A successful business owner takes their cue from the top. Knowing that any great professional (from entrepreneur to athlete, musician to author) didn’t get there by accident. When it comes to the best of the best, the key players groomed themselves with highly effective habits and outlooks. Then they put them to use and practice, practice, practice. So let’s take a look at advice garnered from the ‘best in show’. And let’s see what they know that we don’t.

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence” – Mark Twain, Writer

The highly successful are lifelong learners. Those who do remarkable things in the world are always out there seeking new ways to develop their skill set and increase their understanding of their field. It’s not good that most people stop learning when their formal education ends. A successful small business owner commits to learning for life. This mindset reaps enormous rewards.

“The best revenge is massive success”- Frank Sinatra, Musician

Sinatra was just a scrappy kid from the Big Apple. But his words hold an interesting truth. That being a success has everything to do with where you came from. The drive towards dominance comes from a deep place. Often proving something to yourself; means disproving others. A successful business owner is someone who inherently goes against the grain. He reaches deep within and proves the norm, obsolete.

“Early is a priceless timepiece owned by the successful” – Johnnie Dent Jnr, Author

On a practical level, getting up at the ‘crack of noon’ isn’t going to get the job done. There is a lot to accomplish in a day. If you don’t get there first; someone else will. A successful business owner hates playing catch up. Knowing instinctively that his colleagues and competitors have already been going strong for hours. So he always feels the drive to keep up with them and himself.

“I walk slowly but never backward” – Abraham Lincoln, American President

Abraham Lincoln is respected in polls as one of the top 5 presidents of all time. So he must have done something right. He is known for leading his country through unbelievably tumultuous times. His party often felt he needed to work quicker in leading them to victory and it was here that he uttered these famous words. He understood what all successful small business owners know. That success does not come overnight. You need a deliberate approach. But it will take time. Taking things slowly will also help you anticipate danger ahead. A factor that can make all the difference to your future success.

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action” – Tony Robbins

We often hear about time management. Which is important. But what about energy management? To become a successful small business owner you have to do a lot more than manage your diary. If you are putting your energy into menial and tedious tasks you’re not even going to ‘Pass Go’. The highly successful fanatics are the ones that are obsessed with time and energy. Streaming their focus into the ‘right’ areas that will yield a high return.

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile” – Roger Staubach, Athlete

Staubach is the ex-football quarterback that led the Dallas Cowboys to 5 Superbowls and two wins. He also did a tour in Vietnam earning him the nickname Captain Comeback. His can-do attitude reminds us that success comes to those who are willing to do what no one else will. With this in mind, a successful small business owner is a pioneer. Always going beyond the call of duty and taking chances on the way to greatness.

 “Don’t forget to look up from your desk…there are people there” – Jaco Gunter, COO Beyond Merchant Capital

Strong relationships are key to making it big in small business. When running an enterprise, it can become easy to get caught up in day-to-day dealings. A successful business owner never forgets that making a business work means connecting with your people. Taking time to touch base and talk to staff, clients and associates are never undervalued. Practising daily interfacing with your team is good for morale and gives everyone a positive sense of structure. Veteran entrepreneurs know that if you don’t stay on top of relationships, they will die. That’s the last thing you want because business contacts are one of your greatest assets.

” Whenever you see a highly successful small business owner, a courageous decision was once made” – Peter F. Drukcer

Great business comes with great responsibility and even greater courage. Rest assured that the mere fact that you are on this path means you are cut out for the challenge. Perhaps the Greats that came before you, will give you that little nudge to get even braver and ultimately take you where you need to be.


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