Kona Impact has worked with hundreds of businesses over the years. We have worked with many start-ups and established business—big and small. While every business is different, for certain, there seems to be a common set of characteristics for the most successful entrepreneurs with which we work.
The top Kona entrepreneurs…
- Have exceptional communication skills. They know how to ask focused questions that get the information they need. They give explicit direction to employees and suppliers. They respond quickly to questions, often responding within minutes. They say “please” and “thank you” and you never seem them go into temper tantrums or bouts of cursing. In short, they are people that communicate clearly and directly.
- Know what they don’t know. Many entrepreneurs tend micro-manage all aspects of their business—even when it is clear they are not very good everything. Many will try to do their own accounting, equipment repair, marketing, payroll and just about every other aspect of the business—often with very poor results. The best entrepreneurs—those who run the most profitable and successful businesses—are master delegators. They know when to hire professionals.
- Are involved in the community. Whether it is Board of Director work, participation in Rotary, the Lions Club or Kai O’Pua Canoe club, the business owners who tend to be the most successful tend to be part of the community by sharing their time, talent or treasure. This allows them to be connected to pulse of the community, while developing relationships with other business leaders.
- Are always marketing. You’ll see them wearing logo shirts, driving vehicles with vehicle graphics or magnets and they are always quick pass out a business card. They sponsor events and make sure they always get recognition for doing so. They are passionate about what they do and that passion permeates every aspect of their lives.
- Are some of the most optimistic people you will meet. It takes a huge amount of time, energy and money to make a business successful. Those who have made it to the top know the challenges, but they also have an indelible optimism that their efforts will bring positive results in the future. I don’t know if the optimism is a cause or a result of their efforts, but it is certainly evident in how you see top business owners always focusing on the future.
Can you learn these behaviors? (Note: I purposely did not call them traits!).
The answer is most certainly, “yes”. One thing we recommend to new entrepreneurs at Kona Impact is for the person to immerse himself or herself in situations where they can learn from and be mentored by other business owners.
For a more nuanced discussion of becoming an entrepreneur, check out this article on Forbes.
For example, volunteering will put you in contact with other like-minded people, and many of these are likely to be business owners who might become a formal or informal mentor to you. The canoe clubs in Kona are awesome at fostering team work and sacrifice—all important parts of running a business.
Kona Impact specializes in helping new businesses in Hawaii grow. We offer no nonsense solutions that are based on a record of success and best practices. We hate wasting time or money—yours or ours! If you’re a nascent entrepreneur in Hawaii, give a call. We can help!