Essential Attitudes And Skills For Success In Business

Anyone, who has ever succeeded in business possess these traits and have mastered these skills to a certain extent to be relatively competent at them.


Traits are attributes related to one's state of mind; its part of your personality.

To be successful in business or in anything else, you must have a high level of self esteem. Without a high self esteem, you will never be successful in anything.

This twin brother of self esteem is self confidence. Self confidence is a believe in one's abilities. Without a high level of self esteem, you cannot have self confidence and thus cannot be successful, in anything.

Courage - the mother of all essential traits. Everyone seek for it but not everyone possess it. You must have courage to face adversity and handle the pressures and stress of life. Without a high level of self esteem and self confidence, you cannot have courage. Different cultures have different methods to instill courage in its people. Yes, the main difference is performing under pressure - in the face of adversity. All your skills and talents are useless if you cannot perform under pressure. Top sportsmen, businessmen and politicians know this very well. We have all seen professional footballers miss scoring a crucial goal in a penalty kick. Professional golfers make the same mistake - missing a crucial putt. Politicians who crumble when accused of being involved in a scandal. Businessmen who are defeated when faced with financial pressures of a down economy or keen competition. They cannot perform under pressure - they lack courage. Pressure changes the equation. Some people are able to focus under pressures of adversity, others crumble.

The next trait is ruthlessness. Metaphorically speaking, you must be willing to kill or be killed in this dog eat dog would. A lot of business people will leave ruthlessness out from their advice, because it makes them look immoral. Ruthlessness is not about morality; it is the reality of life - watch any animal in the wild and you'd see the process of natural selection in action - survival of the fittest. Again, if you have no courage, you cannot be ruthless - you'd be a pussycat instead of a lion.

Another key factor diligence (being hardworking). If you are lazy, then it would be very difficult to carry out your plans; things will be left undone and the the rest is history...

Without these traits, one cannot put into action the skills below (except for fundamentals of finance and creativity skills). And to obtain these traits, is not easy at all - it takes a major personality change.

Some people say it takes years to change a persons personality - because you've acquired your personality, to a large extent, from the environment you've been brought up in. That's why workshops and personal development courses on the skills below do not work for the majority of people - whilst participants can learn the techniques, but they cannot put it into action. Only those who already possess the above essential personality traits can put those skills learned into action.

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No one can be successful, whether in business, politics, the military, high level management or organised crime without leadership skills. He or she must be a leader of man; you must know how to manage people. Anyone who is anybody is a leader. Some say that leaders are born, some people say it can be taught. I believe that you can learn anything if you're determined enough. Talent without training is useless against someone without natural skills but have through training.

Every successful business person is a master in networking, as business involves building and maintaining relationships with key people. Networking is the art of making friends with people who are essential to your business - those in your industry, related industries and service providers. If you're in real estate development, for instance, then bankers, lawyers, accountants, architects, civil engineers, building contractors, real estate brokers, investors, and government regulators should part of your network. Remember, networking takes time and money. You must make this investment. If you're no good at networking, then it would be very difficult to succeed in business because this activity cannot be delegated i.e. it is not easy to employ someone to do this for you.

If you're in business, you're in the business of selling. After all, business is a process of making money by selling goods or services. If you're an entrepreneur, you need to sell you ideas to investors, bankers, potential business partners etc. If you're starting up, you probably need to personally sell your goods and services directly to the customers. Whilst you can eventually delegate this task to professional salesmen, you'd be more secure in your business if you're a good salesman yourself.

Negotiation skills is also very important in business. As they say in business, you don't get what you want, you get what you negotiate. As life is about daily dealing with people with competing interests, ideals, mindsets and wants you'd need to be a champion negotiator to get what you want. Negotiation skills are ancillary networking and selling skills. Although you can delegate the minor business negotiations to an employee, you'd have to know how to negotiate the big stuff.

To be successful in business, you definitely need to know the fundamentals of finance - the difference between costing, profit and loss, cash flow, assets and liabilities etc. Whilst you can delegate this to your accountant, but you'd need to know the fundamentals to make important financial decisions. As business is about selling more than it cost you to produce your goods and services, thus you'd need to know enough about finance to plan about managing your costs.

Time is money and thus you should know how to utilise time properly. Time management is getting more and more important in this fast paced world. Time management is all about getting your activities organised and carrying out your plans. Time management reduces stress and increases your respect - it shows that you have everything under control.

Creativity is also an increasingly essential skill in business. Not all things can be learned from books. You must learn to be creative in generating business ideas, marketing your products, forming alliances and solving problems.

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