5 Traits of Powerful Small-Business Owners

Running a small business requires a lot to make it work. It’s so reliant on the person running it. I’ve seen plenty of great ideas fail simply because of poor owners. But over the years I’ve managed to boil down the number of traits that a small-business owner must have.

If you have these five characteristics you’re well on your way to a successful venture.


I can’t stress this enough. Small businesses need to stand out from the crowd and you have to be brave to make that jump.

But don’t confuse bravery with stupidity. They’re not the same thing. Jumping off a cliff for the sake of being brave isn’t the right way to go about it. You must be confident in your decisions without being reckless. That’s bravery.

Related: Why Entrepreneurship Takes Real Bravery


Nobody is on your back telling you to do anything. If you don’t want to go into work on Monday there’s nothing to stop you. That sort of freedom is liberating and dangerous in equal measures. You must have the self-motivation to get up and go, especially when you don’t want to get up and go.

Without that self-motivation, you will use that freedom in the wrong way.

Related: 5 Reasons Why I Quit My Own Business to Work for Someone Else


Business are under more scrutiny these days than ever before. If you’re not transparent, both in your organization and in the public arena, you will destroy the reputation of your business. You must be transparent and you must be willing to share.

Sometimes this could even be a legal requirement.

Related: 4 Ways Transparency Separates Companies That Thrive From the Ones Lucky to Survive


Enthusiasm is important. Why?

I believe it’s so important because this is what’s going to drive you every day to greater and greater heights. Enthusiastic people gain a little bit of success and want to keep getting better. That’s how you keep your business sharp and it’s how you avoid getting swallowed up. The only way to stay enthusiastic is to be passionate about whatever it is you’re doing.

Related: An Exceptional Vision for Your Life Can Lead to Joy and Success


Nobody respects a leader who constantly shifts blame, which often leads to making the same mistakes repeatedly. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Own them.

You should do it simply because it’s the right thing to do but also because this is how you learn from your mistakes. This is how you recover and grow stronger.

Related: Learning From Failure Is What Makes Entrepreneurs Better Leaders

I believe no small-business owner can be successful without these traits. They’re essential for growth, development and profitability. 

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