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Traits You Need to be a Successful Solopreneur

Do you have an idea for a business that solves a problem in the marketplace? Are you thinking about making that idea come to life? If you say “yes,” you’ll be joining a lot of other people who have become entrepreneurs. All those who become small business owners are entrepreneurs, but not all are solopreneurs. These folks are the sole employees of their business. They are equipped and happy to run their business independently.

Technological advancements have enabled more people to become solopreneurs. Some work from their homes. Using a computer and online resources sets the wheels in motion. However, taking your idea and turning it into a successful, full-fledged business requires more.

Successful solopreneurs share some similar traits. The following outlines seven characteristics found in successful solopreneurs. They are significant. You don’t have to rate off the charts in all seven. One may offset the other. However, being aware of them is important. It will help you determine if you are cut from solopreneur cloth. Here are the seven.

Seven Traits Found in a Successful Solopreneur

Trait 1: Passionate

According to British billionaire Richard Branson, the best advice he gives is to work on what you’re passionate about. Being passionate about your small business doesn’t guarantee ease, but when it’s a labor of love, the journey is worthwhile.

Passion is the fuel that sparks many of the additional traits of successful solopreneurs. It is what makes work enjoyable and enables a person to fulfill their goals. Furthermore, passion captures the attention of others.  It prompts them to take an interest in a venture. They will want to ask questions and learn more about it. Finally, it is what enables a solopreneur to get through numerous challenges. In essence, a solopreneur is, more often than not, their own cheerleader.

There is no doubt that along the journey, passion may wane. However, there are ways to nurture it back. Taking the time to think about the work’s purpose and how it helps other people can reignite passion. It also helps to revisit your interests or strengths. Once reminded, there are ways to adjust and adapt the work. For example, if accounting is not your strong suit, a freelancer can be hired. That way, you can devote your energy to your strengths. Finally, rest is an important consideration for keeping passion alive. Passion, coupled with contribution, often leads to success.

Trait 2: Self-Disciplined 

A trait that follows on the heels of passion is self-discipline or self-motivation. If a person is energized and motivated by others, being a solopreneur may not be for them. As a solopreneur, there is no boss overseeing your work. The only person(s) a solopreneur is accountable to are themselves and future clients. Working alone means being able to motivate yourself to work, set goals, learn, and grow each day.

Of course, everyone faces those times when they would rather pull the covers up over their heads and stay in bed (we all have those days). But being your own boss means having the discipline to overcome that temptation. Furthermore, if it is a home-based business, boundaries between work and personal (home) life need to be set. Working from home can be distracting. As a solopreneur, it is essential to be disciplined to avoid those distractions. Earlier this year, I wrote an article to address this very issue. Successful solopreneurs have the ability to turn on their own motors and keep them running.

Trait 3: Flexible

A solopreneur is a multi-tasker. As a result, they need to be flexible and adaptable. Part of developing and maintaining this trait is being open-minded.

A more recent term to describe flexibility is “pivot.” In his book “The Lean Startup,” Eric Reis coined this phrase. In essence, it is one’s ability to abruptly change directions. He discovered that companies such as “Twitter, YouTube, and Groupon abruptly changed course before they achieved success.”

According to Forbes a pivot may be necessary in your product, revenue, model, operations, and so on. Circumstances, technology, and markets change and evolve. In spite of the original plan, there is a need to be able to assess your circumstances and adapt.  A successful solopreneur stays aware of current trends and evolves, adapts, and pivots as necessary.

Trait 4: Tenacious

The fourth trait of a successful solopreneur is tenacity. Some call it determination, others unwavering grit. Whatever you call it, the solopreneur needs it in order to push ahead, no matter the obstacles or setbacks. There is no doubt that solopreneurs face failure and rejection. The trick is to keep learning from those experiences.

Tenacity is perhaps the most significant characteristic. This quality separates those who establish their businesses and thrive from those who do not. As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Being persistent and tenacious in the face of challenges will likely take you and your business to new heights.

Trait 5: Creative

You have come up with an idea that meets a need in the market. My guess is that you are somewhat creative. This quality serves the solopreneur well. There are numerous areas where this trait is powerful. It is required as part of the branding process (logo, website, packaging). As an idea is pitched to others, creativity will enhance the presentation. And, as alluded to earlier, there will be bumps in the road. Creativity enables a person to think outside the box for resolutions.

At times, no doubt, solopreneurs face a creative slump. That is why it is important to take time to rejuvenate by doing something that inspires you. For some, it is listening to music; for others,  it is taking a walk in nature. Whatever gets the creative juices flowing, take the time to do it.

Trait 6: Organized

As you can well imagine, there are numerous aspects to running a business alone. To name a few, there is marketing, accounting, administration, and customer service. This is challenging for the solopreneur. It requires organizational skills and a focus on efficiency. Many solopreneurs acquire this trait naturally, while others have to cultivate it. Being open to learning and applying the principles learned develops this trait.

There are numerous tools and apps that can help with organization and efficiency. For example, there are calendar and marketing tools, as well as email and social media automation. Furthermore, a freelancer can always help in the short or long term. Being a successful solopreneur does not mean burning the candle at both ends. It means learning how to work in an organized manner so that there is efficiency and effectiveness.

Trait 7: Inquisitive

The final trait of a successful solopreneur is that they are open to learning. Launching a business requires lots of homework. Due diligence needs to be practiced when starting a business. Once the business is launched, solopreneurs continue to learn and, no doubt, enjoy it. The market is constantly changing, as are customer needs and preferences. As a solopreneur, it is important to stay ahead of the market and trends.

An open and curious learner makes for a good solopreneur. Books, articles, and podcasts are available. Following a blog or networking with others in the same field can be educational. Making learning a priority and part of the routine contributes to the solopreneur’s success.

Successful solopreneurs share additional characteristics. However, I believe these are the top seven. Having become aware of them, you can decide if this is a good venture for you. If so, go for it, and all the best!

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