Do You Have This Critical Success Trait for Small Business Success?

success-failureIf you’ve been around entrepreneurs and startups for a while, you begin to compile a list of reasons why some are successful and others are not and you have to scratch beneath the surface.

For example, some failed entrepreneurs might say they were undercapitalized. That’s more of a symptom than a cause. Why were they undercapitalized?

Many success stories can be directly connected to the attitude that the entrepreneur brings into the project at the very onset. Is the neo-small business owner merely trying to create a job, or is he or she pursuing a bigger goal?

Wisdom gained from answering these questions is applicable no matter what kind of startup you are going to pursue, whether it’s technology based, service based or a traditional business of some kind.

Success traits

EMyth (business coaches, online education and coach training) looked at these questions from the perspective of the traits found in seasoned entrepreneurs. And, if you re-read that last sentence, I want you to note the word “seasoned.” In the EMyth study, it turned out that having one failure under your belt goes a long way to establishing the traits that it takes to launch a successful startup.

“There were a number of surprising findings,” says EMyth’s Chief Brand Officer, Jonathan Raymond, “but none more so than that a second-time business owner is overwhelmingly more likely to succeed than a first-time owner, even if that first time owner has been in business for 30 years. (Emphasis mine.)

“The seasoned entrepreneurs were sustaining a five-year rate of growth over three times that of first-time owners. And, what’s more, it didn’t matter if they’d owned two, three, or even more businesses before. The magic factor was getting past the first one,” Raymond continues.

Put growth center stage

It turns out that some of an entrepreneur’s strongest points—passion and commitment—can be huge liabilities. These same qualities may prevent them from building a truly growth-oriented team, the study found. How you hire the people you surround yourself with usually ends up being your most important decision. You don’t just want to plug in people who are good at a particular task; you want people around you who have a vision for growth.

Too often new small business owners try to maintain a tight-fisted control over where the company is going. It’s hard to let go. Operations and even goals get compartmentalized. Talented co-works wilt in that environment. You must be willing to let others flourish within the environment (leadership) you provide.

Let’s be honest: Every startup is hard work. But do you want that hard work to be invested in a growing, flourishing business, or do will you merely allow it to keep you busy until you drop from exhaustion?

You can get a deeper look at what the study found in a webinar and slides available at State of the Owner.

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