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What makes a business person successful?

To have a successful business career, you must span a wide range of industries including finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and of course, management. However, no matter how much you try to be the best businessman, there are certain qualities that, if you do not possess or if you do not try to acquire, you will not be able to become the best.

The qualities of a good businessman are many and, from time to time, they can be different from one businessman to the other. However, there is a basis which needs to be the same for every businessman out there. 

There have been thousands of books written about what it takes to be successful in business, and a thousand more about achieving success in life as well. You can find another thousand articles on the web that discuss the topic, and a thousand more will be written tomorrow. With such a broad subject and with so many things that can play a role in making us happy, it can be difficult to boil it down to a shortlist of things that anyone can read and apply in their lives.

However, across those thousands of books and articles, among the countless legends and stories, you’ll find some common themes woven throughout. You’ll find principles about us as human beings that many of us think about but never try hard enough to achieve. You’ll hear about ideals and decisions that we all wish we could aspire to but often fail to understand. Here are those things you’ll find among the tales of those who achieved success in business (and in life) – which ones do you currently have and which do you need to obtain?

Qualities of a Good Businessman

Taking risks

A good businessman needs not to be afraid to take risks. The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be strong to advance the business and improve revenue. And this will require the businessman to take risks from time to time.

Leadership skills

Probably one of the most important qualities of a good businessman is to have leadership skills. You need to make sure that your employees are going to trust you and follow you and your decisions. Unless you are a good leader that is not going to happen, command the room, inspire your team of associates to perform as well as they can, and it is guaranteed that they will become the best.

Take initiative

A way to have a successful business is to make sure that you will always push your team to work harder and better. Taking the initiative is the right way to achieve that. Be the one to tell them what to do but do it in a way that they will accept. It is much more preferable for you to suggest new ideas than to force them.

Work on your communication skills

It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are. If you’re not able to communicate your ideas with your team and if you’re not able to make them understand what you’re thinking and what you want, then they will not follow you. The same goes for your partners and your associates. Work on your communication skills, and you will see a great change in your business.

Be reliable

You want to make sure that your partners are not just going to trust you when they work with you, but they will always think about you when they’re trying to find a person that is good enough and reliable enough to work with. When a job needs to be done, you want others to think about you. Being a reliable partner is going to get you and your business a long way.

Work ethic 

To make it anywhere as a business person, you’re going to need a certain level of work ethic. Work ethic is a term that means many things to different people. At the most basic, it includes a person’s sense of integrity, level of responsibility, and emphasis on quality work.


To be truly outstanding in your role, you must have passion. You must be able to see your position within the bigger whole of the corporate structure. You must be able to align with your company’s mission and take it to heart. Passion means you’re excited to go to work because you truly believe in what you are doing.


The businesses that do the best are those that take antiquated processes and devise new, innovative methods for getting things done. A successful business person will think outside the box to find solutions that make operations more successful.


Not only do your coworkers and employees rely on you, but your clients do as well. If you aren’t reliable, your business reputation will be affected. Start being reliable today by practising punctuality, being present at meetings, and successfully task-mastering every assignment you have.


There’s nothing wrong with staying in one position for the majority of your life, but if you want to be incredibly successful, you’ll have to have motivation. It’s key for upward mobility as well as expansion. Furthermore, if you are unmotivated, likely your team will be as well.


Business is a dog-eat-dog world sometimes. There will be mistakes here and there, but avoiding them is not what’s important. The key is how you bounce back after making an error. Your recovery from failure tells a lot about your tenacity as a business person. Look for every lesson you can find when something goes wrong, learn from it, and move on.


Strive to be a business person that others respect and are inspired by. You’ll encourage confidence in your team and your company’s overall mission. Be a role model to younger business people; a person who can be looked up to by others for a track record of integrity and hard work.

Staying Healthy

Your money and success isn’t going to do you any good if you’re not around to use it – so why would you live your life so dangerously that you would sacrifice your health? What good is all the passion you have for your business dreams if you’re not going to be around to see them come true? Too many of us get caught up in the game of life that we never think about the damage we all do to our bodies along the way. As entrepreneurs, our days are so full of work and juggling projects that lunch breaks become mere small breaks in the day where we shove fast food down our throats to get rid of our hunger. I inhale my food.

Our nights turn into a time where we sometimes burn the candles at both ends, turning the stress of the day into an excuse to ease the pain with alcohol and drugs. While we worship the celebrities who died before their time, is how we define success in life? Our obsession with money and material things makes us greedy and insecure about who we are and how others perceive us. Without our health, we can never truly achieve success. A leader needs to be strong, and we’re not just talking about a lean body or muscles here – your mind has to be healthy to persevere through the day and not only achieve the success you’re looking for, but to be able to enjoy it as well.

Keeping the Right Friends

We’ve discussed the importance of not going it alone along your path to building your business, and this same ideology applies to your success and happiness. What’s the point of doing anything if you don’t have special people in your life to share it with. No one wants to be the Bruce Wayne of their city, the quack who owns the huge dining room table with no one to dine with.

People are social by nature, and it’s important to have a life outside of those you work with. Your friends are people to share your experiences with, who will be there to high-five you with every victory and also pick you up after every failure. Make sure they are also the ones who have the same attitude, give back gratitude, and remain a positive force in your life. Those who feed off of negative energy are the ones you can bring the whole house crashing down around you.

The Importance of Family

We’ve discussed in detail why we become entrepreneurs in the first place and the importance of deciding what goals we’re trying to achieve. Most will begin the journey with dollar signs in their eyes or seeking some level of power. Many times these things are personal and selfish, but one who is seeking true success in their lives will be doing so not just to share with their friends, but more importantly, their families.

Not everyone has the greatest of childhoods, and no one is expected to share the wealth with their siblings just because of blood. Not every entrepreneur has a soulmate, not will we all have children. It is important, however, to think about success beyond just the material or power one might ultimately yield. Real success lies in having a positive influence on those who you call family and those who will eventually remember, and hopefully continue, the legacy you leave behind.

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Secrets to Success in Business

If sales are the basis to success in business, what are the secrets to succeeding at sales? At the foundation of any business, there are quite literally five fundamental keys that you need to have in place. This is not just about building an irresistible offer. Yes, you need that. But, you need so much more in place before that’s even concocted or created.

While there are likely dozens, if not hundreds, of secrets to success, these five are crucial. Harrington says that if you follow these, you can navigate your way to success in the long term. Not in the short term. Remember, this is about consistency in your approach. It’s not about faltering or giving up or making excuses. It’s about staying on the straight and narrow.

Create something of real value

It’s the cornerstone to success. If you stopped to think about it right now, the richest people in the world have created the most value. Hands down, it’s crucial if you’re looking to win. So why is value so important you ask?

While some people might be able to sell anything, that doesn’t guarantee long-term success. If you put your own needs first before the consumer’s, you’ll lose. Harrington says that whatever you sell, manufacture, create or dream up, do it with the consumer’s best interests at heart. In other words, add insane amounts of value.

Think about this for a moment. Before most of the world’s most successful companies ever made a dime, they added value first. Facebook connected the world through a massive social network. Google provided the most uncannily accurate search results before it ever enabled you to run an ad. And so on.

Improve the lives of others

Not only should you deliver real value, but you should look for ways that you can improve the lives of others with whatever it is that you’re peddling. Sure, you could sell anything to anyone for a brief period. But, if you’re not improving the lives of consumers, you’re wasting your time.

By building products, services or information that improves the lives of others, you can quite literally transform your business and catapult it into the stratosphere. We’re talking long-term exponential growth. Beyond anything that you could quite possibly dream of.

That doesn’t mean you can’t profit from your efforts. It simply means that you have to focus on improving the consumer’s life first and foremost. That’s the key or the secret to success here. Focus on that and watch as your business takes shape and reaches new heights. Ignore it, and watch it crash and burn.

Be authentic and transparent.

No one likes a sleazeball. You can’t sell anything. Don’t be that guy (or girl) that people dread speaking to. The used car salesman. The underhanded low-balling greedy saleswoman. Don’t be that person. Just don’t. Instead, if you want to succeed, Harrington says that you should be authentic and transparent.

Don’t make unrealistic claims. People can see right through it. Instead, be honest about what your product or service or information will do. Use real-world reviews from people who’ve tested whatever it is that you’re offering. Those testimonials go a long way.

Whether your audience is millennials or baby-boomers, everyone can tell when you’re inauthentic. People aren’t stupid. So don’t take advantage of them by trying to be or say something that’s not true. It’s just a waste of time.

Focus on positivity

While you shouldn’t look to please everyone all the time, you should focus your thoughts on positivity. In other words, don’t think negative thoughts. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s necessary. If you begin to veer off to the realm of negativity, your entire life follows.


Considering that we have upwards of 60,000 thoughts per day and a large degree of those happen in the subconscious mind, if you don’t focus your thoughts on positivity, you’ll feel like you aren’t in control. You won’t be in control of your destiny. And you certainly won’t be able to make sales when you’re in that headspace.

Harrington says that it’s one of the most important pieces of advice he gives to entrepreneurs. You can’t make progress if you’re always focusing on pain rather than the pleasure of a positive outcome. Sure, business is hard. We all know that. But, it gets easier with time as long as you put in the work and keep a positive mindset.

Follow the 80-20 Rule

The 80-20 Rule states that 80 per cent of the results come from 20 per cent of the efforts. In sales, this means that 80 per cent of the sales come from 20 per cent of the customers. It also means that, within the 20 per cent of efforts, another 80-20 Rule applies. That translates to a very small amount of efforts leading to a very large amount of results.

Focus on that. Find the efforts that are producing the biggest results. This isn’t about working long and unending days, toiling away or being the last one always to leave the office. This is about productivity. If you can find what works, you can scale it out. Think 4 Hour Work Week rather than 18-hour day.

Too many people think that the secret to success lies in working yourself to the bone. It doesn’t. Just identify what efforts are producing the biggest results and scale. That’s how you seriously scale out and grow any business.

A good leader and a good employee will always be willing to take the initiative in any endeavour. They understand what it means to take responsibility for their actions and are willing to step up when required. They embrace failure and make sure it never happens again.

It may sound like a cliché, but is true none the less. A good business person must have good communication skills for the highest efficiency. They need to be able to get their points and ideas across to others in a clear and uncomplicated fashion. This means they must communicate effectively when speaking and in writing.

Ambition is essential in a good business person. They must have goals and actively work towards them with whatever it takes, within legal limits. There goal setting is realistic and aligned with their strengths.

Good business people are reliable whether they are the CEO or in the mailroom. They can be counted on for whatever task they undertake.

Professional and personal integrity are essential for a person to be a successful business person. He or she is always fair, respectable, responsible and ethical in all of their transactions. They are life-long learners who are constantly learning new things and have new experiences. They’re not afraid to fail. This is also the foundation for great managerial traits.

Along with good communication skills, a likeable personality could overcome some other areas that are lacking. Employees, colleagues and superiors all appreciate a person who is a pleasure to do business with and who they respect. They attract employees, customers and friends with whom they are happy to work. Whether in an office meeting or an office party, you have to carry yourself well and be able to strike a conversation and let your personality shine through.

Succeeding in business doesn’t require overnight success. That’s largely a myth.

As I’ve demonstrated in these tips, you have to take a long-term strategy and build it in baby steps until it becomes a success.

You can do it, but only if you’re aware of the potential pitfalls and ready to fail.

It’s also essential to give and accept help. Entrepreneurship isn’t a solitary pursuit. It takes a village, as they say.

Finding success as an entrepreneur is no easy task, but with these simple tips, I hope it becomes just a little bit easier.

Remember, my biggest challenge to all of you entrepreneurs out there is to take some time off and to listen to complaints. I think these tips are often forgotten but are so important to being a successful entrepreneur.

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