Six Signs of Success

From Forbes.com found here.

Meghan Casserly

A new study identifies the key personality traits of successful small-business owners.

At last count, there were 29.6 million businesses in the U.S.–and 99.9% of them can be filed under “small.” But small is significant. Small businesses (with 500 or fewer employees) have generated 64% of new jobs in the past 15 years and are responsible for 50% of the GDP and 44% of the country’s private payroll.

Now a study by the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, comparing key traits of small-business owners, provides an insider’s view of what qualities set the success-oriented ones apart from their less ambitious peers.

The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners,” surveyed more than 1,100 small businesses. Those that projected an annual growth of 10% between 2008 and 2009 and/or intended to expand their business between 2009 and 2010 were identified as “success-oriented.” Nearly half the businesses fell into this study group.

“We wondered if the people who said that they were going to be successful held different ideas and passions to be more important than business owners simply looking to maintain their businesses in coming years,” says Mark Wolf, director of the research institute.

Six personality traits emerged. “It really emphasizes that there isn’t simply one type of entrepreneurial person,” says Patricia Greene, Ph.D., the special academic advisor to the institute and a cofounder of the Diana Project, a multi-university research series on women and business ownership. “These are behaviors, but more importantly, they are behaviors that can be learned.”

Future-Focused
Planning for both the short- and long-term future are key traits that characterize success-oriented small-business owners. They are more focused on cash flow and more likely to have “a well-thought-out plan to run our business for years into the future” as well as “a well-thought-out plan to run our business day-to-day.”

“For entrepreneurs, it’s just as important to have long-term vision as it is to have short-term goals,” says Greene. “The success-oriented respondents tended to have more directed visions of success.”