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15 Signs You Are Ready To Start Your Own Business

15 Signs You Are Ready To Start Your Own Business

A family, a home and a steady job. 40 hours of work a week, a pay cheque, and your evenings and weekends off, which you could either dedicate to your better half, your kids or to your hobbies. Or if that doesn’t suit you, you could always hang out with your work buddies instead.

Life’s good, or okay at least. Or is it? While a huge majority of the human race might be complacent with this sort of bourgeoisie lifestyle, not all of us are cut out for it. And the very fact that you’re still reading this article is proof enough for me that you have no intention of identifying as a bourgeoisie.

Oh, I like you! Now of course there are a lot of technical requirements to starting a business. Coming up with an idea, creating a business plan, finding an investment, hiring employees, and the likes.

But before you get into all that, you need to make sure you’re actually ready for the whole being your boss thing. So here are 15 signs that you are ready to start your own business.

1. You are sufficiently motivated

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” One of my favorite quotes from Napoleon Hill’s timeless classic “Think and Grow Rich”.

This one’s pretty straight forward. To be ready to start your own business and succeed at it, you would have to really want it first. Do you?

2. You have a confident personality

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” From the book “This is My Story” by Eleanor Roosevelt. We live in a cruel world. Bear that there will always be people trying to hinder or belittle you and your progress.

Now of course, there isn’t a thing in the world that should matter less than the opinions of those poor souls. But the bitter truth is, to most people it does.

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To stand apart, to succeed, you will need to sport a confident personality; to always be sure about what you’re doing or where you’re headed. Are you?

3. You are tenacious

“Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.” Thomas Huxley. Not all successful people possess genius talent. It would be a fair bet to say that a vast majority of them were no different from you and I when they started.

And they failed too. Often. But while most people tend to get demoralized at the first sight of failure, what they did was get right back up and try again. And again. And again. Until they succeeded. Can you?

4. You are passionate about what you are doing

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” A timeless advice from David Frost. Work is hard. Always has been and always will be.

Trick is to choose a line of business you’re so passionate about, that you will actually enjoy working hard. Look at every person in history who started a business and succeeded at it. They’ve always been exceptionally passionate about their work. Are you?

5. You enjoy learning

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” From the American novelist Louisa May Alcott. Like the world in its entirety, the business world is one big mystery. And people who actually believe they know it all might very well know nothing at all.

To successfully “sail your ship” you need to continuously feed yourself with knowledge and ideas. For which you must genuinely enjoy learning. Do you?

6. You have good people skills

“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” Dale Carnegie, legendary self-improvement and interpersonal skills guru.

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People constitute the world and influence how it runs. So it’s a no brainer that they ought to be at the essence of any business venture. Might be your investors, or your customers.

To succeed at business, you need to be excellent at understanding other people’s intents, and effectively communicating your ideas to them. Are you?

7. You are a visionary

“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” From the author of the popular book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell.

Visionaries make lasting business people. What sets them apart from the casual folks is that they can see to the end. And accordingly, they know what needs to be avoided and what needs to be done to succeed.

If you want to own a business and be successful one at it, you must be know where it’s headed. Do you?

8. You have a good business team

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller. No successful venture in history was ever started alone. Behind every successful “self-made” person you hear about, are seldom heard of people that actually run the engines of the business.

The idea is not to be as independent as you can. That’s simply not how it works. What you need is to have is a team of loyal, dedicated and talented people that not only can, but actually enjoy laying the bricks to your castle. Do you?

9. You are creative

“The painter has the universe in his mind and hands.” Leonardo da Vinci. Creativity is the ability to create new things and find unique solutions to existing problems. Sounds like a pre-requisite to any aspiring business person.

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To stand out in your line of business and succeed, you will have to bring something different to the table. Can you?

10. You despise authority

“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.” Criss Jami, in “Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality”. It is a rule of thumb. People who have a predisposition to starting a venture and succeeding at it have at the least a healthy disregard for authority.

The very fact that you want to start a business and be your own boss is proof enough that you have no intentions of directly working under someone else. You like to think for yourself. Don’t you?

11. You can take risks

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A Shedd. In a world surrounded by uncertainty, fluctuating market for instance, the one who embraces this uncertainty isn’t always safe from its claws. And this very fact scares a vast majority of your competition away from the game.

But you must know that security and success don’t always come hand in hand, especially not as long as you’re still chasing the latter. You’re not in the game for security. You’re here to risk it all and win. Aren’t you?

12. You know your limits

“Oh, I’m not just going too far, I’ve arrived.” Jose Saramago, in “Seeing”. Know when to stop. Even if the years don’t make you smarter, they always make you wiser. And at some point you just realize you can’t have anymore.

That’s when the wise one knows s/he doesn’t need anymore. Successful people can calculate success as well as they can dream of it. Can you?

13. You are organized

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” Benjamin Franklin. Unlike the common folks, business people don’t like to waste more time preparing for a work than on the actual work.

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For a business to succeed, you have to organize few things beforehand. Finding a retail partner or having your own website, as per the business needs, is a pretty good sign that you’re ready to dive into the world of business.

When that’s inevitable, they learn from the new experience and make sure it never happens again. They have everything they need whenever and wherever they want it. Simply put, to be in control you need to be organized. Are you?

14. You are a leader

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis. Often, it’s believed good leaders are born. Actually, good leaders are made, they’re product of experience, training and necessity, amongst others.

And you know a good leader when you see one. Given a vision and all the necessary tools and crew at his/her disposal, a good leader knows how and when to lead. Do you?

15. You know your game

No famous quotation for this one. Simply cause it’s a no brainer. Before you can play a game, you need to know the game. Always know that there are people out there who are already doing what you plan on doing. Many of them professionals. And they’re all your competition.

If you’re planning on entering a particular line of business, you need to make sure you know sufficiently enough if not as much as the people already in that business first. Only then you can act smart. And then, you dribble your ideas to goal. So do you know your game?

Featured photo credit: Business People via Flickr.com via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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