This article is by Alan Hall, Managing Director at Mercato Partners, and is derived from an article in the Deseret News Business section, Tuesday, October 11, 2011.

I’m a serial entrepreneur, and I have the highest regard and affection for all entrepreneurs. So, I get asked a lot, “What’s going on in America?” The easy answer is that the economy is in turmoil. The more difficult question is how do we fix the problem?

From an economic perspective, things just don’t seem to get fixed at the government level. However, there are government policies that could encourage entrepreneurial and business growth, such as cutting onerous, costly regulations, simplifying the tax code, and reducing the years it takes to approve patents, to name a few. Sadly, the lack of progress and change in Washington continues, affecting us all. It’s disturbing, but we cannot let it stop our efforts to build new businesses and expand existing ones. One of the key solutions to fixing our economy is small business, and it all starts with business owners.

Business Owners Are the Solution

Entrepreneurs and small business owners will play a huge roll in fixing the economy and getting America back on track economically. Their commitment and perseverance to attain success will bring us out of the slow growth and will put our highly trained work force back to work in their businesses.

I’ve attained a certain level of success throughout my career, and I get asked regularly what it takes to succeed in business. Some business owners are teachable. Others are not. Those that aren’t will likely fail and give up. In my experience, there are some key characteristics that an entrepreneur or business owner must possess in order to have an advantage and a greater chance of success. These characteristics include:

  • Vision

If a business owner doesn’t know what they want, what their goals are, what problem their product or service will solve, or who their customers will be, then they’ll never even get their business off the ground.

A business person with vision knows what they want and follows their dreams. A clear vision often leads to the building of great companies that employ hard working people from the community, pay wages, and provide benefits to workers. These workers, in turn, pay mortgages, buy food and clothing , and shop in nearby stores, actions which grow our local economy.

  • Giving Back

Thoughtful business people give of their wealth to help students, the poor, the less fortunate, the arts, and myriad social services. They also give of their time and act as mentors to help future business leaders understand what it takes to succeed.

  • Desire

A successful business owner  will have a burning in their belly, an unquenchable desire to commercialize an idea, a product, or a service. It’s all they think about day and night. This desire helps them overcome daunting obstacles and great barriers to move their dreams forward.

  • Fearless

Every business owner will make mistakes and fail. The most important thing they do, though, is learn from their mistakes and try again and again, until they reach their goal. I believe being fearless is a part of their DNA, something they can’t help. As they build a new business, they experience marvelous, emotional highs and the darkest, most painful lows. But they never give up or back down.

Business owners are the backbone of every local and national economy and provide a host of community services that enrich every citizen’s life. A business person who has or can acquire these characteristics has a significantly better chance of succeeding.

While there are other factors that play into a business person’s success, especially timing, these traits provide a solid foundation for future business success. And when that entrepreneurial success is achieved, we will have provided the business catalyst that is needed for stabilizing and strengthening our economy. So, as small business owners and entrepreneurs, let’s put these traits into play and grow our local economy by building our businesses.

If you wish to read the original article in the Deseret News, click on this link.