14 Habits Of Highly Successful Business Owners

Success doesn’t happen by chance. Highly successful entrepreneurs share many habits, and they often incorporate small practices into their daily routine. We asked our TAB members what habits have served them well —and here’s what helps them move toward their goals consistently. Want to become a successful entrepreneur?

Here are 14 habits of highly successful business owners that you can take on board when running your business.

1. Understand your strengths and weaknesses

Successful business leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses. They hire or obtain the best possible resources to stay focused on what they do best to grow their business. They are not afraid to delegate once they enhance their teams to ensure they can operate successfully without the owner’s “24/7” presence.

Jim Cummings, Owner at TAB Western Connecticut 

2. Seek Diverse Perspectives

Highly successful business owners seek out diverse perspectives. These leaders recognise the limitations of making important decisions when they rely only on their experiences. To break away from the confines of their biases, savvy business owners ask for the advise of business leaders from other industries and who have different backgrounds. Peer Advisory Groups provide a forum for business owners to access business leaders’ perspectives in various industries, many of whom have faced similar challenges and can offer a new look at the issue.

Joe Farach, Owner at TAB Georgia Northeast

3. Be persistent

Highly successful business owners work very persistently towards well-defined goals they have written down. They come to work every day and focus on their goals.

Jim Morris, Owner at TAB Tennessee Valley Region

4. Create and follow a schedule

The habit I see the most with successful business owners is creating and following a schedule —good habits with specific actions repeated daily, weekly, and monthly produce results.

Todd Ringler, Owner at TAB Suffolk County

5. Be proactive, develop active listening skills, and reach out to peers for advice

The habits we have seen as being most beneficial and effective with our business owners when enlisting new members to their boards:

1: Being proactive and taking the lead in what they can control, in this case, booking the appointment and managing the conversation toward membership.

2: Active listening and ensuring that the emotional motivators for a potential member are deepened out during the conversation.

3: Peer-to-peer conversation in a win-win mode by inviting prospects to join a seat in one of their boards at the base of mutual agreement.

These habits are highly effective in the context of most types of business situations.

Florence Vermeulen, Executive Management Assistant at TAB Nederland

6. Work on your business

Highly successful business owners take the time to work on their business. There are multiple ways for business owners to do this. One is a peer advisory board with other business owners. The ability to share experiences, wisdom, and pitfalls to avoid is very beneficial.

Carol Elassad, Owner at TAB Northeast Kansas City

7. Be Accountable

In a medical series that my wife and I watched, a surgeon was asked by the administrator: “Do you know the difference between God and a surgeon?” after which the administrator continued and answered her question: “God knows he is not a surgeon.”

In my experience, one essential habit of highly successful business owners is that they always hold themselves accountable, and they accept the fact that they don’t have all the answers.

David Weideman, Owner at TAB South Africa 

8. Develop a diverse skill-set and attention to detail

As a business owner, it is essential to have a broad skill set of disciplines in as many business areas as possible. Over the course of my career, I’ve observed that the most successful business owners that I have met, no matter how small or big the size of their business, have one thing in common: They all possess an acute attention to detail.

Steven Pizziol, Owner at TAB Miami

9. Share resources and knowledge

My inspiration comes from three people I have worked with who have become global leaders in their respective fields.

  1. It helps to be very loyal to the people who have been faithful to you and accept them for who they are.
  2. Use multiple advisors, mentors, experts to form your views before making challenging and complex decisions.
  3. Think big once you have developed and understood your value proposition and then remain singular in its execution.
  4. Stay prepared to share your wealth with co-founders, supporters, and critical staff.
  5. Be aware of your limitations, so you can continually seek to recruit better people than yourselves.
  6. Prepare to fail fast, bet big, and be very comfortable with uncertainty.

PJ Timmins, Owner at TAB Ireland

10. Take care of your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being

Leading during the Pandemic has fostered a new habit in me. The global Pandemic has taught us the importance of being mindful of our physical, emotional, and psychological health. Many of us have formed new resilience-building practices like a commitment to exercise regularly, more purposeful efforts to eat and sleep better, and stepping away from work for quality family time and time to re-invest in our personal growth.

Denise O’Neill, Owner at TAB Baltimore Washington Corridor

11. Measure everything and find ways to improve

I have seen many successful business owners establish the discipline to measure and adjust their own and their team’s performance. When they miss a meeting, they still prepare to review their performance. When they meet with employees, the discussion starts with how things are going and how can we make them better? Doing this over and over until it becomes a habit is a powerful thing to emulate.

Bob Dodge, Owner at TAB Denver West

12. Ask for support

Highly successful business owners have an excellent sounding board and an accountability group. Such groups are invaluable and should meet regularly. The business owner trusts the other members in the group and has something to learn from them. The group serves as a sounding board and is willing to challenge the business owner. If you have these influential dynamic peers around you, you will be able to transform and grow your business beyond what you ever thought possible.

Laura Drury, Owner at TAB Focused Directions

13. Develop “resilient integrity.”

Not every business owner will act on what they believe to be in the best interest of themselves, their company, employees, and customers. This situation leaves us as business owners with feelings of fear, anxiety, doubt, a lack of decision-making, and ultimately low performance. Examples include firing the most toxic employee or letting go of a demanding customer.

“Resilient-integrity” is a formed habit of being honest with yourself and others about the best answer, decision, and action, no matter how unpopular it may be. Then as you reflect on your actions in doing what is right, you will always move through the most challenging situations with a feeling of wholeness.

Kim Seale, CEO at TAB Indy West

14. Craft a vision

The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to spot a trend before anyone else spots it. That is the only way you see opportunity before the rest of the herd gets there. Develop your vision and enrol your team in it.

Steve Davies, CEO at TAB Nassau