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What traits are needed to become self employed and successful in the world of business.

Self employed needs

Image: What traits are needed to become self employed and successful in the world of business.

Self motivation and discipline

Having the ability to motivate yourself is probably the most important character trait you need if you are planning to become self employed. This may be the first time in your life you have no one to answer to, no one to call you into their office if you arrive five minutes late for work, no one to praise you after finding a new client. Now all of this will have to come from you. People motivate themselves in different ways and it is vital to find a few motivation methods you can use yourself. Both positive and negative methods will work. For example a negative method may be that if you don’t work late tonight you wont be able to get your child a present they really want, whereas a positive method may be if you work late tonight your business will grow and you will be emulating one of your life heroes.


In the past when you were employed by someone, you simply had to clock in do your job and clock out, well if you want to become self employed you will soon realise your job will change from day to day and you will probably wont have a set job list which needs to be completed everyday. This will require flexibility. You may arrive at work and realise a delivery you weren’t expecting until the next day has already arrived and it will take the whole morning to put away, do you tell a potential customer scheduled in for a mourning appointment to not come until the afternoon? Its up to you now.


You will have heard this before no doubt but I will repeat it because its just so vital. The most successful business aren’t there by luck, they will be there because the founder has put in ridiculously long hours, probably worked 7 days a week, they will have lived and breathed their business. You will read stories about a lot of get rich quick schemes like currency trading, penny stocks, blogging and how you only have to work 5 hours a week or something, well this simply isn’t true. To become a success in anything you have to put the hours in. Otherwise everyone would be rich and successful.

Career focused

This point is probably mentioned less or not at all in similar articles you have read. Please do not take offence. What I mean by career focused is putting your business before everything else, and I include your family when I say everything else. Because if you are working 8am till 8pm 6-7 days a week you will not be there for your family, sure you can hire a nanny or something so they will not suffer physically but just be aware you will never get this time back and this could well come back to haunt you. A lot of people want everything in life and unfortunately this is not always possible, so if you want to spend a lot of time with your family then bear that in mind when choosing weather to go self employed or staying employed.

Strong character

Although running a business is very exhilarating and great fun at times, there are aspects that no decent human can enjoy. You will make mistakes (hopefully only once), one mistake you may make is hirering someone who although was good on paper and on their CV is not up to standard. You will try helping them, working on their weaknesses but what happens if they still simply aren’t good enough, well you will have to terminate their employment. This is not fun, perhaps they are a single mum struggling to support their family? Or a recovering alcoholic who you fear may relapse when you sack them. Well unfortunately unless you want to risk the future of your business that you have committed your life to you have to tell them not to come in on Monday. It will be very tough and it won’t be fun.

Deal with stress and uncertainty

This one is a bit more obvious and I presume you will have already considered it so I will be brief. When you are employed you are pretty much certain every two weeks you will get your pay check. This is not the case if you work for yourself. A client may not pay on time or even at all, that may be all of your profits for the month! Just because you have a happy client now next week they may call you and say they have found someone better than you. Nothing is certain in business. The best way to deal with this is to be flexible and prepared for anything, as for running your business, never rest on your laurels, never be complacent and always try to improve.

Recognise opportunities

‘A day spent without learning something is a day wasted’ this quote is very fitting here, because potential opportunities may present themselves to you at anytime no matter how awkward you must take advantage of them. Say your in the local supermarket and you overhear a conversation complaining about lack of reliable mechanics in the area, don’t just agree and join in whingeing about it, get home get some feedback on your business idea (not an actual website at the time of writing).

Prepared to get your hands dirty

Again I am sure you have heard this before but I better say it in case you have in the excitement of planning to go self employed have forgotten that when you start up cash will be limited and it is likely you will be setting the mouse traps, cleaning the toilets (not actually as bad as people make out), taking the bins out, going next door and telling the builders to keep the noise down. Ok so maybe the last one is a bit far fetched but I am sure you understand my point.

I hope I haven’t put anyone off going self employed because that was not my intention, I just don’t want anyone to jump into something without knowing the potential challenges they face. If you think you can overcome these challenges then I can tell you there really is nothing quite like running your own business, from starting out, to making your first profit, to taking your employees out for team building exercises, there really is nothing that can give you the same buzz.

Good Luck

Created 07/1/2013 at 01:43 PM by RachelL91 in Careers advice

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