The One Quality You Need to Succeed as Your Own Boss

December 17, 2012

Making a living as a freelancer or growing your own business isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can deal with financial uncertainty or regularly meet their own deadlines.

So how do you know if this route could be right for you?

There’s ONE quality that’s absolutely essential to succeeding as your own boss, one characteristic you can’t — and won’t — thrive without.

It’s not financial-savvy, though that helps. It’s not creativity, though that helps, too. And it’s not being organized or knowing how to code or having people skills, though all of those qualities do give you an edge.

The quality you absolutely can’t succeed without is DRIVE.

Yup, drive. It’s that simple.

Because if you have DRIVE, you’ll be able to make up for any other shortcomings. You’ll learn what you need to know when you need to know it. And when the going gets tough, you’ll persevere.

Having DRIVE means not giving up.

Having DRIVE means not giving up.

While this sounds simple, you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t have drive, don’t have it in them to consistently follow through. Or, perhaps more accurately, lots of people have it in them but aren’t willing to dig deep enough to find it. (Click to tweet this idea.)

Because of that, plenty of people who would be awesome business owners or entrepreneurs give up before reaching their potential. Often, that’s because they didn’t give themselves long enough to figure out how to make it work; it takes about a year to learn how to actually get work done while running your business (because those two things aren’t always one in the same), the best ways to structure your day, and how to keep clients and referrals coming in. It takes that long to feel like you sort of have things under control.

So if you’re new to this game and feel overwhelmed, remember: THAT’S NORMAL. It’s normal to feel like you have a zillion things to learn. In fact, that’s one of the perks of becoming your own boss — you’re constantly learning and growing — so long as you can handle not knowing everything from the get-go.

If you’re in this place now, use your drive to keep yourself on track, to get through to the zone where you’ll feel more comfortable.

Dig deep and ask yourself: Do I have what it takes?

Even if you hit all sorts of other obstacles, if you can tap into your DRIVE, you’ll find a way to succeed.

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    10 Replies to “The One Quality You Need to Succeed as Your Own Boss”

    • Jared says:

      I just started reading a book on the same topic. Strangely enough, also called “Drive”:

      The big thing I’ve found is you have to manage yourself like an employee: give yourself tasks with deadlines just like you would anyone else. Figure out rewards (and punishments) when you fall short. You’re your most important client!

    • Lee says:

      Great post! I was just talking about this idea to my husband the other day; it takes a lot of drive to move from my comfy couch to my desk chair; the reason I do it, because I want to succeed as a freelance writer. Working for someone else is hard but having to motivate yourself is even harder, I think. And every time I run into an obstacle in my business, I push myself to figure out the solution as I have no boss to give me ideas. And when the solution is found, it is such a great feeling.

    • Well, I just love a word in due season. This is the encouragement I need today…these days. I am so thrilled with some of my writing accomplishments this year, but I am also busier. Sometimes it can be really hard to push myself. I am thankful for a supportive and encouraging husband…and I think it’s really important to stay connected to others doing the same thing you’re doing. One of the ways I do that is by subscribing to blogs. And yours spoke to me today. Thanks!

    • DJ says:

      Right on ! Drive!!
      I have found that when I have PASSION for what I am working on, the DRIVE comes easy.
      It is all I can think about-heck I even wake up in the middle of the night, thinking about ideas.
      Keep a notebook by the bed, and I keep several in my Jeep.
      I never know when inspiration will hit.
      And several pens. You don’t want a pen to go dead when you have an awesome idea to jot down.
      I also keep pens of several creative colors in my camera bags.

      Avoid negative people saying negative things about your ideas!
      Stay focused, positive and upbeat.
      Take a walk in the woods or down at the shore! These are great places for inspiration !

      Follow your heart!
      Follow Your passion!
      And the drive will follow you….and push you foward towards your hopes, dreams and inspirations!

    • Mario Favela says:

      Hi Alexis.

      Nice post. I am currently reading “Think and Grow Rich.” If you have not read it, great examples of how to use positive thinking and faith in your self to remain driven and focused on accomplishing goals.

      As a freelancer, do you have any particular methods for keeping yourself driven and motivated on a daily basis? Or does that come naturally?


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