Running a one-person business is a creative, flexible and challenging way to become your own boss and chart your own future. It is about creating a life, as it is about making a living. It takes courage, determination and foresight to decide to become an entrepreneur. From relatively safe cocoon of corporate world, where paychecks arrive regularly, you will be venturing into unchartered territories of business.
Is there a way to determine whether you can be a successful entrepreneur, or you are better off to work for somebody else? Alas, there is no formula for success. However, most successful entrepreneurs share these ten characteristics. Check if you possess any one of them:
1. Think success. To attain kind of success that you want, you need to dream big. Every success story starts with big dreams. You need to have big dreams for yourself - which you want to be somebody rich, famous or fulfilled. You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. But it doesn't stop in dreaming alone. You should actively visualize success in your mind that you can almost feel it, touch it or it is within your reach. Play this image back at every opportunity. What does it feel to triple your current income? How will your life change? What will your business look like if you achieved million-dollar mark?
Successful entrepreneurs possess an attitude of openness and faith that you can have what you want if you can simply envision it as first step on path of action to acquiring it. Management gurus have taught us power of visualization - seeing yourself in your mind as having accomplished your dreams. If you want to be a successful writer, envision yourself signing books for a throng of people who have lined up to have your autograph. If you want to be rich, picture yourself in luxurious surroundings holding a fat bank account. And process of envisioning success for you should be a constant activity! You need to think that you are successful (or will be one) every single waking hour. A personal development coach shared me her secret to help her continuously visualize her goals for moment: when climbing stairs, recite your goal with every step you take. So if you want more money, say "I will have money" in every step of stairs. This technique will reinforce your goal and keep it fresh in your consciousness.
2. Be passionate with what you do. You start a business to change any or all part of your life. To attain this change, you need to develop or uncover an intense, personal passion to change way things are and to live life to fullest. Success comes easily if you love what you do. Why? Because we are more relentless in our pursuit of goals about things that we love. If you hate your job right now, do you think you will ever be successful at it? Not in a million years! You may plod along, even become competent at tasks, but you will never be a great success at it. You will achieve peak performance and do what you have to do to succeed only if you are doing something that interests you or something that you care about. Entrepreneurs who succeed do not mind fact that they are putting in 15 or 18 hours a day to their business because they absolutely love what they do. Success in business is all about patience and hard work, which can only be attained if you are passionate and crazy with your tasks and activities.
3. Focus on your strengths. Let's face it; you cannot be everything to everybody. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. To be effective, you need to identify your strengths and concentrate on it. You will become more successful if you are able to channel your efforts to areas that you do best. In business, for example, if you know you have good marketing instincts, then harness this strength and make full use of it. Seek help or assistance in areas that you may be poor at, such as accounting or bookkeeping. To transform your weakness to strength, consider taking hands-on learning or formal training.
4. Never consider possibility of failure. Ayn Rand, in her novel The Fountainhead, wrote, "It is not in nature of man - nor of any living entity, to start out by giving up." As an entrepreneur, you need to fully believe in your goals, and that you can do it. Think that what you are doing will contribute to betterment of your environment and your personal self. You should have a strong faith in your idea, your capabilities and yourself. You must believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have ability to recognize and fulfill them. The more you can develop faith in your ability to achieve your goals, more rapidly you can attain it. However, your confidence should be balanced with calculated risks that you need to take to achieve greater rewards. Successful entrepreneurs are those who analyze and minimize risk in pursuit of profit. As they always say, "no guts, no glory."