Regardless of the business or franchise opportunity, one of the best ways to learn how to be a good owner or manager is to study the traits of those who have been successful and to emulate those things they do that seem appropriate to your situation. What some businesspeople may forget, however, is that they can sometimes learn from non-businesspeople too, and that shining examples are all around us.

Businesspeople you can learn from

An obvious place to start is with entrepreneurs that are still at work and building their legacy of success. People like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg come to mind, but you could also go back further and look at Ray Croc, Thomas Edison, or even Ben Franklin (he’s credited with coming up with many of the keystones of modern franchising).

Sometimes, it might be better to look at how less well-known people go about their business. Consider Noah Kagan, for example, who was an employee at Facebook and took what he learned there to create his own brand, which includes a community dedicated to helping entrepreneurs. Current Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg is another potential role model.

Those in other fields

Sometimes it pays to look at some not so obvious choices when looking for those with the secret to success, and you might consider someone like pop singer Katy Perry. While she may seem like just another blip on the celebrity merry-go-round, insider reports suggest she is not only one of the hardest working people in show business, but isn’t afraid to share what she’s learned; and one of those secrets is a work ethic that any self-employed business owner can truly understand. Whether you may think of her music, all business owners can surely relate to gaining success through endeavor.

Those in your world

Not every successful man or woman is rich and famous, and some just quietly go about their lives, succeeding by doing what they’ve learned to do. Think about the guy that owns the local hardware store for example, perhaps he’s been doing it for years. If so, he must know something, and has succeeded where many others have failed.

Alternatively, what about your family? Perhaps you feel your mom is the best ever, so what traits does she have that make her so?

The opportunity to learn how to get better at things, whether purely business or in a more general sense, is all around us. People spend years learning to play the banjo, as another example, or how to speak well in public, or how to make a better burger. If you are looking to start your own company, or for ways to improve the one you have, one of the best ways to learn how is to expand your horizon to include people who are successful in less measurable ways. Then, you can take what you’ve observed and make it a part of how you run your own life and business.

Darren Jamieson is the Technical Director of Engage Web and writes forMinuteman Press on franchising in the U.S. and throughout Canada, Australia and his native United Kingdom. He has extensive knowledge of the franchise industry, and of running a business, having helped many franchise clients through Engage Web.

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