Maybe you have wondered how successful entrepreneurs got that entrepreneurial killer instinct. They see opportunities and capitalize on them. Are they born with it or is it something that can be learned?

There are probably some people where it runs in their blood, but I know that I am not like that. My shift from working for large coporations to entrepreneurship has been a bumpy ride. However, I am sure that, as long as you learn from your mistakes and you have a lot of desire to start your own business, you can make a success of owning and running a business.

However, if entrepreneurship does not run naturally in your veins, then you will have to spend more time learning the nature and principles of entrepreneurship. During that learning process you will of course make mistakes, but that in itself is not a bad thing. If you don’t mess up you will never learn.

For those of us that have not been born with that innate entrepreneurial instinct, here are some things you need to do or avoid to be a successful small business owner:

Know your Strengths and Weaknesses.

“Our strength is often composed of the weakness we're damned if we're going to show.” Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Knowing our limitations and acknowledging them is a real strength. It is only when we (don't pay attention~ignore} and hide our weaknesses that we get into trouble. We are who we are and our strength and weaknesses are part of who we are and makes us unique as an individual. That special trait often gives us an advantage if we apply it to our business opportunities. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses also will guarantee that you ask for help when your skills and experience do not match those needed to complete a job successfully. Not asking for help at the right time can really mess things up.

Don’t Rush into Things.

“One's action ought to come out of an achieved stillness; not to be a mere rushing on.” D.H. Lawrence

When an opportunity presents itself, successful entrepreneurs will not rush into it. They are not impulsive and will take the time to look at an opportunity to ensure it will produce maximum benefit for minimum effort and resources and they decide if the opportunity is congruent with their goals and objectives. If it does not meet their criteria they will let it go because they know other opportunities will come along that are a better fit and a better use of their time and resources.

Set Goals and Objectives.

“If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” Lawrence J. Peter

An entrepreneur can significantly increase the chances of success by setting clear goals and objectives and by working diligently to achieve those goals. Setting goals can be learned and become a very strong tool in your business ventures. Successful entrepreneurs habitually start on a new project or business venture by setting goals and timelines. This will bring focus to what they do and increase their efficiency. They set short both term and longer term goals and are not concerned about changing them if they feel that they need to be rewritten due to changing circumstances.

Strive for Excellence.

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” Harriet Braiker

The successful business owner strives for excellence. He wants the best for his customers, employees and other stakeholders in his business, but he knows how to not make the mistake of wanting everything to be perfect. There needs to be a balance between what is achievable and what is affordable. They are in business to make money and know when a product or service meets customer expectations and

Maintain Balance.

We find our energies are actually cramped when we are overanxious to succeed. Michel de Montaigne

The successful business owner knows how to strike a balance between the business and his personal life. She or he is able to focus and work hard when required, but also knows when to take time off and relax and not think about work. To maintain that balance is critical for attaining longevity in both personal and business life.

So the bottom line is that you can be successful as entrepreneur, even if you do not have that ability in your veins. Most things you can learn, but sometimes that means learning the hard way. However, if you have the desire to be your own boss and be successful, don’t let fear hold you back. Many successful people have failed and some have failed several times.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book, 1927

If you are not sure what is involved with having your own business, have a look at our website and get the FREE eBook "Want to Start a Business?"

Harry Beugelink
Author: "Starting Your Own Business"

Author's Bio: 

Harry Beugelink is a Small Business Consultant with over 30 years of consulting and management experience in small to medium sized businesses in a variety of industries, in both private and public companies. He manages The Entrepreneurs Network, a resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs