Maria Arnedo
By: marnedo
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3 Practices that lead small business owners to success 

As a water polo coach for many years, I would tell my players that water polo is a sport where you have to pay attention to 11 different things at once. I see entrepreneurship as the same – there are tons of things we have to pay attention to, and all at the same time. That is why it is so important to be intentional about how you show up as leaders in your businesses and the mindset you carry day to day. The #1 practice you can have in your box of tricks as a business owner is self-reflection. But how do you do that?



An excellent practice is to sit and identify ten skills that brought you success in whatever arena you worked in before your business (a prior biz, school, etc.). Once you have identified what skills led you to success then, identify which of those skills will continue to serve you as you create a profitable business. Now, identify any of the skills on that list that aren’t necessarily strengths or high priority skills in your business right now. What new skills do you need to add to your bag of tricks now?

This is part of the process that Michael Watkins calls “Promoting Yourself” in his book The First 90 Days. The point is to be conscious of who you are today as a business owner and step into the skills most necessary for your success. This practice is important because what led you to success in any past venture may not be what will lead you to success in this venture.


A second area to be mindful about is the beliefs you carry – about yourself, other people, businesses, and the world in general. Your beliefs will become the actions you take. Let’s start with You – If you dig deep (or as deep as we can dig in 600 words), can you identify any areas where you carry self-doubt or insecurity? What’s most important is that you explore this question judgment free. After all, we all carry insecurities at some point or another. The question is what beliefs are you carrying now about yourself? Can you see how they play into your outcomes? A workshop participant once told me that she realized in the workshop that whenever she started a new goal she subconsciously believed she would “mess it up soon.” She shared how that limiting belief was impacting the progress of the school she opened.

Let’s talk money: what are your beliefs about money? Again, let’s dig deep here. Do you carry a belief that money is not to be talked about, or that asking for a loan means you have failed? Or does it excite you to create opportunities to use other people’s money toward your success? How are your beliefs impacting your business’ bottom line?


I invite now you to set a date by when you will create your “Promote Yourself” lists to identify how you are best using your skills as a business owner. Also, set a date by when you will have an honest conversation – with yourself – about your beliefs in these areas: making money, becoming an influential leader, supervising others, taking risks, failing, and tweaking your vision if your initial vision isn’t panning out.

Stay judgment-free, stay curious, and stay excited about using this new insight to inform your success.

There are many other things you can put into practice to guarantee your success as an entrepreneur. Fund here 5 Habits of Successful Small Business Owners. And if you need inspiration, read here real stories of Latino Small Business Owners that have conquered success.

P.S. To see an exclusive video-version of this article with Liz Garcia, click here.

Liz Garcia

Liz blends her work as a Certified Life Coach, Trainer and Inspirational speaker to help people show up empowered by their strengths. Liz is the host of the Life in Brilliance™ Podcast, a weekly online radio show where she interviews America’s most brilliant people doing brilliant things. Liz has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from San Jose State University and a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis on Risk and Prevention in Adolescence from Harvard University. You can find more about Liz at 

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