Working for yourself may sound like a pipe dream, but more and more people are saying goodbye to working for someone else and trying their hand at being their own boss. And while you hear stories about how great it is, the reality is that successful self employment doesn’t just happen magically.
To be successful while working for yourself takes a lot of effort on your part and some good luck mixed in. But working for yourself shouldn’t be a pipe dream. It is more than possible.
But before you dive in head first, you need to understand the following factors that are critical for successful self employment.
4 Critical Things For Successful Self Employment
#1. Time Management
One of the greatest factors in determining successful self employment is being good at time management. If it takes you 5 hours to run through your inbox every day, you are going to have a difficult time growing or even sustaining your business.
You have to be a master of your time. This means taking the time to understand when you are most productive and create a schedule that meets your internal clock. Obviously you can’t do this 100% of the time, especially if you prefer working in the middle of the night and you need to call clients, but you can adjust a good amount of your schedule.
For example, I enjoy writing first thing in the morning. As a result, I get up around 5am and write for a few hours uninterrupted. I can write more in these two hours than I could for the rest of the day.
It also means finding ways to get through the tasks that tend to trip you up. By focusing on getting better with these tasks, you will free up a lot of your time.
#2. Self Discipline
Being self employed has many advantages. One big one is freedom. You can decide your starting and ending hours and in some cases, even where you work.
The problem arises when outside life creeps into your workday. For example, it is super easy to do the grocery shopping on a Tuesday morning at 10am when there is little traffic on the road and the grocery store is empty.
But this takes away from your working time. Take it from someone who is self employed. It’s a slippery slope. First it’s groceries. Then it’s other errands. Then it’s yard work and other household chores. The next thing you know, you are working 3 hours a day and wonder why your business isn’t going anywhere.
Successful self employment means to be disciplined and keep things from interfering with your work schedule.
#3. Positive Attitude
Another important factor is having a positive attitude. Being self employed is challenging as it is. But add in the amount of decisions you need to make and you can quickly question yourself and get down.
To be successful, you have to make sure you are committed to any decision you make and at the same time be comfortable with failing. You are going to make mistakes. Some will cost you and others won’t. But you can’t let them derail you.
The best thing you can do is stay positive, understand why you made the mistake and use that knowledge to make better decisions going forward.
#4. Critical Thinking
Finally, you need to be good at thinking critically. As the business owner, you are in control of everything at your company. This includes the world of taxes too. No longer can you punt technology issues to another department. You have to figure everything out.
As a result, you need to have a strategy when it comes to thinking critically. The sooner you can develop a go to strategy, the less time you will waste procrastinating on tasks and not making any decisions at all.
While you could argue until the end of time which trait on this list is the most important one for successful self employment, the reality is all of them matter. Maybe not all in equal amounts, but close enough.
Instead of trying to figure out which one is the most important, look at the list and try to find where you fall short. What can you do to improve yourself in this area, or in some cases these areas? The more work you do now, as an employee, the easier it will be for you when you take the leap to self employment and the better chance you have of being successful.