How to Succeed as a Solopreneur & Live the Life of Your Dreams Part 2

Success as a Solopreneur

Success as a solopreneur or consultant requires competency in three critical areas: personal talents and skills, systems and communication skills.

In this article I will focus on the most important area for success as a solopreneur or consultant. That area being personal talents and skills. To clarify, our frame of reference for personal talents and skills are those things not commonly included in any training program or course material. In other words, these personal talents and skills are things that are either difficult or impossible to train someone in. These talents and skills are basically hardwired skills that an individual has acquired throughout their life and have become part of their neurological hardwiring. These personal talents and skills that some may refer to as attitudes include such things as being a self-starter, resiliency or immunity to rejection, self-management, goal setting, having a results orientation, having a utilitarian motivation, personal accountability, having an urgent mindset, personal courage, and a competitive nature.

While it is possible to achieve some level of mediocrity as a solopreneur or consultant without having a lot of these personal talents and skills, it is difficult to achieve significant success without them. And you need to be honest with yourself as to whether or not you possess enough of these personal taunts and skills to be successful in the cutthroat world of business consulting. To help you understand how important each of these is we need to analyze each one of them a little more closely.

Self Starting: The single most important ingredient for success as a solopreneur or consultant is that of being a self-starter. Self starting is something that cannot be taught easily or acquired without great effort over time. In reality, someone is either a self-starter or they’re not. If someone has to be constantly provided, and goaded to get up early and to work 12 hour days, day after day after day after day they will probably have limited success working alone as a solopreneur or consultant. Individuals who lack a great measure in the area of self-starting should be employees and work for others not for themselves.

Resiliency: The world of a solopreneur or consultant is fraught with rejection, disappointment and failure. There are many more failure experiences than there are successes in the world of selling and business. And the individual who lacks the ability to quickly bounce back from failure or adversity should think twice about being in business for themselves. In my 30 year career in the sales and marketing business I have found the personal talent of resiliency to be the most important measuring stick by which all successful salespeople are measured. In this new economy, the personal characteristic of resiliency takes on an additional level of importance because there is more rejection from buyers today than ever before.

Self-Management: Self-management is the ability to function on a consistent basis with a great deal of personal discipline and to hold oneself accountable to do the tasks that need to be done, when they need to be done regardless of whether or not the task is enjoyed. Individuals who are unable to discipline themselves and control themselves will find great difficulty consistently acquiring new clients.

Goal Setting: All top-performing salespeople, consultants and business people possess a fair amount of talent setting goals. They understand the approach of clearly identifying targets to hit and they are focused on the achievement not just the activity involved. They aggressively pursue their goals and are focused like a laser on attaining those goals.

Results Orientation: There are two kinds of individuals – those who are results oriented and those who are process oriented. Results oriented individuals get things done with a sense of urgency and allow little or nothing to get in the way of accomplishment regardless of the difficulty of the task or how much they may dislike the task. Process oriented individuals focus on doing what is comfortable or what they enjoy or like doing and they are more interested in the process than they are in the results. If you are to obtain great success as a solopreneur or consultant then you must have a results oriented mindset.

Personal Accountability: The ability to hold oneself accountable to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done whether you like it or not. Personal accountability involves eliminating excuses of all kinds and refusing to make excuses for any lack of results or performance. Those who possess a great measure of personal accountability know that the only reason for their lack of success is themselves and they refuse to externalize their lack of success on the economy, the marketplace or anything else.

Urgency: Top performers have a great sense of urgency. They realize that time is there only nonrenewable resource. They value their time and have little patience for people, tasks or activities that waste their time and prevent them from reaching their goals quickly. These people can be characterized as being laser focused and on a mission to “get ‘er done”.

Courage: Personal courage is the ability to accept the fact that your decision to become a solopreneur or consultant goes against the mainstream and puts you in the minority. Being in the minority of the self-employed you will be misunderstood by those who work for others; be they friends and family or neighbors. If you want to be successful you must have the courage to trust your own convictions and to stand your ground and not let the opinions of others sway your decision or call you to question your motives.

Competitive Nature: Make no mistake about it – the consulting world is a highly competitive and cutthroat business. If you’re going to be successful you must be comfortable and enjoy competing with others. If you do not enjoy working in a competitive environment and are shy about doing what it takes to win you should consider whether or not you have what it takes to be a successful consultant.

While these are not the only personal talents and skills necessary for success in the consulting business they are a good starting point. You should read them carefully, study them and be very honest with yourself about whether or not you possess the “Right Stuff” to become a successful consultant. In our next article we will discuss the importance of systems as it relates to success in consulting……

To be continued next week…..