by Mariah Courtney

In any given industry, there are a few businesses that stand out for their achievements. They have that certain something. I believe that their success lies with the business owners themselves. True, there are certain characteristics that can’t be taught. We will never see another Steve Jobs again. But most great business owner share these great habits.

1. They set goals.

“The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.” – Robert L. Schwartz. Most great businesses started with a great goal. A business model can be simple (Instagram anyone?) but it should shoot for the stars. When you are in the planning stages of your business, imagine what true success looks like to you. Then plan everything else to get to that point.

2. They do the work.

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi. Every great entrepreneur I know works twice as hard as their hardest working employee. How can you expect 120% from your employees if you’re not willing to give it yourself? The success of your business lies on your shoulders. No one cares more about your dream than you do.

3. They want to be challenged (and challenge others).

“You shouldn’t blindly accept a leader’s advice. You’ve got to question leaders on occasion.” – Sir Richard Branson. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’re always right. Great businesspeople like Sir Richard Branson know that challenging those around you (and being challenged) is the formula for greatness. But great businesspeople also know how to trust their instincts. Just because someone is saying you’re wrong, doesn’t mean that you are.

4. They listen.

 Stephen Covey said that highly effective people “seek to understand before they seek to be understood.” Some of the most brilliant minds in the world will never be great leaders because they care more about their own ideas than the ideas of those around them. Great business owners understand that the real value of their business lies in the team they create. They ask questions and actually listen to the answers before supplying answers of their own.

5. They take a different path.

 Many successful businesses were born from the ideas of failed enterprises before them. But truly great entrepreneurs seek to solve problems in completely new ways. They go where others won’t because the chances of success are far greater.  I’ll leave you with a quote from Henry Ford that I believe sums up the theme of this article quite nicely: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’”


This article was originally published on Funding Gates. Funding Gates is the world’s first CRM platform for receivables management. Serving as an online credit department for small businesses, Funding Gates is set on making managing receivables the easiest part of running a business. 

About the Author: Mariah Courtney is the Online Community Manager at Biz2Credit. She is an entrepreneurial and social media evangelist with a passion for writing and travelling. Former experience includes running the social media program at The Receivables Exchange and copywriting for WPromote, Inc. Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit Business Loans is a leading credit marketplace connecting small- and medium-sized businesses with lenders, service providers, and complementary business tools. Having arranged $800 million in funding throughout the U.S., Biz2Credit is the #1 online credit resources for small business loans, lines of credit, working capital and other funding options. Follow us on Twitter for small business news and updates.