5 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs & Freelancers
It seems like everyone is starting their own side hustle these days. People are flocking to freelance platforms to supplement their income in droves. But what happens when you decide to make your side gig your main gig? Well then, my friend, you have crossed over from Freelancer to Entrepreneur. It can be a scary step to take, putting all your eggs into the basket that is you.
When you start your own business, unless you are the lucky recipient of a massive fortune and can hire staff from day 1, you are relying almost entirely on yourself. From making the coffee to building the pitch documents to creating the social media presence for your brand, it’s all YOU.
Here are 5 key qualities you’ve just gotta have if you want to make it in the crazy world of entrepreneurship.
This one should go without saying, but you have to love what you do. Would you do it for free, just because it brings you joy? That’s the key question. If the answer is no, then you’ve got some soul-searching to do. There’s no point in starting a business if you’re not starting it with your heart.
I LOVE what I do. And I LOVE each and everyone one of the projects that I work on for my clients. It took a while for me to be able to be selective about who I worked with, but not that I am, I'm really able to work on things that excite me! Of course, when you're just starting out, you can't always turn people away, but you WILL eventually get to that point!
Love is nice and fluffy and fun and all that, but you’ve also gotta have grit. You need to understand that work is work, even if it’s work you’ve assigned yourself. Freelancing and running your own business are tough jobs… and every job has aspects that aren’t as delightful as others. Do you have the discipline to get down to it, even when you don’t feel like it? Can you make yourself do the boring accounting spreadsheet and cost analysis when you’d really rather be promoting your product? Both are essential to your success, and you’ve got to be able to drill-sergeant yourself into getting it done.
Nobody likes a stress case! Being your own boss is going to have challenges, and people will fall short of expectations. Your job, in addition to all the other jobs you have, is to look hardship in the face with a smile. I promise, it’ll make people want to work with you even more than they already do. It might even make them want to give you their money!
The ability to look at a huge pile of receipts that need sorting with an “I can do this” attitude will make your life so much more pleasant. An optimistic attitude will take you through even the darkest (and leanest) of times: you’ve got to keep the faith.
When things do go wrong, what are you going to do? Sometimes you’ve got to summon all your inventive creativity to wiggle out of a jam. Resilience goes hand in hand with optimism; if you believe you can figure it out, you can figure it out! If you start telling yourself it’s impossible, then you’ll definitely be right.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. If you are extremely risk-averse, you probably won’t enjoy it. But the exhilaration that comes with building your own future can’t be beat!