Sometimes the secret to success is too obvious that it gets overlooked. This week, let’s discuss what really makes someone successful and how you can apply it to your own life.


When asking for advice for business success, often people want one quick, cure-all answer– and they don’t want the obvious ones! We’re here to tell you that success really is quite simple, even if our response isn’t the most mind-blowing answer.

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Success comes in two parts. Follow these two steps, and the pathway toward building a better business, finding your footing in the market, and feeling as if you’re doing the right thing might become a little bit clearer.


Tried and true, the first step to being successful is to find something you’re good at. Albert-László Barabási, Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, conducted a study to find the origin of successful products and ideas, and broke down the formula of success into two major factors: a person’s skill and the value of their idea. Thus, someone who can both come up with a good idea and execute it well could be a successful person. If we boil down every thriving business into their own essence, the two primary parts would be a great product or service and the ability to bring it to life from step A to Z.


Being good at something, though, is the key. No matter how much funding or influence you may have, if you aren’t good at something then you just won’t succeed. Howard Schultz didn’t became one of the biggest names in coffee just because he had funding. He was passionate about the product he was handing over from the coffee farmer to the barista to the customer, and that made him successful.

Women Holds Her Open Sign for Her Successful Small Business

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Seems almost effortless right? Well, Barabási does recognize that his formula is missing one thing. The second step to being successful is to be persistent. That is, we must, as small business owners, continue to show up day-in and day-out even when business is tough, when the market is down, and when it seems as if all odds are against us. We must be tenacious. A good idea and a valuable product or service form the vehicle that will drive us to success, but our own work ethic is the gas that will get us there.


Sometimes it is as simple as that. A good idea, strong skills, and a fierce work ethic. Those concepts are what makes a good small business owner. Having the courage and skills to come up with a good idea, see it through, and work hard for it over and over again.

What else could make a successful business person? Check out our other blogs to find out.