by Mark Zweig ([email protected]) 148 views 
I was taking my morning shower the other day. After the shocking realization that my body looks like I swallowed a Thanksgiving Turkey (in its entirety) wore off, I started thinking about what I wanted to write about in my column this month. And even though the focus of this issue is technology (not my strong suit), what came to me is what it really takes for someone to succeed as an entrepreneurial business owner.
I have already written several times that there is a big difference between owning a small business and making a living and building something that grows and has value when you get out of it.
Seven things immediately came to mind that aren’t talked about enough — education, skill/knowledge of how to do or make something, a belief that it is possible to really succeed, willingness to make a total commitment, responsibility/discipline, flexibility/adaptability and knowing how to treat people with empathy.
Here’s what I have to say about those seven points:
Responsibility/discipline. You have to be responsible and do what is necessary when it’s supposed to be done. That means you pay everyone on time, file your taxes, and are diligent about every action and process that must be done to keep your business growing and profitable — all of the time, not most of the time.
I’m sure I could come up with 20 qualities on this list, but these seven seem to be forgotten by those who start, buy, operate or invest in other businesses. And they are essential.
Mark Zweig is the founder of two Fayetteville-based Inc. 500/5000 companies. He is also entrepreneur-in-residence teaching entrepreneurship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, and group chair for the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Vistage International. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
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