7 Daily Habits of Highly Successful Business Owners

  | 7 min read

Living in Tanzania, we see businesses close everyday, while some continue to survive for decades. In fact, researchers have proven that about 50% of businesses will fail within the first 5 years of operating, and only one third of businesses (33%) survive for 10 years or more.

While there are many reasons why some businesses succeed, and some fail. One major contributor to the life-span of a business is the owner. Whether it’s a founder, managing director, CEO or just simply, ‘boss’; the person that oversees the day to day running of the business and is seen as a leader by employees plays a vital role in a number of ways:

  • S/he defines company culture and work ethic for all staff to follow.
  • The empower employees to communicate products and services to clients.
  • Makes employees proud of the business, thus fostering ‘brand ambassadorship’.
  • Hires great people who can manage departments and make sure the little details are taken care of.

These are just a few reasons why the ‘boss’ is so important to the success of a business.

So now comes the question: How can you also become a great boss/employer/leader in your business? Hopefully these 7 habits of highly successful boss’s will give you some insight.

1. They wake up early

In Tanzania, there is a perception that the boss can show up to work when they want, and leave when they want. And while this may be technically true in many companies. For a business to be successful, especially a young one, the boss needs to be the most hard working person on the payroll.

In general, many successful people wake up early because:

  • It gives them time to get ahead of tasks.
  • The morning is a great time to exercise; this allows you to feel more energetic throughout the day.
  • They can use the morning as their quiet time to indulge in their creative habits. This is especially beneficial for very busy individuals who do not have the time later in the day.
  • There is enough time to have a good healthy breakfast; again, this will fuel your energy.
  • Self-mastery. Waking up early voluntarily means you have the discipline to do so. Extremely successful people have great discipline and are able to accomplish great things because of it.

Don’t believe us?

Well, according to Business Insider all these very successful people wake up early:

  1. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up everyday at 3:45am.
  2. Michelle Obama wakes up at 4:30am everyday.
  3. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5:30am everyday.
  4. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin wakes up at 5:45am everyday.
  5. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is in the office, latest, 7am.
  6. General Motors CEO Mary Barra is in the office by 6am.
  7. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is up by 4:30am.
  8. Michelle Gass, president and distinguished innovator of Starbucks wakes up at 4:30am.
  9. Former president George HW Bush wakes up at 4am.
  10. Vogue editor in chief, Anna Wintour wakes up at 5:45am.

2. They focus on being productive rather than being busy

There is a difference between looking busy and being productive. What differentiates the one from the other is prioritization.

A boss who understands what needs to be done to grow the company will be productive. One without vision will be busy.

Productivity offers individuals meaningful results, whereas moving about, up and down being busy may not allow you to fully complete important tasks. Productive people tend to understand the art of prioritization and this makes them successful in what they wish to accomplish.

For instance, a busy person makes many promises and may say yes to things that compromise their working time. Productive people realize how dear their time is, how valuable it is and the fact that they will never get it back. Which is why a productive person will stop and think before saying yes to truly see if they can make the commitment.

Basically, they are no strangers to saying no!

3. They have a great team that they trust

They hire the right people. While the boss is important, teams build businesses.

In fact, a study conducted by the University of Kentucky observed that members in the team rather than a single individual, managed to be more accurate, faster in competing tasks and generally content about the tasks they had to perform.

4. They listen to their team

The founder and creator of Apple Steve Jobs once said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

What differentiates a good and a great boss is that a great boss not only speaks, but also listens closely to the opinions and queries of employees. A great employer realizes how valuable employee input is and creates a comfortable space where employees can express themselves.

Richard Branson stated, “There is a difference between hearing someone and listening to someone”. The latter implies that you are considering the point of view of another and trying to understand it, rather than just giving an ear out to someone who needs to vent. Branson, goes on to say that listeners are exposed to many creative ideas just by actually using their two ears. And not their mouth all the time!

5. They take care of their bodies and mind

Just by scheduling workouts, you are given the chance to practice the habit of making commitments and following a schedule, despite an extremely hectic day .

In addition to building positive consistent habit, exercise helps bosses because:

  • It makes you happy; when you exercise your body releases chemicals like endorphins ( responsible for happiness).
  • It builds self-esteem; individuals often find themselves not only pushing their physical limits but also mental barriers.
  • Exercising allows you to have an activity outside work that is healthy and productive, while also preventing you from over exhausting yourself at work.
  • Lastly, exercise builds strength for the stress and problems you will encounter at work. Physical fitness is just as important as mental.

6. They have successful friends 

Successful bosses take the saying, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” seriously. When they hang out with their friends they talk about their businesses, about market trends and the successes of other people in the industry. This may seem boring, but surrounding yourself with like-minded people will always keep you learning and wanting to work harder and to achieve more.

When you see others successes, you should think – I can do it too.

7. They are always learning

Just because you are a boss, doesn’t mean you know it all. The smartest people are eternal learners, and seek the knowledge of others. A great boss learns from:

  • Mentors: People who have been in the game longer.
  • Employees: They have insights that you don’t have.
  • Books: They read not only industry related books but self-help, autobiographical books etc.
  • Online resources: There are so many free learning resources online like Coursera, Open University and Udemy.
  • Experience: They learn from mistakes and successes. Ultimately, these are the best teachers of all.
  • Experts: Leadership and management training

Greatness is practiced and never perfected

This is not a tip, but more of a thing to always remember that applies to all aspects of your life. Many of us have heard the old saying that “practice makes perfect”. Tanzanians who have successfully undergone NECTA mathematics are proof of this. Just as you may have practiced those equations, you have to practice these habits until they become a part of you.

But you will never be ‘perfect’; a great boss always strives to get even better. It is important to not let success make you arrogant, as arrogant people tend to believe they know everything. Instead, recognize that there is always room for improvement. Successful employers are aware of this and that is why their businesses continue to grow, become more innovative and last for generations.

Are you looking for a great leader for your company?

Contact our very own recruitment service: recruitment@zoomtanzania.com

*ZoomTanzania’s recruitment services use years of insight on the hiring challenges of Employers, Recruitment Agencies, and HR Consultants to find your business the most adequately qualified employees.

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.