Most “How to Start a New Home Business” books will include a list of personal characteristics or personality traits the author feels are necessary for the entrepreneur to have in order to be a successful small business owner.
The personal traits that I’ve included on my list aren’t those that might “come in handy” down the road sometime.
These are essential must-have elements that are the basis of the owner’s persona and they will become the foundation of his/her management ability and capacity.
Now don’t despair if you don’t have all these traits right now.
To some degree, at least, every one of them can be acquired or learned with some practice, persistence, and dedication.
Each of these traits are needed because they are critical to the mind-set and the makeup of a business owner.
If you lack even one of these characteristics, your business will suffer greatly unless you find a partner that has the trait and can make up for your deficiency.
Here is what I believe is important for every business owner:
1. The first trait I consider essential to every successful business owner is personal motivation – the ability to get off dead center and make things happen.
In a solo business capacity, the owner is the catalyst that sets everything else in motion.
If you have difficulty finding the motivation to accomplish sometimes mundane tasks, even though you know they must be done, then putting yourself on the business hot-seat (i.e. being responsible for every action that leads to success) may not be a good idea.
If you can’t get motivated to push your business forward each and every day, chances are that no one else is going to step in to see that the business operates as needed.
Even a good spouse will have difficulty in pushing a lazy or procrastinating owner forward.
2. Characteristic number two is the ability to pay close attention to details.
There are few other human endeavors that are filled with so many small, often boring, and seemingly insignificant little action items as running a small business.
If your attitude about taking care of details is typically “don’t sweat the small stuff” or “I’ll get to it later,” you will not last long as a profitable solo operator. Again, you could find a partner or an assistant to handle all the details, but then you encounter other issues because you now have people you are relying upon for your business survival.
3. Personality trait number three is the love of work and the ability to enjoy and find satisfaction in the daily “journey.”
If payday is the only day of the month you look forward to, you’re going to be a miserable home business owner.
There is a reason why you should choose a niche that inspires you and that you have passion for and experience in.
If you love the subject of your business and find great pleasure and fulfillment working in that space, you will have a much higher tolerance for the sometimes boring and mundane tasks that always have to be done.
You won’t have to force yourself to get out of bed and fire up the computer.
Your enthusiasm for the subject will carry you through the typically lean early months (or even years) of establishing your business in the market place.
4. The fourth characteristic I believe you must have in order to be successful is adaptability.
The business world is in a state on continuous change, evolution, and upheaval.
Customers change preferences, competitors change strategies, technology changes rapidly, economics and politics change the business environment.
You must be in a position to change your thinking, your products, your marketing, and all your business operations very rapidly.
5. Finally, I would say that all great business operators generally rely upon their persistence to become a success. Few businesses become a big hit overnight!
If you tend to hop around endlessly between projects, get bored easily with one task, or are ready to throw in the towel at the first sign of failure or discouragement – then solo business may not be right for you.
I really believe that persistence, by itself, is responsible for more business success than any other principle or trait I know of.
Yes, there are other personal qualities and characteristics that will be important for you to have or develop as you plan and execute your business, but these five I consider to be essential characteristics for every solo business owner.
Yes, any of these traits can be learned or acquired through mentoring, practice, and daily use or exercise.
But if you are not willing to go after them, to practice them, and to make them an integral part of your work persona, they are not likely to come looking for you.
To your online business success,