If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and have always wanted to be your own boss, there are few things you need to know. The key to long-term success is to set yourself up for success right from the start—and cultivating these six traits can help you get there.
You need to be determined. According to the US Small Business Administration, more than half of small businesses fail within the first five years. They fail for a variety of reasons, but it often comes down to the entrepreneur’s reaction when things go wrong. It’s easy to give in to the desire to leave, but those who are determined will stay the course no matter what comes up or what gets them down. A few people succeed because they are destined; for most, it’s because they are determined.
You need to be disciplined. If you’re used to relying on others to motivate and inspire you, now as your own boss you are going to have to learn self-discipline. A disciplined emotional state and mindset are at the heart of any successful business, and the most important factor is your approach toward time and personal management.
You need to become an expert. Sometimes the idea of being a boss sounds great because you can hire the right people to carry out your plans. But as a boss, you need to have experience and become an expert in your field. That means getting as much knowledge as you need, and the wisdom to be able to grow and run your business. Becoming an expert is an investment in knowledge that ends up paying the best interest.
You need to be decisive. if you are serious about being your own boss, you are going to have to learn to be decisive. That means being specific and timely when it comes to the many decisions, large and small, that come along every day. I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine how successful we can be. A true leader, one who makes a great boss, has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the understanding that they are a product not of their circumstances but of their decisions.
You need to build your network. You may be planning to go it alone, but you must know you cannot do it on your own. It’s important to connect with as many influencers in your field as you can. You never know where business will come from, and to keep your business sustainable you have to be able to engage in networking and make the right connections.
You need to be financially secure. An essential step to becoming your own boss is figuring out the specifics of how you’re going to run your business. It’s important to have great ideas, but having access to enough cash to make those ideas successful is equally important, and financial security is often the biggest difference between starting a business and staying in business. There are many ways to get there—you can save the money you earn, or seek out investors, or even get a loan. Even the most successful entrepreneurial boss needs a cushion, one they can rely on both when they’re starting their company and as they run it. If you’re not realistic about your financial needs, your business won’t have a realistic chance of succeeding.
Lead from within: The best part of being your own boss is that the more you put in, the more you get out. It won’t always be easy, but it’s in your control to succeed or not.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.