Do you have the right blend of personal qualities for self-employment?
Here is a list of qualities that you may well need when working for yourself. How many of these do you have?
It’s not always easy to answer these questions yourself, so talk to your friends, family and people you know. Remember, it is very important to be honest with yourself. Don’t tell yourself what you want to believe; this is the surest way to go wrong
Resilience Are you convinced that you can succeed against the odds? Are you the sort of person who bounces back from a setback? Is your motto ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again’?
Intuition Is your gut feeling usually right? Do you generally make good decisions with very little information?
Toughness Are you willing to make unpopular decisions? Are you prepared to be tough in difficult circumstances? Are you ready to argue your corner with client, or to fire someone if need be, for example?
Drive Success rarely comes overnight. Are you driven, prepared to succeed against the odds, or are you likely to back down if things don’t work out the way you planned?
Self-confidence Do you believe you have the capabilities and skills to make a success of self employment? Do you feel you have something to offer that sets you apart from most other people in the market?
Decision-making Are you able to make decisions quickly if needed, or do you tend to put off decision making until the last minute, or until the issue goes away?
Pragmatism Are you prepared to forgo your principles if it would be in your best interests? Can you let go of something that you feel strongly about?
Stamina Are you prepared to work late into the night, and at weekends, if necessary? Are you prepared to give up your other interests and hobbies from time to time?
Resourcefulness Are you able to find solutions to problems quickly? Do you know how and where to access the resources needed to solve problems? Do you tackle problems head on or do you tend to avoid problems?
Risk taking Are you comfortable with periods of little or no income? Are you willing to risk income or assets in order to support your business? Can you cope without job security?
Creativity Are you imaginative and full of ideas? Are you open minded to new opportunities and ideas?
Taking responsibility Do you accept your mistakes and learn from them? Do you look to see how you can avoid similar mistakes in the future, or do you try to find an excuse for your mistakes? How do you react to criticism?
Flexibility Are you adaptable and able to listen to others? Do you carry on easily if circumstances turn against you or do you freeze when you need to make crucial decisions?
Organisation Are you well organised and disciplined? Do you set your own agenda and plan for what might happen or react to what’s happening around you?
Status Being self employed means doing many of the jobs you don’t want to do. Are you happy to do the boring tasks?
Obstacles to self-employment
For many people, successful self-employment promises what cannot be achieved by working for someone else. However, self-employment inevitably means making significant changes in your life. Below are a few issues. Consider how these will be affected should you decide to make the move to self-employment.
Lifestyle How is self-employment going to affect you in terms of: Income in the short term?
Time away from home?
Ability to predict where you will be, and when?
Pursuit of outside interests and hobbies
Time available to spend with your family