If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then chances are that you look up to John Chow, at least to some degree. You look to him for advice, guidance and tips for how you too can achieve the dot com lifestyle and making a comfortable living on the Internet. I know that’s what drew me here in the first place all those years ago too.
You might also recall the times when John talked about the one and only job he ever held, and how he left that job and never looked back. In his mind, John wasn’t and isn’t unemployed; he’s just unemployable. You see, the qualities that it takes to be a successful entrepreneur are distinct from those that help you succeed in the traditional rat race.
While the qualities and characteristics listed below are the kinds of things that HR departments and hiring managers look for when considering candidates, they may not be the traits you want to have if you want to make money online.
Listens to Authority
Especially if you work within a more traditional corporate environment, it’s understood that you will respect the pecking order. This doesn’t mean that you can’t disagree with what the higher-ups are telling you to do; it just means that you still have to listen to them at face value and go through the proper channels if you want to do things differently.
Insubordination typically will not be tolerated. If you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak, then you need to know your place in the company. If you’ve got something to say, you say it to your direct supervisor. He can then relay the message to his superior, who’ll relay it to the department manager, who’ll relay it to another manager and so on and so forth. That’s just how things work.
But not if you want to be a dot com mogul. I’m not saying you should go around disrespecting everyone. That’s not a good idea. But it means that you are, in theory, on the same “level” as John Chow, just as much as he is on the same “level” as any other professional blogger, influencer or Internet marketer. Act like you belong.
Follows Prescribed Guidelines
You might be familiar with the term SOPs, or standard operating procedures. These are step-by-step instructions that have been laid out by an organization, so that every employee who needs to perform a certain task or operation will do it in exactly the same way every time. Whether they’re formalized or not, these kinds of instructions are typical of most businesses. Here’s what you need to do and here’s how you’re expected to do it.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that doing exactly as you’re told probably won’t get you where you want to go as an entrepreneur. Sure, you can glean important lessons and insights from those who came before you, but you ultimately have to blaze your own trail. It’s when you do something a little different, and offer something a little bit different, that you can set yourself apart and achieve newfound success.
Pays Attention to Detail
Detail-oriented. It’s one of the most common attributes listed on a job posting. Companies want employees that pay close attention to the most minute of details, because they don’t want anything to slip through the cracks. And details are certainly important.
When you’re an entrepreneur, though, the big picture is ultimately more important than the details. You need to have a grand vision of what you want to achieve. You need a plan. And when it comes to executing the minutiae, particularly in areas where you lack the specific knowledge and experience, just pay someone else to do it. Look at the big picture and focus on what moves the needle.
Thrives in a Team Environment
Collaboration certainly plays an important role in your life as an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for John and the dozens of other people I’ve met (and worked with) over the years. But the truth of the matter is that you’re going to be working alone the overwhelming majority of the time.
You might try to overcome this with regular meetup groups (like we had with Dot Com Pho) or by renting some coworking space, but most professional bloggers and Internet marketers are effectively companies of one. Being able to work well in a team is good, but being able to work well alone is critical as a solopreneur. No one is going to hold you accountable and keep you on task but you.
Puts in the Hours
You see Jerry there? He’s the first one in the office in the morning, and he’s the last one to leave in the evening. Society has come to venerate workers like Jerry, because they’re dedicated to their jobs and they’re willing to “put in the hours.” But just “putting in the hours” isn’t enough if you want to make it as an entrepreneur.
Instead, it’s about flipping your mindset away from trading hours for dollars and figuring out how to make the most dollars in the fewest hours. What can you do to make the most money in the least amount of time? How can you be more efficient with the hours you do put in, so that you spend more quality time with your family and actually enjoy the dot com lifestyle?
How are you adjusting your mindset away from that of an employee and toward that of a self-employed success story?