Four Habits of Successful Business Owners

Four Habits of Successful Business Owners

By Andy Kocemba

I meet business owners from businesses of all types, across all industries, every day. Through all those meetings over many years, I’ve noticed certain things successful business owners all have in common. Not the usual, common-sense things like they pay their taxes or they are good at marketing, but deeper behaviors that aren’t so intuitive. Here is my list of the top habits of successful business owners:

  1. They are Action Oriented: You probably know the entrepreneurial type. They can’t sit still and are always tinkering with something, and you are amazed by how much they accomplish in a week. You want to know how they build and maintain successful businesses?  It’s not by reading the latest business books all day. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always value in educating yourself and planning, but I’ve noticed successful business owners often look back and joke about how they could write volumes from what they’ve tried and learned through the years. The lesson is that action is what separates the doers from the scholars.
  2. They Develop Routines: As we get to know a business, we learn not only what they do, but how they do it. It’s amazing how many times we might ask, “Why do you do it that way?” and the answer is simply, “Because we always have.”  Again, there’s always value in progress and advancement, but streamlining processes and activities is what sets a business up for the long haul.  Whether it’s the owner’s personal routine or the company’s daily processes, developing a regular rhythm leads to consistency, predictability, mental and physical health, and lower stress.
  3. They Don’t Go It Alone: We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” In a business, there’s no person in the company that experiences what the owner does. Whether it’s the highs, the lows, or the day-to-day, rarely is there anyone around the office that the owner can approach to open up and talk about business. It’s important that an owner has a strong support system of people he or she can share his or her stresses, concerns, victories, and losses with. Whether it’s a formal peer group of business owners, or an informal group of friends who own businesses, the value of peers who can share experiences and wisdom is immeasurable. 
  4. They Check Their Ego at the Door: I once heard that the most popular vehicle among millionaires is the Ford F-150. It might be impossible to verify, but it sounds likely to me. Most successful business owners are passionate about their business and doing it well. The benefits and lifestyle that can come as a result are nice, but that’s never the main reason for what they do. The cars, homes, and more are enjoyed privately with friends and family. Most people who start businesses with dreams of sports cars, titles after their name, and corner offices are doomed before they start.  There are often too many years of humility for a business owner before the real payoff begins, and only those focused on their business and not on “things” will survive. If owning a business were easy and cars and money were being handed out like samples at the grocery store, everyone would do it. 


  1. Successful business owners focus on action and are willing to learn through trial and error.
  2. While successful business owners are willing to try new things, when they find something that works, they stick with it and make it a routine.
  3. Successful business owners have peer groups who can support them and provide advice.