8 Superpowers Every Small Business Owner Should CultivateFrom staying flexible to reading the future, these not-necessarily-superhuman traits can help you succeed.
Superheroes would have the best business cards — “Man of Steel,” “Shape-shifter Extraordinaire,” “Sprouter of Wings.”
Even without exposure to radiation or some other transformative event, small business owners can tap into the superpowers of fictional characters like Superman and Mystique to help them grow their business.
Here are just a few of the larger-than-life abilities it pays to cultivate. No disguise or tacky X-Men uniform required.
The flexibility of Mr. Fantastic
The brilliant Mr. Fantastic, founding member of the Fantastic Four, also goes by Mr. Elastic thanks to his ability to stretch his body into virtually any useful shape — a ball, a trampoline, a parachute — depending on the need at hand. He can even become a fluid.
If you’re a small business owner, your business should be able to react to customer demands and shape-shift in response to trends like a veritable Mr. Fantastic. Listen to feedback from shoppers, closely observe what’s happening in the marketplace — and be willing to adapt when necessary.
The rapid healing of Wolverine
With claws that extend from the backs of his hands, Wolverine is a mutant in more than one advantageous way. He boasts not only enhanced physical capabilities but also a superhuman regenerative power known as healing factor, which allows him to heal rapidly from physical traumas of all sorts and also resist disease.
Since you’re the boss, it’s important to limit the number of sick days you experience. To that end, taking care of your most important asset, your health, should be just as high a priority as other day-to-day responsibilities.
The key to finding time for both your mental and physical health is to establish boundaries and schedule breaks. Leave your phone behind, go for a hike, practice meditation, spend time with your family. Breaks are important for keeping stress in check and allowing your body to quickly rebound.
Getting enough sleep, while challenging, is also critical.
Bruce Banner’s emotional hold on the Hulk
After exposure to gamma radiation, nuclear physicist Bruce Banner is cursed to transform in times of stress into the massive green destruction machine known as The Incredible Hulk. Banner does his best to restrain him.
One of the great thrills of being an entrepreneur is the idea that every day brings with it some new challenge or opportunity. It can also be something of an emotional rollercoaster, at times testing tempers.
To avoid losing your cool, take a page out of Bruce Banner’s book to control your inner Hulk. Recognize your body’s stress signals, take several deep breaths and try to pause the situation. Temporarily putting a halt to whatever is causing you stress gives your body nad mind time to adapt and regain control.
Mystique is a formidable foe because she can take on the appearance and voice of any person or animal. She can also take on new powers, such as night vision, or sprout wings.
No matter what kind of business you’re running, chances are you take on more than one role throughout your busy day.
According to an article in Harvard Business Review, the key to shapeshifting into different roles is to prioritize those roles — which are most important? — and set goals. Once you have a clear idea of what responsibilities you can effectively manage, you can set about seeking assistance to help fill in the gaps so you don’t end up micromanaging everything.
It’s also important to adopt new powers as needed. It’s never too late to learn skills that are essential to business success in today’s world.
The clairvoyance of Osiris
Osiris, an Egyptian god and also a Marvel Comics superhero, possesses a host of superhuman abilities. One of his many powers is clairvoyance, a preternatural ability to see persons and events that are distant in time or space.
In the marketplace, clairvoyance is earned by absorbing daily information on your customers (a customer survey can help), competitors and emerging trends. By consistently enriching yourself with information about your industry, you’ll have a better handle on what’s coming and how to take advantage of it.
Spider-Man’s spidey sense
One of Spiderman’s more useful powers his is spidey-sense, a kind of tingling that alerts him to impending danger or harm. Unlike other superpowers on this list, you actually have this one naturally — it’s called your gut.
If you get the feeling something isn’t quite right with an aspect of your business, pause to take stock of that feeling. Give yourself the mental downtime you need to try to understand where it’s coming from and what you should do in response.
Rogue’s power mimicry
The superhero Rogue has the ability to gain both knowledge and strength from the people she touches.
You can harness this power for your own small business by making efforts to network. Foster relationships with fellow entrepreneurs. Enrich yourself with people actively involved in your marketplace. Discover your industry’s thought leaders, follow their social media accounts and glean important information from their failures and successes.
Consider finding a mentor for yourself.
And don’t forget to give as much as you get. It’s the secret to effective networking.
Apollo’s energy sourcing
The superhero Apollo draws energy from the sun to fuel his super strength, flight and other abilities.
In your case, let your passion be the fuel that drives you to success — and helps you become a contagious force of good for your employees.
“Having a team of professionals who love their jobs isn’t a nice-to-have—it’s a must have to achieve your company’s goals,” writes James Price. “Make passion the key to your company culture and you will breed excellence in all aspects of your service.”