Unemployment rates are diminishing and more jobs are available than there were in the past couple years, but it’s still one of the best times to become your own boss. If you’re thinking about opening your own business, go through this list and see if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
1. You have a never-ending passion.
If you’re thinking about opening your own business, you obviously already have great passion. Whether you want to become a business consultant or open a bakery, you love what you do enough to want to do it for a living. Your passion means that you can not only work full time, but you can live and breathe whatever you choose to do without burning out.
2. You serve as a fountain of ideas.
Do you have one good idea for a business that keeps coming to mind? That’s not a bad start, but to be successful, it’s best if you have a nonstop flow of ideas. You need to be able to think up the basis for your business, a way to refresh your image after awhile, how to get your name out there and how to make sure what you’re doing is necessary for the community. The ideas should just keep coming to you, whether it happens naturally, while you’re sleeping or during a scheduled brainstorming session.
3. You’re not afraid to work really hard.
If you think owning your own business is fun, you’re wrong. It helps that you have the love and passion to make it fun, but it’s going to take a long time to get there. First you’re going to have to work really hard. You’re starting with nothing, building a business and a name for yourself. You not only have to think about your business name, identity, logo, storefront, products and website, but you also have to think about what you’ll charge to make a profit and the taxes you’ll have to pay. If you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, none of that scares you because you’re willing to work really hard for what you want to achieve.
4. You don’t like to give up.
You’ve made it this far, so you seem like you’re eager to stick with things. If you’re going to be a great business owner, you don’t like to give up, and it’s really hard to make you give up. You don’t get discouraged if there’s a lot to be done, or someone says something negative, or something doesn’t go the right way. In fact, obstacles like those make you work even harder!
5. You’re willing and able to learn from everyone.
Entrepreneurs don’t ignore people who might not be in their field or have their best interests in mind. You have to be willing to listen to anyone, because you never know who might have good advice or inspire a great idea. You can’t write someone off because they don’t own a business or don’t seem successful, because you can learn lessons in the most random places.
6. You’re a calculated risk-taker.
Opening your own business is a huge risk in itself, but it’s just the first. You need to be ready to keep taking more risks in order to keep your business afloat. This means you have to be open to uncertainty, but also that you know what risks are worth it. You can’t put all your money into one venture and hope it succeeds and can fuel the rest of your business, because if it fails, you’re out. You can, however, put a great deal of money into something innovative to see if it works, because then you might be on the cutting edge of something new. If it fails, you’ll have lost some money and learned from the risk so you can appropriately further your business in the future.
7. You can see the big picture.
When you’re excited to open your own business, it’s easy to stop looking at the big picture because you’re ready to get started, and you naively think you’re going to succeed immediately. Successful entrepreneurs don’t get caught up in the excitement, and instead can see the big picture. They know there will be hard times but don’t get discouraged because they know ups and downs are part of the big picture.
8. You keep up with the times.
Business owners have to be on the cutting edge of technology, the community they’re in, marketing and more. For example, anyone selling their wares remotely, like from a food truck or at a crafts fair, will have the ability to run a credit card through their smartphone. If you’re not up on this type of technology, you could lose a lot of business by only accepting cash if you’re working remotely. Successful entrepreneurs know what’s going on that will help them push their business even the tiniest bit farther.
9. You’re not afraid to ask for help.
Just like listening to advice from a variety of people, successful business owners aren’t afraid to ask for help. Just because you’re branching out on your own and being in charge doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Ask for help from your family or your employees if you need it, whether it’s physical help or just emotional support. Ask fellow business owners for advice if you need a push to stay positive. The more connected you are with those around you, the more help you’ll find.
10. You’re able to complete things.
Business owners have to step up and complete everything that’s on their plates. You can’t only do the easy tasks, or the ones that can be done quickly. If certain projects seem too daunting, divide them into smaller tasks that seem more manageable. Tackle your To Do list and make sure you complete all that needs to be done, or else your business will suffer.
11. You don’t procrastinate.
When you’re your own boss, you can’t put things off. There’s no one higher up than you to take care of the important things, and no one below you to shove the boring tasks off on. You have to do it all yourself, and you have to be able to do it in a timely manner. The longer you put things off, the harder it is to do them; when you own your own business, this might make the difference between landing a major client and losing a job bid completely.
12. You’re excited about what you do.
Excitement is crucial when you’re your own boss, because you don’t have anyone else to motivate you. You need to keep yourself positive by constantly having a drive and desire to get up and work every day. As soon as your excitement starts to falter, your business will suffer because you’re not putting in enough love and effort to keep it afloat.
13. You use your imagination.
Business owners are innovative; they stay on top of their game and use their imaginations to brainstorm anything from business names and logos to marketing ideas and ways to reach out into the community and stay fresh. You can’t depend on hiring outside help to implement all of this – it’s your business, so you need to be the brains behind it! Your imagination runs nonstop and you never toss out an idea because it seems ridiculous; good entrepreneurs will give anything a try, because you never know what will work!
14. You’re a social person.
Being your own boss or working by yourself can seem like a lonely endeavor, but in reality you need to be a social person. Business owners have to network way more than people who are employees within a larger company. Entrepreneurs have to reach out into the community and see what is needed and what they can do to make their business important. They can’t just stay faceless behind a computer, they need to socialize with their customers and clients and have good people skills.
15. You like to give back.
Entrepreneurs can’t be selfish and successful — you have to give back! So many small businesses donate a portion of their profits to charity these days that it really sticks out when they don’t. Giving back doesn’t have to be limited to financial giving, though. Entrepreneurs who volunteer or give motivational speeches at schools are also giving people, and don’t mind donating their time and knowledge to such appointments.
Do you fit these characteristics? If so, get out there and make it work!
Featured photo credit: the UMF via flickr.com