3 Habits for Successfully Becoming Self Employed
Becoming self employed is the dream for many people. Being able to finally ditch the annoying boss and coworkers, being able to travel on a whim, or just having the ability to lay in bed and sleep in on any given day are just a few of the many appealing aspects of becoming self employed.
Unfortunately, making the transition from a ‘normal’ job to becoming self employed is harder than one might think.
I have been successfully self employed since before I graduated high school, and over the years I have collected a few basic tips to a successful self employed career.
Admittedly there are many more aspects to becoming successfully self employed, but these three tips should give you a high-level understanding of what is needed in order to make a successful career through self employment.
How to Become Self Employed: the 3 Most Important Steps
1: Find out what your “Business suit” personality is
All humans fall into one of 16 different personality types. Each of these types has various strengths and weaknesses – especially when it comes to business. If you don’t already know what type you are, I highly recommend finding out.
Even if your personality type does not sound like it is particularly well suited to the entrepreneurial life, that is no reason to hold back from trying your hand at being self employed.
I am going to use myself as an example. My personality type is INFP. In the business world this basically means I can work well alone or in groups, but I am extremely introverted. I tend to be fairly shy and am not usually very comfortable with putting myself out there in front of people.
As you can imagine, these aspects of my personality do not work well for things like networking or marketing.
That does not mean that I am unable to be successfully self employed though. In my case I am able to shift into an ENTJ personality type mindset for business purposes. It’s not a superpower or anything like that, I just tested myself a second time while I was in a business-oriented mindset. I also tried it several times to make sure. I would assume most people have a ‘secondary’ type like this.
Regardless of your personality type there will be things that come up in being self employed that are well out of your comfort zone. Learning what you need to do in order to deal with these things is essential to successful self employment.
Stand in front of a mirror in a “power pose” (hands on hips, chest puffed up, you get the idea) and give yourself a little pep talk like you would before a big job interview. Then take the Meyers Briggs test again, only this time applying each question to a business scenario. You should get a different result than usual. This is your “business personality.”
Now look for similarities and differences between your business personality and your usual personality. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of each will help you to see where you should double up your efforts since you will probably excel, and where you should spend extra time building up your skills since you have some inherent weaknesses in those areas.
Remember – these tests only serve to show where you probably have strengths and probably have some weaknesses. The results of these test should never cause you to restrict yourself. These tests are only meant to help you get a firm grasp on where you are now and plan how you will improve.
2: Do things you aren’t comfortable with
I have talked before about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone. I believe this is important in practically any aspect of life, especially if you are self employed.
As was previously stated, being self employed means you will have to do things you are not used to. Whether that means making cold calls, writing copy for your website or interviewing a subcontractor, you will need to learn how to handle new things that you are not used to.
Being an introvert, I don’t do very well with stepping out of my social comfort zone, which makes some aspects of business difficult.. Since I know that this is one of my inherent weaknesses, I do my best to step out of my social comfort zone regularly in my everyday life. I try to strike up a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store, ask the teller at the bank how her day is going, or say hello to the person in line behind me when I’m grabbing lunch.
Learning to deal with the discomfort these situations brings has helped me to deal with taking on new challenges in my professional life. I’ve even learned to enjoy some of these things – occasionally!
Once you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, search for ways you can build yourself up in areas where you may be lacking. You will soon learn how you can convince yourself to take on a new challenge that is outside of your comfort zone and how you can tackle those new situations successfully.
3: Do what makes YOU happy in your work (within reason…)
A crucial aspect of being self employed is enjoying what you do. If you do not truly love what you work on, you will quickly lose the motivation to run a business based on it.
Staying fresh and being happy in your line of work is one of the main reasons people decide to become self employed, so why would you want to get stuck doing something you dislike? Do what you enjoy. You should be able to wake up every morning and be excited to start work for the day!
Granted there will always be problems with your business, but overall you should be glad that you are self employed and happy with the line of work you have chosen. Make sure that you choose something that is profitable though – don’t focus solely on what you enjoy. If that worked, I would be a professional burrito eater.
An interesting point raised by Mr. Tai Lopez is that you should not do what you love. Instead, do something that you like.
This goes completely against what everyone tells you growing up. They say to follow your dreams, do what you love, things of that nature. But if you take something you really love and turn it into a job, it becomes just that: a job.
Instead of choosing to work in a field that you love, choose something that you merely enjoy. Choose a field that blurs the lines between work and play, but does not make them disappear entirely. You should not choose something that you would normally reserve for your recreation time. Earning a living from those activities quickly turns hobbies into chores.
By applying these 3 tips for going self employed, you should be able to successfully choose a career that makes you happy, removes stress from your life, and affords you the freedom you want.
If you are self employed, what tips would you share with others who are hoping to take the leap to self employment? If you are still working toward quitting your job and making your own career, what questions do you have that need answering? Leave a comment to let me know!