’s called a good support network, your inner circle of people you trust and believe in you.  More importantly it’s people you can go to for advice that have walked the same walk you are trying to walk.  Who have been there and overcome the same challenges you are currently (or will) face.  A good mentor and coach is worth one hundred times their cost and value if utilized fully.  They say you are the average sum of the five people you associate with the most.  So, when you are starting your own business or other entrepreneurial venture you need to look at those whom you associate with the most and ask yourself the hard question “will these people push me forward or hold me back?”  If they are holding you back and filling your head with doubts, negativity and telling you that you will never be a success or your plan or idea is stupid then it may be time to evaluate how much or how often you associate with them.  On the contrary if the trusted mentors and coaches you surround yourself with give you advice that you may be going about something the wrong way you need to take that into consideration and come up with an alternative plan or strategy, so don’t confuse “constructive criticism” with negativity because they are totally opposite things.

                As I said in the introduction there are several qualities, things and traits one person needs and I could go on and on and write a book about them, hey there is my own vision kicking in as I’m wrapping up this blog post, and through the course of any business venture they will always be changing and evolving.  One of the biggest things you can do to not only help yourself grow as you become successful but to help others that were once in your shoes in the beginning is to mentor, coach and help be part of a support network for someone else.  Because once you’ve “made it” in terms of being a successful business startup operator or entrepreneur you will need to constantly breathe fresh life back into your own and remind yourself that you need to maintain your constant vision and own determination to remain a success. 

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