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Entrepreneur Insights: 5 qualities of successful entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Insights: 5 qualities of successful entrepreneurs

Posted on: September 10, 2013
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Karina Birch, owner of Rocky Mountain Soap Company, shares a few of the reasons why she and husband Cam Baty have found success in business.

When Karina Birch and Cam Baty entered the body products industry, they didn't know anything about making or selling soap. But they knew how to use it, and they knew what they liked (natural ingredients) and didn't like (synthetic additives).

With two business degrees to lean on, those foundational likes and dislikes helped Cam and Karina develop a business model and buy a little soap shop in Canmore, so they could start making—and selling—the kind of soap they really like.

15 years later, you've probably heard of that shop: Rocky Mountain Soap Company, with 10 stores across Canada and counting.

In Karina and Cam's case, success wasn't founded on industry experience—it was founded on the passion and hard work of two business-minded, health-conscious soap fans.

Here are a few of the personal qualities that have made Karina and Cam—and Rocky Mountain Soap Company—a sweet-smelling success, in Karina's own words:

  1. Passionate

    "I grew up, I think, like lots of girls, just wanting to put egg in my hair and avocado on my face and mixing up kitchen ingredients for different beauty regimens—and I loved it...When we found the company, it just seemed like a natural fit for me."
  2. Curious

    "Sometimes, people are nervous to get into something if they feel like they're not qualified, but I think to be naive is one of the best attributes you can have because then you're curious and you question and you discover things that probably somebody seasoned in that industry wouldn't have thought of."
  3. Forward-thinking

    "If it was just getting up and running the business exactly as it was yesterday, then it would be no fun. But doing things like planning a new workshop and looking for where the next store might be, and creating new products makes it always exciting."
  4. Disciplined

    "We created this strict list of ingredients that we would never use that are very, very common in our industry, so we made it very difficult for ourselves early on...That line in the sand forced us to push ourselves."
  5. Chatty

    "We've sought out smart people. If Cam meets somebody, then there's a good chance that he'll take him out to lunch and then pick his brain for about two hours until you can't talk anymore."

To hear more from Karina, Cam, and other successful Alberta entrepreneurs, visit our We Grow Alberta page

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