Do You Have What It Takes? 8 Traits That Help

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a teleconference where I (and others) determined whether career coaching was for us. At the beginning of the call, CCI founder Marcia Bench listed the personality traits necessary for success within the career coaching realm. Of course, the characteristics she mentioned were relevant to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Do you have what it takes?

Passion: Are you pursuing a specific business path because you feel it would be lucrative? Fair enough, but I hope that’s not the only reason. Those who dream about their business…who can’t stop talking about it…who let it keep them awake at night are more likely to stick with it, follow through, work through the bad spots to see their vision come to life.

Planning: Passion, however, isn’t everything, and those who rush into projects without the proper preparation may find themselves crashing and burning. Are you able to set specific goals, and then outline the distinct steps necessary to reach those goals? Are you willing to take the time to be prepared?

Thirst for Knowledge: This ties in with planning. If there are aspects of running a business, or of succeeding in your field of choice, that are unfamiliar to you, you have to be willing to get the education and training necessary to prepare yourself. Don’t go at this half-assed.

Capacity for Solitude: I’m not suggesting that misanthropy is a positive personality trait, but you need to be self-motivating, and able to deal with the loneliness of working alone. Giving up the highly social atmosphere of my full-time office was the hardest part of leaving. On the other hand, I found productive capacities to increase tenfold (wonder how that happened…). Focus on your work during work hours, but make sure to schedule in socialization during the off-hours.

Self-Discipline: When working in cubicle-land, I spent more time in my friends’ cubicles than attending to my professional responsibilities. And during the periods I actually found myself sitting in my own cubicle, Google Chat and the rest of the world wide web beckoned. Not to mention Minesweeper. When you’re working from home, the possible distractions are even more numerous. Can you cut it? I find that to-do lists help to keep me on track. And the act of crossing items off of my to-do list is deeply satisfying.

Business Sense: When your hobby becomes your job, you have to treat it as such. A freelance writer does not simply write. She also sets up her own office, self-markets, handles her finances, and more. If you’re unfamiliar with certain aspects of sound business practices, are you willing to spend money on hring a professional? Things like these must remain priorities.

Shamelessness: Speaking of self-marketing, you can be the awesomest person in your field, but it won’t help one bit if you can’t reach your audience, and regularly bring in new clients. Whether through advertising, marketing, or networking (or all three), you need to be willing to sell yourself.

Audacity: Have a healthy sense of adventure? You’re going to need it. Striking out on your own is risky business, especially when it comes to moolah. If you’re somewhat risk-averse, perhaps you should ask yourself if this is a lifestyle you can realistically handle. Perhaps, to start off, you should become a part-time, or off-hours, freelancer.

Speak Your Mind