I think it is important to take stock from time to time in how we approach our business and if we still have the Right Stuff to be successful. There may be a hundred remarkable character traits that define you or your favourite successful small business owner. However, when you compare the entrepreneurs behind successful small businesses, a handful of traits rise to the top.

Alyssa Gregory (about.com guide) writes that the following represent some of the most common and powerful character traits that describe small business owners who operate successful businesses.

1. Driven

Most small business owners are driven to succeed; they want to see their business grow, from startup to established business. Drive is a very common characteristic among successful entrepreneurs because running a business can be very challenging, and some challenges call for a moderate amount of competitiveness, determination and motivation.

2. Goal-Oriented

Drive can take a small business owner far, provided there is a target to be reached. Without SMART goals and the ability to focus on the actions required to reach those goals, success can be elusive. Most successful business owners take time to set goals so they have clarity about where they are going and how they intend to get there.

3. Confident

Confidence is a very powerful character trait that can instill trust, facilitate respect, and often lead to increased success. The most successful business owners have a steady, quiet confidence that doesn't border on arrogance or egotism.

4. Passionate

It can be very difficult to overcome the challenges of running a successful business without a true passion for your work. Some of the most successful small business owners have either directly developed a business based on their passions, or they are able to incorporate things they are passionate about into the day-to-day operation of their business.

5. Budget-Minded

You cannot survive on determination and passion alone. Since a significant part of business success can be related to financial success, most successful small business owners become very savvy at creating Business Plans and sticking to them as they manage the operation of their business.

The ability to know what funds you have available, where to reduce expenses, how to forecast sales targets and set achievable margins often determine the success of a small business.

6. Self-Reliant

While building and managing a team may be an important part of some small businesses, many successful entrepreneurs also have a defined self-reliance. The ability to think and act independently, without the input of others, is a very common trait among successful small business owners.

7. Humble

Many entrepreneurs may be self-reliant, but the most successful are also able to ask for help when they need it, give credit where credit is due, admit when they are wrong, and accept constructive criticism. These small business owners have an ability to keep their feet on the ground during even the most satisfying accomplishment, and never forget where they started from.

8. Resilient

Being a small business owner comes with its up and downs. There are victories, setbacks, chaos and calm waters. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who are resilient and able to bounce back after an unexpected challenge and get back up after facing a setback.

9. Focused

Many small business owners handle a vast array of responsibilities in their businesses, wearing many different hats during the course of the workday. The ability to block out distractions and focus on the immediate issue, task or goal as well as the bigger picture can be a key trait in a successful entrepreneur. Part of this focus is the ability to stop doing and start managing the business.

10. Open-Minded

While focus is an important trait found in most successful small business owners, it's also important to keep an open mind and consider different perspectives. Small business owners who are willing to consider alternative ideas and try new processes may be more likely to reach significant levels of success. The ability to embrace change has become even more profound as a result of the recession. So many of the rules have changed, which require us to also change our approach to business.

Take the test and honestly answer whether you are fulfilling these 10 character traits. See if you have the Right Stuff. It's a great opportunity to refocus.

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