Thinking of being an entrepreneur or freelancer?
If you’re one of the thousands of Americans who wants to quit their day job for freelancing or opening up your own company, are you sure you have what it takes to succeed? I’ve been in the game for nearly five years and what most won’t tell you is that there are many ups and down – it’s about more than grit. Succeeding is about more than just a will to win, rather your character – what’s inherently inside of you.
Before starting out, you need to assess your skills and traits. Here are the top 10 characteristics of what successful entrepreneurs have in common:
You’re going to have to make decisions on your own. Rejection will happen. You have to trust your instincts and work with no one pushing you forward.
2. Risk-taking and assessing
When you’re your own boss, you have to measure the risk of every decision. Buying property is a great investment, but what happens if the market drops out of your industry two or three years down the road. If you can’t face uncertainty, you’re not going to make it in the entrepreneurial world.
The SBA talks about being persuasive to get customers and employees, but before that, you need confidence.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you don’t believe in your ideas, you can’t persuade others to get behind you. #Entrepreneurs” quote=”If you don’t believe in your ideas, you won’t be able to persuade others to get behind you.”]
I’ve learned that sometimes, you just have to fake it until you feel confident.
You’ll never flourish in business if you can’t be creative. It’s not just about having new products but also about innovative marketing techniques and finding new methods of reaching customers. I started out covering news and writing website content, but now I write white papers, case studies, and press releases.
Although this might be financial, it’s most certainly emotional. It’s draining when you begin your business. You have to spend time curating clients, marketing, finding support staff, and watching your books. You might go a month without getting a paycheck. If your family isn’t behind your decision, it’s going to be difficult when things get tough.
There’s no substitute to take your place when you don’t get out of bed to take on your day. There’s no boss checking up on you to make sure you got to work on time. If you don’t have the incentive to get out of bed when you don’t have clients, you’re going to find it’s hard to meet their deadlines when you do.
It’s hard to be financially responsible and follow all the rules of your industry when no one’s looking over your shoulder. You can’t just take money from your business accounts to pay yourself whenever you want. Well, I guess you could, but when you miss a tax payment or can’t pay your electric bill, who will you ask to pull you through?
8. Time management skills
I write a lot about productivity. To manage my clients, I can’t spend so much time working for one when another has deadlines that can’t be missed. You also have to manage your time to give yourself breaks. No one can work seven-day shifts indefinitely without burning out eventually.
9. Quick decision-making skills
There will be times when you don’t have two or three days to make a decision. You have to balance the risks of making a quick conclusion versus missing out.
When you start out on your own, you want to know why you want to work for yourself. Be specific. You can’t say, “I want to be my own boss.” You’re going to need this self-awareness for times when it gets rough. Have goals and objectives, not just financial ones, to measure your success.
Being a freelancer and/or entrepreneur offers a lot of benefits, but there are downsides. You have to have the disposition to deal with the ups and downs of working for yourself.
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