Qualities of Successful Home-Based Businesspeople
There's nothing wrong with working for someone else. For the right person, at the right time, and for the right reasons, regular employment that comes with a regular paycheck might be the answer. Similarly, self employment might be the answer — for the right person, at the right time, and for the right reasons. So, how do you tell what's right for you?
Making the Grade
There are a number of qualities that you should possess — or at the very least, try to develop — in order to be as successful as possible in your home-based business. First, you need to be self-motivated and self-disciplined. The two go together, because there's no one around to tell you what to do next or even to criticize you for procrastinating on a big project. You need to be able to get yourself going every morning, embrace the day's tasks, and work until they're done.
You also need to be flexible, because during the course of the day, umpteen little brush fires will spring up to distract you from the main inferno. Some of these need to be addressed right away; others can be left until the major tasks are done. You need the judgment to figure out which is which. Looking at the bigger picture, you need the ability to change course completely when it's clear that something's not working.
It helps if you're organized, too, because it saves you time — and in a home-based business, time is always money. Being organized is closely related to successfully managing the juggling act that most home-based businesspeople perform every day: They're marketers, producers, accountants, and human resources professionals all at once. Throw in the extra roles of spouse and parent, and all those balls become progressively harder to keep in the air. Organization can make all the difference.
If you're not sure whether you have the qualities that a home-based business needs, talk to someone who's already running one. Ask that person to be candid about where he or she came up with the qualities that are most important to success — because some can be learned as you go along.
A Quick Quiz
To help you gauge your natural suitability for running a business, take a look at the following statements, and rate your agreement with each of them on a scale of one to five, with one being the weakest agreement and five being the strongest agreement.
Mistakes are good learning experiences.
I like other people, but I'm happy to be by myself.
Financial security is a goal, but I'm comfortable with risk.
When I'm interested in a project, I work long hours to finish it.
If I don't know something, I search out the answer.
I like setting goals and accomplishing them.
I like to solve problems — the more the better.
I prefer to get my own way.
I'd call myself a confident person.
I have a clear idea of where I want to be in five or ten years.
How did you do? A score between 10 and 25 indicates that you might be happier keeping your day job or sticking to a hobby business. Boost the score to between 26 and 40, and you're a better bet for a home business. Look before you leap, but give yourself a chance. Between 41 and 50? Figure out what you want to do, pick the right time, and go for it!