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Seven traits you need to be your own boss
Written by Bulelwa Mdanyana
9 February 2013

So, you have finally decided that you have had enough of working for a boss and this is the year to take the plunge and start your own business. In South Africa we have seen a lot of people leaving their comfortable jobs to start their own businesses; others have been forced into it by circumstances beyond their control. Before you venture into business you need to make sure you have what it takes to make a success of your business. Here’re seven traits you need to be your own boss:

 1.      Passion

Before you leave your job, make sure that the business you want to start is something you are passionate about. Success will not be easy, but when you love what you do, the stress and challenges you come across will be much easier to overcome. Passion serves as a driver - the thing that sustains you when the going gets tough. 

  2.      Learning ability

 You need to gather as much information as you can about the industry you want to operate in. You cannot be successful without reading and doing proper research. Read as much as you can to develop the necessary skills you will need - skills like speaking in front of people, presentation skills, business writing skills, sale, marketing etc. It’s crucial to invest in yourself in order to improve your chances of becoming successful in any business sector. You can never know too much, there is always something you can improve on.

 3.      Good old discipline

In life sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals – the business world is no different; you must be willing to give up some things in order to make way for others. It’s important to have balance in terms of your work and personal life, but when you are just starting out in business you must know that your personal life will have to take a back seat for a while. You will have to work at home, meet potential clients or attend networking events and in order to build your brand. You need to ask yourself if you are ready to make those kinds of sacrifices.

 4.      Building the right relationships

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s not what you know but who you know”, you need people to buy your products or services; it is important to associate with people who can help in building your business. The more connected you are, the more resources you will have access to and the easier success will be.

  5.       Time management

It is important to respect your time and that of the people you work with. Remember time is money, you don’t want to miss out on an important business deal just because you were a few minutes late. Most business people will not be willing to do business with someone who does not respect their time.Keep a diary and record everything you need to get done for each day.

  6.       You must believe in yourself

When you decide to go into business there will be times where people will put doubts in your head, some will tell you that you don’t know what you are doing and others will say you are dreaming if you think you can succeed where everyone else has failed. These are the times when you will need to be your own cheerleader and soldier on, believe in your capabilities, believe in your product/service but most of all believe in yourself.

  7.       Be able to adapt to new circumstances

The business environment does not exist in isolation, it changes constantly as new technologies are developed, you need to be able to adapt and embrace the change in order to survive in this global world.  Keep abreast of the latest developments


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