We all have certain personality or character traits that we have to douse in order to fit in, succeed or climb the ladder in normal full time jobs. However I believe that some of these so called ‘negative’ personality types can be beneficial to those who are their own boss or self employed. There are many examples but I thought I would use the following 6 to highlight my point.
1. The Pessimist (Realist)
I would certainly consider myself a pessimist. Granted it cant be fun to sit in-front or next to someone who moans and groans all day every day. But as your own boss, having a pessimistic outlook can help you plan or prepare for failure (a valuable lesson for any business owner). It can also help you expect and prepare for late payments, awkward clients, tax issues etc etc. Rose tinted glasses make life seem better but when your self employed a more realistic point of view is healthy. Also, in my role as a digital consultant it is often my job to pick apart a website or digital activity so having a pessimistic view helps me ascertain areas for improvement.
2. The Introvert (Self Contained)
Every office has at least one introvert. That person who would prefer to sit in a room alone doing their work and then leave bang on 5:30pm (ok maybe that’s a bit of a generalisation). If you are this kind of person then an office or full time work environment can be an exhausting and uncomfortable place. However this type of person can thrive as their own boss or self employed. They can choose a working environment that suites them and being introverted, they are likely to reap the rewards that come with introversion. Extroverts on the other hand are likely to need human interaction / communication which can cause a lot of distractions.
3. The Control Freak (Self Disciplined)
I would definitely throw my hat into the ‘Control Freak’ ring. I certainly wouldn’t let anyone else throw it for me and possibly screw it up. Hell No! Freak’ seems such a harsh word. I propose a Control Enthusiast re-brand. I, like most control
freaks enthusiasts, like things done a certain way (my way). In the standard work environment this can create some rather difficult situations, particularly roles that involve delegation and or team management. Learning to let go is an important lesson for the leader or manager. When running your own business this trait can really help you as you are often the accounts department, sales team, consultant etc etc. Keeping control of all these responsibilities takes a certain type of person and a controlling person is likely to take ownership of everything to ensure it is done right.
4. The Self Centered (Self Aware)
We all know that person who is happy to step on toes, faces and groins just to get to the top and fulfil their own selfish dreams. In a normal working environment this person can face various challenges where they are responsible for the success of others or simply working with others in a team. They may take credit for work success that wasn’t just them or not put in the overtime when they wont directly benefit. This bod is likely to make a great one man/woman business owner. Your (working) world really does revolve around you when you are your own boss. Understanding your own motivations, challenges and skills is crucial to applying or overcoming them on your own.
5. The Doubter (Determined)
Self doubt in a normal job can lead to a lack of prospects or progression as staff want to see you believe in yourself in order to give you career opportunities where you must also motivate others. From my chats on the Freelancers Hub Facebook group, self doubt is rife amongst the self employed. I, for one am, certainly guilty of doubting my abilities and experience once in a while. The positive is that this doubt can push you to over compensate in your day to day and put more in to prove you are good enough. I’m not suggesting we all take up self loathing or doubt as a hobby but I think having a lack of belief can sometimes push us to work harder and take on challenges that prove something to ourselves.
6. The Self Confident (Self Believer)
Self confidence is one of those traits that is fine is small doses. As soon as it tips over the edge is can be deemed as Arrogance. This is usually shunned upon in the workplace with over confident people losing out to the more humble colleague. But this can be a useful traits have when self-employed. When starting up on your own there will naturally be a lot of people who will doubt you (even if they don’t say it to your face). Self-belief and self confidence are important factors that will motivate and push you during your tough journey towards a successful business / lifestyle.
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I would love to hear your views on the above or any suggestions for negative traits that can help when self employed. Drop a comment below.