There are many reasons that one becomes an entrepreneur or a solo-preneur. My realization that I needed to find a way to make a living without having to rely on a boss came when I realized that I do not play well with the “wrong kind of others.” In other words, I am much better working with myriad clients rather than being stuck in an office working in a situation that requires me to be involved in water cooler gossip.
Life is too short to spend eight hours a day toiling away in a job in which your main satisfaction comes from the fact that you made it through another eight hour shift. Once I started my own blogging and content management business I realized how much happier I was when I was making the decisions on which clients I’d work with, what services I’d offer and the hours and location from which I would work. I can work in flannel pjs and bunny slippers or I can be in the corner of a local Starbucks enjoying the ambiance while I get my work done. What could be better?
Here are some of the traits I’ve found to be almost universal in the entrepreneurs with whom I interact. Let me know if you agree.
- You want to control your own fortune. Rather than waiting to see if you’ll be part of a downsizing, business owners pound the pavement, find new clients and soldier on. Your fate is in your own hands and you love the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of a job well done for a client.
- Work/life balance matters. Yes, there are times when I work a longer than eight hour day, but I can balance those workdays by taking my diva poodle, Henrietta, for a walk in the middle of the day if I need to de-stress. I can take a week day off from work and meet a friend for coffee and then add that time to another day. Most employers frown on taking off at noon to meet friends. I can take care of family emergencies or I can simply settle in with a good book and relax in the backyard for an hour if I feel the need to reward myself for a job well done.
- Choose your clients wisely! If you have a horrible boss, you’re powerless to do anything but smile and get through the day. If, however, you own your own business you don’t have to work with horrible clients. If you have a client that is difficult to please or who pays you late or one with whom you simply don’t see eye-to-eye you can break off that relationship (in a professional manner) and move on to another client. This makes for a much more relaxed work environment for you.
- If you succeed, it’s your own success! True, if you fail, you also need to own that. I can tell you that the successes I have had have far outweighed the failures; even the failures though have shown me that I needed to make some changes in the way I do business and those have propelled me toward the celebration of even more successes! If you work for someone, you may never get credit for what you do, but in many cases you certainly could feel the blame for a job poorly done (even if it’s a team effort!)
- Follow your passion and pursue your dreams. As a cancer survivor the idea of following my passions, doing what I love and living my dreams is an even more important part of my work and personal life. It may be cliche, but life truly is too short to do something you don’t love.
Do you have it in you to be an entrepreneur? Do you see yourself in any of these five traits?