Ever wanted to own your own business? (Insert cheesy TV commercial voice.) Does the thought of waking up when you want, doing what you want and being your own boss sound enticing? Sure it does, but here on planet earth things are a bit more complicated than just that. As I come up on my 5th year of owning and operating In Transit Studios, I’ve realized that there are some key traits you NEED to have to successfully run your own business. Here are 3 biggies:

1) Self Motivation

I am humbly one of the most self motivate people I know. No one needs to tell me to do something, I’ll be the first to step up and get er done. I personally feel that most people who start their own business and fail, fail because of this trait (or lack there of) and that’s alright, not everyone is born to call the shots. Some need direction and prefer to have the work set out for them to just accomplish and move on. But if you’re wanting to run your own business, you’d better get real with yourself. If you don’t have the gusto to get up and take care of the dishes, chances are you’re going to have a hard time taking care of the small tasks and large tasks of running your own business.

I believe certain people are born with more self motivation than others, but I also believe that it can be worked on. You’ll have to drop some time wasters (draining relationships, too many hobbies, excessive video games, etc) and you’ll have to prepare to sacrifice.  Sometimes you’ll just have to press on even if you don’t want to in order to finish a project or meet daily expectations. When it comes to running your own business, self motivation can be a make or brake when you don’t have anyone else pushing you.

2) Persistence

I’m not talking about persistence as in persistently annoying people about buying your product or service – I’m talking about being persistent when things aren’t going so well or when you feel like giving up. Being persistent with daily disciplines and your routines.

Owning your own business is a great honor. A great freedom. But remember, on the opposite side of freedom is responsibility. You learn to drive, that’s a great freedom, but suddenly you’re given tremendous responsibility. For you, your vehicle, those in your vehicle and those around you.

Many will think of how great it could be to own their own business and will see nothing but the pros at first. But many or most all will not be prepared for the responsibility that it takes to be able to manage such a venture day in and day out. So be persistent. Be responsible for your own business if you’re blessed and fortunate to have it.

3) A Stable Personality

I’ve worked with some incredible clients, many who I don’t take for granted, but I’ve also had some doozies. Some who have burned me (Figuratively of course), some who have driven me crazy, some who have crossed boundaries, some who have made me SO MAD I WANT TO START TYPING IN ALL CAPS!! But I digress. A stable, not too high, not too low personality will help you manage all the highs and lows that working with so many people bring. Remember, when you own your own business it’s a people business. No matter what industry, no matter what you do, it’s a people business. Unless you’re just taking orders from one person and doing a job, you’re going to be working with people. One of the keys to my success thus far is trying my hardest not to burn bridges. When people ask what I do, I say website development and graphic design, but that is just a small fraction of my activities. A large part of any successful business comes down to communication and working with people.

Here are some tips that’ve helped me along the way:

  • When you get a nasty email…you respond maturely and do your best to rectify the situation.
  • When you get burned…you move on and don’t let it dampen your spirits.
  • When you get a huge check…you save it and pay your bills. (Well maybe take the wifey or hubby out for dinner)
  • When you screw up…you own it, learn from it and move on.

Having a stable personality, or at least striving towards one will help you maintain composure, focus and will reflect greatly on your reputation in your circle of colleagues.

These are just 3 of many crucial traits you NEED when it comes to successfully running your own business. Again, some of these you may be born with, some you may need to work on but that’s alright.

So Cheers to becoming a more self motivated, persistent, stable person!