Are you contemplating entering the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Keep in mind that even if you don’t have every trait described here, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start your own business. My intention is to give you some idea of the challenges you may face. It will give you an idea of how ready you are to start your business or if you need to get some additional training or help to overcome some obstacles. The ideal personal characteristics listed here vary in how necessary they are to starting a business. Some of them are critical, but others can be learned or outsourced.
Self-motivation is absolutely critical. You need to be a self-starter and someone who can stay on task if you want to run your own business. A great deal of work goes into starting and running a successful business and there is no one to answer to but you!
You should know a great deal about the industry you are engaging in. If you haven’t previously gained this knowledge through education or experience, you should do so before starting your business. Much of this knowledge can be found online. Do a Google search on your niche, read some of the blogs, download reports and invest in the books written by the thought leaders in your field.
When you work for a company or even just one boss, they are quite often the one in charge of time management. Guess what? That will be your job as well now that you are an entrepreneur. Learn some good time management skills and use them!
Are you organized? You will tap these skills on a daily basis when you run your own business. When you’re handling multiple customers, jobs and/or revenue streams, you need to keep it all organized. If this is totally contrary to your personality, consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant. I have worked with many clients who have attention deficient and need someone else to keep them on task.
At some point, you may hire employees or subcontractors to help in your business. You will need to have good management skills. This is something you can’t easily outsource. If you lack these skills, consider taking a course at your local community or technical college.
This is something you would probably be better off outsourcing unless you have a background in marketing. However, if you don’t have a large budget, you may find yourself doing a lot of it on your own. Study and learn basic marketing principles now as this could make or break your business.
But I’m working alone, why do I need people skills? You need to have good social skills for interacting both with customers and with vendors and other businesses your business will rely on. Working online once provided the introvert the security of being behind the screen but with streaming video and apps like Blabs, this security is quickly disappearing.
One major challenge for many self-employed people is that you have to be both a professional at whatever service you provide, and an entrepreneur. No matter what kind of business you’re starting, you will inevitably become an entrepreneur, even though you may never have thought of yourself as one before.
Being an entrepreneur involves:
Ø Self-discipline and motivation
Ø Decision-making and problem solving skills
Ø A vision for your business’s future
Ø The ability to adapt and be flexible
Ø Perseverance in the face of adversity
Ø The constant search for new ways to grow your business
Ø An understanding of your market
Ø An ability to commit
Ø At least some sense of competitiveness
There is a great deal to consider in this article. The point isn’t to dissuade you, but rather to set your expectations. Evaluate yourself by asking these questions.
1. Look at the list of pros and cons for having your own business. Which ones are the biggest benefits for you? Which ones will present the biggest challenge?
2. Rank the personal characteristics in order from your strongest to your weakest.
3. From the entrepreneurial characteristics, rank in order from your strongest to your weakest.
Where do you need to improve?