The recent inauguration of the 46th United States President Joseph Biden has brought to the public sphere a renewed interest in the conversation about what makes a true leader. Many people believe that leadership skills are possessed only by a small sub-sect of ‘special’ individuals, however the truth is that all of us have access to the same traits as the successful leaders we look up to. One thing is for sure: taking a closer look at the traits and characteristics of leaders you respect can help move you closer to running a successful web design company with SiteSwan. Whether your aim is to run the country or simply to run your own business, here are 10 leadership traits that can help move you in the right direction.
1. Highly Motivated
Becoming President is no easy task. The same can be said about becoming a successful business owner. It can take a lot of time, sweat and tears, and you need to stay motivated to stick it through. Being a motivated leader means knowing that your hard work will pay off in the long run, even if it takes a while to see the benefits. If you’re not motivated to greet each day’s challenges, you’ll be dealing with an uphill battle no matter what you’re attempting to accomplish. Whether you’re starting your own web design business with the goal of making more money, ditching your 9 to 5, or enjoying the other perks of business ownership, you need something that will help you keep your eye on the prize and motivated throughout the process.
2. Strong Work Ethic
Having a strong work ethic means forming positive work habits and moral principles, and sticking to them every day. These include but are not limited to being dedicated, reliable, punctual, professional, responsible, respectful and well-organized. Just like any successful political leader needs to have a strong work ethic, so do successful business owners. It takes more than just getting out of bed and going to work to run your own business. You’ll need to form positive habits to keep driving you forward on your path of entrepreneurship.
It takes a lot of courage to be a good leader—not only to step up to the plate and take on a leadership role, but also when it comes time to make difficult decisions. All leaders face a lot of fear and uncertainty, but it’s courage that propels good leaders forward even during the most difficult times. This is true of leaders across all disciplines, especially those who run their own business. Running your own business often means making sacrifices, taking risks, receiving criticism and constantly dealing with the fear of failure, especially when you are just starting out. No business is an overnight success and it can take years of hard work to achieve your goals. Having the courage to see it through is normally what sets the most successful business owners apart from the rest.
4. Patience The old adage that Rome wasn’t built in a day may sound like a cliche, but it’s a key thing to keep in mind for anyone who is reaching for true success. Results simply don’t come overnight, no matter how talented, persistent, or hardworking a person happens to be. Patience truly is a virtue when it comes to leadership, and the more you can practice being patient throughout your day, the easier it will be to adopt this sort of mindset for the long term. If you’re thinking about starting your own web design business, you’ll need to have patience. It takes time getting comfortable with the concept, technology and process of selling websites. Chances are you won’t land your first client in your first month. It can take time before you get in the groove and start closing deals, but if you continue to work hard, your patience can pay off big.
5. Excellent Communication Skills
There’s a reason why those who are strong communicators tend to get ahead in life. When you’re able to convey your message in a way that is confident, clear, persuasive, and to the point, people start to listen, and wheels begin to turn. Knowing when to speak and when not to speak up is also a crucial leadership trait, as well as being able to determine which battles are worth fighting and which are best not fighting. Lastly, the ability to excel at public speaking can get you a lot of mileage—for political leaders and business owners alike. Running a successful web design business will require you to effectively communicate how your product and service will solve the needs of local business owners. Being able to talk professionally with local merchants, both 1-on-1, and sometimes even in a group setting is an important skill to have. You’ll need to be able to explain how a website can help a small business and be able to overcome any objections that come your way. You’ll also need to be able to communicate with your own employees and partners as you continue to grow.
Great ideas are certainly paramount to success, but they’re not everything you need to win out in the end. It takes a confident, assertive attitude to translate great ideas into products and services that make peoples’ lives better and easier, and this is a trait that even the best of leaders struggle with from time to time. The key is to maintain a positive attitude—even when facing hardships. It’s important to demonstrate confidence when making sales calls, and pitching potential clients on a new website. You need to make them feel comfortable (and confident) that you will be able to deliver everything you promise. A great way to build your confidence is to educate yourself about the product or service you are selling. Be sure to practice your pitch, utilize the resources you have access to and partner with a company that has your back. At SiteSwan, we provide a wide variety of resources to help you be confident selling websites. From sales and marketing materials, to live training webinars, to a dedicated support team, we’ll help prepare you to confidently talk to customers, use our platform and grow your business.
Struggles and hardships will come, whether you like it or not. Great leaders and business owners rise to the challenge of finding meaningful solutions to difficult problems, and sometimes this means taking a momentary loss in the name of long-term gains. Just as with following a strict diet and exercise regimen, being a great leader and business owner takes boatloads of resilience, which—fortunately—tends to come along with high levels of experience. Every business has its highs and lows and web design is no exception. Losing your largest client or having a few bad months, not only has a negative impact on sales and profits, but it’s also discouraging. Being resilient is what will help you stay positive and get your business back on track.
There are few things in life that matter more than staying accountable for one’s actions and behaviors. Everyone makes mistakes or drops the ball sometimes, but passing the blame to someone else or not admitting ownership can be where the true problems lay. Ask yourself in times of discomfort: “what role did I play in this?” Getting comfortable with the answer means getting accountable, and that’s what true leaders take the time to do at the end of each day. At SiteSwan, we provide all of our resellers with all the technology, tools, resources, training and support they need to be successful, but ultimately it’s up to the individual to use it. We’ve helped thousands of people launch a successful web design business, but we’ve also witnessed some fail. If you’re not reaching the goals you set out to achieve or things are not going as planned, you need to ask yourself what can YOU be doing differently. When you’re running your own business, it’s OK to lean on others for help, but at the end of the day, you’re responsible for your own success.
9. Ethics and Morals
Anyone can get “good” at the work they do with enough effort, but strong ethical sensibilities seem to be difficult to teach. The ethics and morals that influence your decisions will play key roles in your overall success in life, which is just one reason why so many leaders stray from negativity and instead try to maintain a positive outlook despite what may be dire straits. A person’s ‘moral compass,’ as it may be, can often determine their future outcomes. In business, you’ll often find yourself making decisions based on not only what the correct thing to do is, but what is the right thing to do? Sometimes being ethical means doing more than what you originally promised (and what you were paid for) to make a client happy. For example, if you didn’t verify if your client has a Google, Facebook, and Yelp listing before selling them Reputation Management, you may need to help them setup those profiles without charging them for it. Successful web designers will often put in extra effort to do the right thing for a client.
When you’re a leader, it’s important to be able to make decisions and do things on your own without having to depend on others. Often times, being self-reliant is what separates leaders from followers. Whereas followers always have someone to tell them their next steps, leaders often need to make these choices on their own. Being self-motivated and self-reliant is especially important if you are an individual owner/operator. When you run a business on your own, you need to be able to wear multiple hats, make all the decisions, and handle all of the day-to-day operations by yourself. Each day you will need to decide what actions to take, prioritize what’s important and be able to manage your own time. Being self-reliant will allow you to be your own boss and get the job done.
Every time a new President is elected, it makes us all look inward at what separates ourselves from those who are in charge. While only a select few leaders are in the public eye, there are great leaders inside everyone, so long as you develop the key traits that make a great leader. Being in charge of a country, a city, or a business all require leadership traits you can work to improve upon. Pair those with a solid support system like what SiteSwan offers, and you can start your own successful web design business if that’s what your calling might be.
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