97 Degrees West Marketing Expert on What it Takes to Become a Successful Small Business Owner

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Vera Fischer, President of 97 Degrees West, an international award-winning branding, marketing and digital firm, provides insight on what qualities make a small business owner successful.

Vera Fischer - President 97 Degrees West

I could not find what I considered my number-one characteristic -- trust.

On the hunt for the right recipe for what makes a successful small business owner, Vera Fisher, President of 97 Degrees West, finds that the Internet is full of differing lists of the top traits that a business owner should possess before they jump off the cliff and start their own business.

When doing a search for the “number one characteristic of a small business owner,” the answers she found were varied, from having a strong desire for independence to having abounding curiosity, along with tenacity and integrity. Other requisite traits included:

  •     Strong sense of initiative
  •     Quick reaction to change
  •     Dedication to your businesses
  •     Persevere through tough times
  •     Sound judgment
  •     High level of energy
  •     Specialized business experience
  •     Bursting with Creativity
  •     Clarity of Vision
  •     Ability to Communicate
  •     Leadership Acumen
  •     Risk Taker
  •     Balance

But what distinguishes a small business owner from a successful small business owner? Adding the word “success” to her search brought up a new set of characteristics and lists – all of which included several more attributes than the previous search generated.

“Through the myriad lists I reviewed,” says Fischer, “I could not find what I considered my number one characteristic -- trust.”

Fischer’s advice to small business owners: If you want to be successful, you must learn to trust yourself. Trust that you’ll show up everyday -- with all of the requisite “business owner” characteristics -- and know that while you have no control over other peoples’ responses and actions, you can control your own.

Trust that, at the end of each day, you did your best and the rest is out of your control. Trust those around you -- unless they prove you otherwise.

When you wake up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat, say to yourself, “There’s nothing I can do about it right now. I’ll just choose to trust that it will work out.”

Trust is the foundation that supports all of the other qualities, smarts, acumen and personality that you must have in order to be a successful business owner. Without it, the evil nemesis of trust will show up to tear it all down: Fear.

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