Statistics tell us that over 45% of freelance businesses fail within the first two years of starting up -- on the other hand, millions of self-made business owners have gone on to become millionaires. So what do you need to become one of the successful ones? Don't worry if you don't have everything it takes. Training can develop many of the so-called essentials. All you really need to know are which ones are your strengths and which are your weaknesses. Here are some traits you'll need. It's up to you to decide if you've got them, or if you'll work on getting them.
• Common sense. If you're not sure whether you've got it, ask your family. It's the ability to make sound judgments about all manner of life issues. It can be a combination of past experience and knowledge and will help you get to the core of a problem by simplifying it.
• Specialized knowledge of your field. It's no use jumping into something about which you know nothing. Most successful businessmen have gained much valuable experience in their trade well before they went into business for themselves.
• Self Confidence. When you start out in freelance business, the buck will usually stop with you. You are the one who has to make difficult decisions and wear the consequences. This is not always something you either have or don't have. You may have it in one area or situation and lack it in another. Training will help you to get it.
• The ability to get things done. This is actually self-discipline. It's no use deciding to take the day off because it's sunny and the surf's up. There are things requiring your attention and if you leave them they won't get done. On the other hand, it's no use being on the job if you fritter the time away on menial talks that should be delegated.
• Creativity. Sure it's been done that way since Adam, but there could be a better way to do it - one that will save you time and money.
• Ability to lead. Do you get along with others or is there a long line of dissatisfied staff, customers, clients, friends and relatives behind you? Your ability to lead and get people to do great work is paramount to your success in business.
• Self reliance. If you can't rely on yourself, whom can you rely on? You need to be able to set goals and do whatever it takes to reach them. Sure you'll have others under you – eventually, but many freelance business owners need first to rely on themselves.
If you want to start a freelance business, the best thing to do is get in there and have a go. You can learn as you go, but make sure you listen to others advice, even if you don't always follow it. Being open to new ideas and advice is important too.
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