I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of successful small business owners over the years. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy what I do so much – because I have the opportunity to work with smart, motivated, ambitious women and men just like you.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that there are a number of traits and abilities that are shared by many of the most successful business owners that I’ve known. I’m going to list seven of them below, and if you find that you’re lacking in any of these areas, I’d encourage you to invest some time into them. Successful business owners tend to…

Be proactive rather than reactive. Successful business owners spend most of their time working on priorities that they have identified for themselves and for their business, rather than reacting to the events of the day.

Invest in themselves. Successful entrepreneurs understand that investing in themselves is critical in order to continue growing. Whether it’s education, relaxation, or the latest technology… great business owners understand the importance of investing in themselves.

Look for feedback and criticism. It’s hard to accept criticism, but the most talented and successful business owners I know actively seek it out.

Invest in others. Great leaders know that investing into their people – employees, friends, family – pays dividends many times over.

Know how and when to say “no!” Many people struggle with saying no, and as a result spend too much of their time pursuing projects and completing tasks that don’t move them towards their own goals for themselves and their business. Successful business owners know how to say “NO” when necessary in order to maintain their focus.

Study others who have accomplished what they want to accomplish. Great business owners know that it’s better to learn from someone else than it is to try to reinvent the wheel. They look for others who have accomplished similar goals for themselves and find ways to emulate their success.

Questions or comments? What are some of the most common traits of successful business owners, in your experience? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!