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The Four Keys to Successful Business Ownership by Brad Sugars There are many keys to success. For business owners, I believe these can be summarized as being Leadership, Knowledge, Confidence and Activity.Growth in all four of these areas is critical to support the growth of a business owner as their business grows. Given the right combination of all four key areas, the business will undoubtedly prosper. If any one or more of these areas is lacking, other areas will likely suffer and certainly the business will.Before I discuss the importance of the combination of these four keys, I want to offer my description for each of them:1. Leadership: Leadership is a characteristic that manifests itself as one's ability to lead others towards a common goal. It's not about getting others to follow through coercion, rules, fear of reprisals, various incentives or lucrative compensation plans.A leader gets others to share in a clear vision and commit themselves to a task. A leader also gains the respect of others and is looked upon for guidance and wisdom.As in all walks of life, many business owners are not natural born leaders.They may be the president or CEO, but to truly be successful, they must become a good leader. Their employees require it, clients and customers require it. As the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman said long ago, "The buck stops here!". And so it is for the business owner. The owner assumes responsibility and is held accountable for the direction of the company, its successes and its failures.History provides us many examples of exemplary leadership post by haiyan902. There are countless examples, too numerous to recount here. We recognize it every day. It's easy to understand its relevance and importance. A great book on the subject is Good to Great by Jim Collins, wherein he describes 'Level Five Leadership', a must read for any business owner or manager.2. Knowledge: Knowledge is the sum total of what we learn academically and experientially throughout our lives. The value of knowledge manifests itself when it is applied towards the achievement of a positive result. Being knowledgeable about a particular subject, in and of itself, is not necessarily valuable.The practical application of knowledge is what counts. Knowledge growth is never ending. Also, once something is known and put into practice, it inevitably results in more knowledge. We must learn from both our successes and our mistakes.For business owners, it's vitally important to continuously and proactively enrich their knowledge Louis Vuitton bags. If you're not growing your mind, planting seeds of wisdom from others and cultivating it, it will eventually die. Successful business owners continuously read books, listen to tapes, watch videos or attend seminars and workshops. For many, the bulk of knowledge comes from the trial and error of real-world experiences they get from running their business. It doesn't really matter where you get it; just GET it whenever and wherever you can!3. Confidence: Someone once told me that their confidence came from a natural lack of fear. I simply asked him, "How often was he allowed to come out of his protective bubble?". You see, I believe that confidence is a learned response. As a child, if we touched something hot and burned our fingers, we learned quickly to fear hot surfaces.For a short time we cautiously touched everything. But then we (hopefully) learned the difference between what's hot and what's not and simply avoided hot surfaces. Once we learned the difference, we confidently touched what we knew was okay and avoided those that weren't. It's the same with most fears. We have all heard that the way to overcome a fear is to just do it, whether it's skydiving, bungee jumping or public speaking. Once you do it and, in some cases, do it several times, the fear subsides and confidence emerges assuming a more dominant role in our identity.As humans, our ability to reason and question our surroundings helps us to develop confidence Louis Vuitton Canada. We tend to move away from pain and move towards pleasure. To truly develop confidence in something, especially something feared (pain), you must break through the fear, experience the reality of the accomplishment (pleasure) and "learn" to be confident.For athletes, the fear of failure is usually very high just prior to a competitive moment. A football player suffers from a bit of anxiety before the first "hit" of the game because of the natural "built-in" protective instincts we all have. However, once the first "hit" occurs, the anxiety is replaced with confidence allowing the player to focus on applying fundamental skills and talent much more freely. So it is with business owners.Until a business owner is tested, confidence may have little room to grow. Fortunately, being in business offers many tests, so building confidence usually isn't a problem. Many "dot-com" companies failed miserably because their owners lacked the confidence to make critical decisions at critical times.However, many of those failures have boosted the confidence of some "dot-comers" who have since started new successful businesses. Brad Sugars, the multi-millionaire entrepreneur and founder of ACTION International, says, "To become a successful business owner, find what you fear the most and just do it; true success comes from that place, and that place only." So find the fear, test yourself and build your confidence.4. Activity: To a large degree, the activity levels we engage in define the results we achieve. It is said that, "Massive activity produces massive results; mediocre or cautious activity produces no results". Companies that engage in massive activities in short or tight timeframes usually create massive results. Whether its marketing, brainstorming, sales, product refinement or even recruitment activities, if not done on a massive scale with high levels of applied energy, the results will be poor, wrong or non-existent.For instance, when you're marketing your product or service, determine (by testing and measuring) what level of effort is required to achieve a nominal result, and then multiply it several times. This is what I mean by massive activity. Doing just enough to get some result isn't sufficient to fuel the growth you desire.When recruiting employees, refine your criteria and engage in massive activity to ensure you get the "right" person for the job. Find multiple candidates and then interview them multiple times by multiple people for multiple reasons. Don't take the easy way out and limit the activity. Be as thorough as time and money constraints will allow.Summary: A balanced combination of these characteristics is very important for business success. For instance, Leadership without Knowledge can lead to taking high risks increasing the potential for major mistakes along the way.Leadership and Knowledge without the Confidence to move forward will likely yield poor results. Having all of the first three, but failing to generate massive "activity" in the business will create, at best, mediocre results.By the same token, increasing knowledge can improve leadership skills and a higher degree of confidence. Increasing activity in areas where leadership, knowledge and confidence precedes the activity can be unstoppable in any market and during any economic environment Louis Vuitton.I believe that business success demands high doses of all four of these characteristics. If you find yourself with room to grow in one area or another, now is the time to focus more attention on it. Ask better questions, seek answers and above all, take ACTION! I wish you all much success as you practice continuous and never-ending improvement (CANEI).