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50 Traits of a Successful Business Major

Successful characteristics of a business student by Yiming Xuzhou | @siliconvalbread

Studying business at school is an essential part of life for millions of employees, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. 


So what if you want to set yourself apart from the seemingly infinite number of other students learning alongside you?


How can you make yourself a stronger candidate for that job? 


A more qualified leader for that organization?


More importantly, what are 101 traits that define a successful business major?

Their Personality Projects Confidence


1. They are self-managing

Successful business students take great care when it comes to managing their time and activities. You will never find them wasting a resource as valuable as time itself. 


They use notebooks, time management tools, and reminder apps to make sure they are always on top of their responsibilities.


They don’t look to others to provide them with motivation to go through with a day and be productive. Successful students manage their own time and they manage it better than anyone else could.

2. They reflect, a lot

I once learned from the former CEO of Mechanics Bank that the way she moved up in the world was by constantly working and constantly reflecting. 


Every 3 months, she would look back and write out every single accomplishment she earned.


Then, she would analyze the results based on other reflection periods to ensure her progress was always improving. This is a vital key to success in the workplace. 

3. They hold higher standards

Successful leaders do not accept anything lower than perfection. 


Or at least, near perfection.


In order to have higher standards, successful students also keep themselves in check. They don’t make excuses and they always keep themselves accountable. At the same time, they expect the people they work and interact with to be at the same level. 

4. They are picky

Successful business students won’t simply befriend anybody that walks up to them. 


If you are going to approach a successful student and strike a conversation, you better have something valuable or insightful to say.


These students are willing to listen if and only if they will learn something or benefit from the opportunity of listening. 

5. They are selective, but open

That being said, successful students will always give others the time and opportunity to impress. 


They are always great listeners who see a learning opportunity as a valuable way to spend their time. 


If the situation they are in does not appear to benefit them, you may see these students leaving to use their time in a more effective manner somewhere else. 

6. They are students always

Even if they are not in class or not currently enrolled, successful business majors will try to learn something new at every step and turn they take.


They always try to learn through online articles, anthropology, and insightful conversations. 


This is why they also grow to become great teachers. 

7. They could become a teacher if they wanted

In order to be at the top of a company for any industry, it is vital to become the most knowledgable person there.


These students take this information and run with it. They typically find themselves at the top of their class regardless of the subject, simply because of their work ethic and their need to rise above. 

8. They want to share how they got there

A successful student knows the value of teaching. Plenty of studies have proven that teaching your peers will make you learn and retain information at a much higher rate.


A successful business major would never give up the opportunity to enhance their learning by helping someone else. 

9. They are self-disciplined

Eventually, even a successful student will mess up. That being said, the important thing is how they bounce back from it.


Successful business students hate failure. But they also love it. Why? Failure is an opportunity for them to see what they tried and what didn’t work. Their discipline always creates success from failure. 

10. They hate failure

Failure. Does anyone like it?


Well, successful business majors hate failure the most. They never want to see their project flop or their business fail. For this reason, they will always be in check of every factor in a project that could possible lead to a fail.


This attitude is reflected in their studies. Successful students would never feel content with anything other than a A grade. “C’s get degrees” is a phrase that does not exist for these students. 

11. They love failure

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

At the same time, successful business majors recognize that sometimes, failure is the best possible thing that could have happened to them.


Failure is the best learning opportunity that a student can get. It’s the time when they can see themselves in a new light and analyze their actions without any bias. 


Without failure, success could not possibly exist. Good exists because of the bad. 

They are social (media) beings

social media

13. They recognize the power of social media

Instead of using social media as a way to share funny videos and sports highlights, successful business majors see it as a bridge to reaching new audiences and networks. 


They use social media to share and teach, not mindlessly scroll.

14. They inspire action

Successful business majors know that they cannot create change on their own. Change comes from a focused group effort with shared goals. They focus their social energy on enacting this change by inspiring others. 


They never try to bring anyone down or “expose” people. Their energy is spent on crafting positive content that inspire action. 

15. They share their ideas and values from all angles

Success comes from an aggregate effort to reach and share insight with people from different backgrounds with varying interests. 


In order to do this, successful students use a plethora of tools beyond just Instagram and Facebook. They are constantly looking for new ways to reach new demographics whether thats with online communities, forums, social sites, or direct outreach. 

16. They will only share content that teaches something or provides real value

Most successful business students either keep a professional social profile, or save their social media energy for their business profile. 


They only share content that provides some sort of actual value to readers. For this reason, they often have engaged readers and big followings. They inspire others to share their attitude. 

17. They manage multiple profiles

Successful content sharers don’t just use one platform to send all their insight. They use softwares that help them plan and schedule their content posts so they can focus on learning new material, not using their phones all day. 


As business students, they try to automate their tasks as best as they can. Content scheduling tools are a must. 

18. They spend most of their time on socials connecting directly with people

They like to use Linkedin to actually connect and talk to people that they would not have been able to meet otherwise. 


Successful business students would not post without recognizing the value in having the conversations that are born from their content.

19. They build mutually beneficial relationships

Successful business students won’t talk to everyone that reaches out them. They talk to those who provide value back. Mutually beneficial relationship building is a must for anyone trying to build a network that can support them for years to come. 


On platforms like Linkedin, business students try to learn and gain value from others as much as they try to pass it on. 

They always want to get ahead


20. They complete their work ahead of schedule

One of the best ways of impressing a higher-up is to always work beyond your expectations. 


A simple way to do this is to discipline yourself and finish your work ahead of schedule. A bonus: students who do this can focus on their personal business and less on homework.

21. They love problem-solving

Successful students love a challenge that brings out their superior problem-solving abilities. Problem solving is also the most highly-rated skill among employers today. 


If you are able to prove to others that you are a great problem solver, leaders and managers will take notice and separate you from the others. 

22. They know they have the ability to affect change

Along with being great problem-solvers, successful business majors have confidence in their ability to make changes.


They have a great sense of self-efficacy and do not fall to the pressures of overwhelming work or road bumps. 

23. They never leave a task half-finished

When they start a project, they will finish it. They do not pay attention to the time because the more they focus on that, the less they focus on what’s important. 


Successful business majors will never half-ass their assignment or project. If anything, they will complete it in one sitting and revise at a later date. 

24. They start their business early

Successful business students recognize the value in starting early. If they begin their business today, then they could learn something new tomorrow.


They see how starting their business a year ago could have given them an entire year’s worth of experience. 


For this reason, many of them have already tried their hand at starting a business

25. They apply their learning to their business

There would be little point in learning something if you were to just forget it a year later.


That’s why successful business students try to learn something and immediately implement it into their business plan. 


Each day is an opportunity to test out a new feature or application for their business. 

26. They share (some of) their business ideas

A successful student won’t reveal their secrets to you but they still want to know your opinion. 


They might share a business idea they had that fell down the list of actionable plans. 


If they share their main business idea with you, it might be an opportune time to engage a partnership. 

27. They don't fall to criticism

If their business is flawed, they want to know why. They will always listen and be open to criticism. 


If anything, they love hearing this because it gives them something new to consider and evaluate. 


Business students see adversity as a part of solving puzzle, not a wall preventing success. 

28. They turn their side hobbies into businesses

Successful business majors will see all their skills as potential assets. If they are adept at a sport, they may see the potential to grow a business out of it. 


Perhaps they start a website centered around their sport. Another thing they could do is begin an e-commerce site for a creative talent they have. 


Nobody knows how valuable a side hobby can be until you go out and try to make it a business. 

29. They have lots of non-liquid assets

Business majors often will store their wealth through systems that do not allow them to spend this money. Why?


This helps them save their money and prevent them from overspending. 


Business students love to invest in crypto, stocks, and other types of investments. They also store wealth through physical objects, agreements, and ownership claims. 

30. They invest early

It isn’t rare to find a business major who has invested in the stock market. It also isn’t rare to find out that they have had this stored for years.


Business majors love to get ahead so they invest as soon as they learn new information. While this doesn’t always work out, they tend to make a lot of safe investments that overall lead to positive trends. 

31. They take calculated risks

If a business major is going to make a risky investment, they will use all the mathematical tools and concepts available. They often will take a class on the side to learn the statistics of investing so that they can remain profitable during times of risk.

They are life-hackers

life hack

32. They know the difference between shortcut and secret

Successful people will use a plethora of useful tools to save their time, energy, and productivity. At the same time, they never try to take cheap shortcuts in life. 


The tools they use have been proven to be effective and safe. They hack their lives in the way that brings benefit through intellect. 

33. They don't fall victim to shiny object syndrome

When anyone is starting a new business, it’s common to see them spending way too much money at the start because they believe it is an “investment that will pay off eventually”. 


The truth is, there is so much you can do without spending any money at all.


Successful business starters will save their money on purchases that will directly increase the value of their product or service, not purchases that will make it look good. 

34. They always check the alternatives

When successful business majors look into adopting new technology, they will always look into the alternatives so that they get the best deal.


Beyond finance and saving, these people recognize that different variations of tools can fit them better depending on their needs at the time. They will never make a snap judgement purchase without research beforehand. 

35. They move in silence

When successful business majors talk, they talk with purpose. After they tell you what they are going to do, expect to not hear from them for a long time. Why?


They are doing it. They can’t talk while they are in action. 


Business majors don’t procrastinate, they move and work in silence until it is time to present their new business/achievement/successes. 

36. They use an accountability mirror

Successful business majors will use tools like mirrors to boost their productivity and self-accountability.


They put post-it notes on their mirror with important tips and tasks so they always know their priorities. Every time they wake up or look at themselves in the mirror, it is a reminder to get back on the grind. 

37. They try the entrepreneur path

Successful business majors become entrepreneurs. They learn the lean startup model. They try to start businesses. They learn from their mistakes. 


They use all the tools they were given from birth to craft a personalized business. 

38. They are multi-talented in aspects of business

A business major cannot grow to become a CFO if they lack finance skills, accounting skills, or management skills. 


Successful business majors dive into all facets of their craft and gain the skills from people who specialize in those skills. 

39. They learn maturity early

The most successful students adopt a no-nonsense attitude early in their life. While they keep a serious tone during their work hours, they will still know how to have fun when they take breaks.


That being said, you will never find them acting like teenagers or kids. 

40. They will remember you

As great listeners, successful business majors will take the time to learn as much as they can from you. As a result, you could become a long term connection for them if the value you provided was exceptional. 


Expect them to nurture your relationship and remember you for years to come. 

41. They don't care too much about fashion

They probably have 1 or 2 suits and a couple of shirts in their clothing rotation. Comfort is always preferred over style. Why?


They spend their time worrying about their craft, not the way they dress outdoors. Remember Mark Zuckerberg in the Social Network?

They seek global influence

42. Their goals are oriented to reach a global scale

Although they enjoy the personalization of living in a college and interacting with students, successful business students always have a bigger fish in mind. 


They want to do business with foreigners, other countries, and everyone in between.


They want their ideas to reach the edges of the world and they won’t stop anywhere. 

43. They seek international studies

Success often means moving somewhere else to try out your ideas in a new environment. Successful students often sign up for abroad programs where they can experience life in a brand new light. 


This could also open the opportunity to discover new problems that require business. 

44. They sign up for more programs than they can join

While successful people will often get into places they apply to, failure is an unavoidable thing. 


To combat this, successful people will always have a backup plan or another program they will attend in addition to their top choice. They are always setting their future plans up with learning programs or opportunities to innovate. 

45. They appear to always be thinking of something else

If you see one of those students walking around campus, they seem to be preoccupied with something on their mind. This is likely their need to perform outside of the small circle they are enclosed in. 


Business students love to travel and move around so they often are thinking of ways to reach that goal. 

46. They innovate

The tried and true method is always a good choice. However, successful students will always be looking at way to enhance or optimize a situation.


Business students in particular are constantly thinking of ways to improve or innovate on their present circumstances.  

47. They are organized

Leaders will keep a clean and organized work space that is reflected in the way they live. 


You can’t run a business if you aren’t organized after all. 

48. They are both street-smart and book-smart

Successful leaders know how to act in a crisis and make snap decisions. They can think outside of the box when the pressure is running high. 


At the same time, they can put their heads down and study effectively when they need to. 

49. They love reading

Whether they love reading online articles, magazines, or paperback books, successful business majors know that writing will always be a skill they are using. 


As a result, they spend a lot of their time reading anything related to their field or their interests. 


They would not risk irrelevance by neglecting current trends and new knowledge in information. 

50. They are the most curious

Their love for reading may stem from their natural instinct to question everything. They are always curious about why things are and how things could be better. 


They use this curiosity to fuel their learning and always learn more. This is also why the successful business majors tend to be the ones that ask the most questions. 


So what traits make you a successful student?

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