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So, You Want an Amazing Business?

You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a business owner that set out to have a “mediocre” or “marginally successful” business. Even so, the prospect of trying to create that amazing business we all strive for may seem daunting, or downright impossible.

Until now.

Implementing change is never easy; a fact that is only further complicated if you are considering making multiple changes at once.Instead of treating the goal of an amazing business as a single large task, I encourage you to use the Drill Down technique to break down the goal into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Transformation, One Step at a Time

By focusing our efforts on those attributes that amazing business owners share, we enable ourselves to set reasonable milestones to achieve. As we master each of the attributes, a transformation will begin to occur.

A – Accentuate Your Strengths

This applies not only to selecting your niche, but also to the manner in which you approach your business. Focusing your efforts on a market in which you are both well-versed and interested will play a large role in your eventual success. Your natural enthusiasm for the subject matter will reflect in your interactions with clients and employees.

The effective management of your time and talents plays a key role in running a successful business. Rather than struggling by trying to wear all the hats, develop your ability to delegate those tasks that you are less knowledgeable of or interested in.

Focus your efforts where they will make the most impact.

M – Maverick Mindset

Entrepreneurs by their very nature possess a maverick mindset – they chart their own course and blaze their own trails toward success. Never willing to accept the status quo, these exceptional achievers often challenge traditional thinking in order to create new and inventive products and solutions. They are the pacesetters and the ones to watch. Ideas must be implemented to be successful, and there are usually more ideas than resources to accomplish everything. As a result, maverick business owners must resist becoming “paralyzed by potential.” Creating a plan will not only keep you motivated, but it will also hold you accountable. A positive outlook translates into favorable results – don’t waste time dwelling on past failures or negativity. Learn from them, and move on.

Be open to possibility, but stick to the plan.

A – Attentive

A business can’t survive without customers – and customers require your attention. A successful business owner values and respects their customers, and aspires to create customer evangelists. Being responsive and attentive to their customer’s needs is what sets them apart.

Accessibility in today’s market is perhaps more crucial than ever before. Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn provide an excellent platform for cultivating and fostering client relations. On their own websites, amazing business owners offer multiple channels for making contact, and are diligent in responding to those inquiries.

Go the extra mile for your clients and prospects.

Z – Zero in on Your Best Prospects

Don’t try to satisfy everyone. Not every prospect will make a good client. Laser-targeted niche focus positions amazing businesses to succeed. Rather than making the mistake of trying to serve “all of the customers,” they identify and fulfill a specific need within their niche. Their continued success can be attributed to closely monitoring the market, a culture of continuous improvement, and a genuine interest in the customers that they serve.

Maintaining a pulse on your market is an ongoing process, but one that offers significant rewards. Use of tools such as Google alerts and Twitter search can play a vital role in obtaining market intelligence, and can help you remain responsive not only to industry trends, but also the vulnerabilities of the competition. Capitalizing on both will lead to amazing results.

Remember the Pareto Principle – 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.

I – Intuitive

According to Albert Einstein, “the only real valuable thing is intuition.” It requires courage to stray off of the beaten path to set off upon our own journey of discovery – but success is often realized by taking that first step. Amazing business owners aren’t paralyzed by risks and naysayers; they follow their instincts and defy the odds.

In Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, he relates the story of Otto Frederick Rohwedder, the man who invented the machine that sliced bread. Initially, it was a miserable failure. Fast forward 20 years, when Wonder® bread began marketing sliced bread – and the rest, as they say, is history. Ultimately, some decisions may end in failure – but failure also affords experience. Amazing business owners learn from and build upon those experiences to create their success.

Follow your intuition, but learn from the results.

N – Nurturing

The idea of nurturing your customers is perhaps best illustrated in Go-Givers Sell More, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The message of the book is that the more you give, the more you have. Despite the fact that it flies in the face of conventional reason, it works.

Amazing business owners generously share their knowledge and influence, and offer genuine value to their customers. This builds loyalty as well as reciprocity. By making an investment of your time and expertise, you are building your sphere of influence as well as your true worth.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

G – Galvanizing

As author and business leader John Naisbitt explained, “leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” Successful business leaders are characterized by their ability to stimulate others into action. Their charisma and enthusiasm inspire others to strive for excellence. Never content to sit upon their laurels, they are quick to seize an opportunity.

An amazing business owner offers encouragement to those who may be struggling. They serve as a catalyst to those who may be “stalled out.” And they provide an example of what can be achieved when put your dreams into action.

Every accomplishment begins the same way – with the decision to act.

Lessons from Childhood…

As children, we learn to walk and speak by emulating those around us. As we grow older, we stray from that learning model – perhaps to our own detriment. If we truly wish to become amazing business owners, identifying and examining the traits that made them that way will help us emulate their efforts. By isolating and applying the success-building attributes of others, we can create a formula by which amazing success is achieved.

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This post is part of the HP SugarTone contest: “Making your business amazing”, sponsored by Hewlett Packard

Traci Hayner Vanover is a freelance business consultant and publicist that specializes in working with small businesses and authors. Drawing on over twenty years' market research and promotional experience in a Fortune 500 setting, Traci's Promo Diva® website ( blends no-nonsense business tips and information with a healthy dose of humor. She is also the founder and publisher of Entrepreneur & Self-Employed Business Journal (

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  • Hi Chris,
    Apologies for missing your comment.
    Your ‘brainwashing’ concept is something that Elaine termed ‘conditioning’ and discussed in an earlier comment:

    ‘….I know with some coaching clients, their fears, phobias, thoughts, opinions, religious beliefs can go back to their childhood conditioning – they do not realise they have a choice, or that those opinions / beliefs were originally their parents or teachers, and not necessarily their own.
    I have seen great revelations when people realise they have a choice to “change their mind”.

    I feel that you are spot on and I agree that our modern way of life causes some people to behave the way they do. My partner and I are always saying that perhaps we should become more selfish and dishonest, because those people always seem to do well in life….. if everyone thought that way and acted on it, then this world would be far worse.
    I will say this though, the kindness of strangers and unselfish deeds are still apparent and its this that convinces me that there is good in the world and if we stay true to it and pass it on, it will remain.

  • Anonymous

    Really interesting article, and some great comments as well. I actually had some feedback recently from a coach who suggested that I had to be prepared to be a little more controversial in terms of giving my opinions. It was difficult to hear this, as one of my strengths is my ability to have a good working relationship with “difficult” people. Upon reflection though it is sometimes important to challenge people, the key is to do it at the right time, and in the most appropriate way.

  • Facundo

    Welcome to Bloggertone Traci. Nice article and some powerful points. I like the ideas of focusing on our strenghts and our niche. It seems the only way to create conditions for the “Maverick mindset” to flow 🙂

  • Hi Traci, welcome to Bloggertone, This is a great post, I particularly like Zero in on Your Best Prospects. This is really great advice in this climate where people are inclined to waste lots of time with leads that are not in a position to buy. Researching as you point how is a key skill towards insuring that you are managing your time and building relationships with the right people.

  • Traci Hayner Vanover

    Thanks for the warm welcome and feedback — Niall and Facundo. I really appreciate that. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you consider the task of trying to make big changes to your business at one time. Breaking the task down not only makes it more manageable, but achieving those milestones along the way serves as excellent motivation.

  • Stevenskerritt

    Great article!!!! Change can be difficult and overwhelming but these are great tips to help overcome. Look forward to seeing more insightful articles.

  • Thanks, Steve — I really appreciate the feedback. Have a great holiday weekend! — Traci

  • Jmcguire


    I really enjoyed your article. I will sum up my thoughts by saying being in a small family business you have to be able to adapt to change. We had to change from 100 employee’s to Independent Contractors within the past couple yrs. But we are able to overcome change & adapt because we also have a niche in the delivery business.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Welcome to bloggertone Traci, wonderful post, I like your mention of “A positive outlook translates into favorable results – don’t waste time dwelling on past failures or negativity” and it reminds me of a quote by Eli Siegel – “If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake”.

  • Brian Blanc

    Traci, AWESOME article! As a business owner who has been struggling for the past few years, this was a great article to put some wind back in my sails. I thought you made several good points on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. For us veteran business owners I thought it was a nice because we all need to be reminded of the important steps and mindsets you must be disciplined to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Thank You for reminding me .. Brian B

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