Self-employed people are rockstars
When you think of the term “self-employed,” what springs to mind?
Do you think of an entrepreneur building a start-up? A freelance photographer? Someone with a brilliant idea that has yet to take flight?
To get a better understanding of the mindset of this incredibly diverse set of workers, QuickBooks Self-employed commissioned a survey of 923 self-employed people to establish how and why they got started and what motivates them to succeed.
What this survey revealed was exciting and affirming of speculation — that along with self-employment challenges come massive opportunities for work flexibility, to overcome adversity, and to work at what you love every day. Here are the findings.
1. They are lifelong learners
In any business or profession, continued education is a must if you want to go further and make a deeper impact. But no matter how much it matters to a field or industry, there are always people who will resist adapting to changing times and try to do things the old-fashioned way, instead of educating themselves on new trends and practices.
For self-employed people, however, the need for continued, or even constant, education is a common trait. The overwhelming majority of self-employed people think of themselves as lifelong learners. When asked whether the statement was true or false, almost all of the respondents affirmed they’re lifelong learners, followed by being multitaskers, loving to read, and affirming they thought about self-employment a lot before doing it.
2. They work out of passion instead of necessity
Self-employed people are most likely to list passion, problem-solving, adaptability, and productivity as their most prominent strengths. Interestingly, self-employed workers don’t seem to think they have as many weaknesses as they have strengths. In fact, when given the option to identify their strengths and weaknesses, all of the traits were marked as strengths by the majority, with less than 50% of each trait marked a weakness. The skills they ranked the lowest were marketing, technical skills, and networking.
3. They are willing to make sacrifices
According to this survey, successfully becoming self-employed might come down to your drive. When asked what separates self-employed workers from those who simply want to be self-employed, our respondents said it comes down to a willingness to make sacrifices, wanting it enough, and passion.
4. They value time over money and people over profits
You might think that because of their entrepreneurial spirits, self-employed workers would be type-A workaholics who are hungry for cash, but it’s actually the opposite. Most described themselves as introverts who follow the rules and overwhelmingly value time over money. So much so that the majority claim they don’t sacrifice their work-life balance, even when things are busy. We found that most self-employed people say their success can be attributed more to hard work than luck, people over profits, and the tendency to follow the rules. Almost three out of four (72.8%) say they people over profit — compared to 27.2% who say they value profits over people.
5. They tend to be jacks-of-all-trades rather than masters of one
Another interesting finding from the survey is that the majority of self-employed people seem to be all-rounders rather than specialists in a single area of expertise. Almost 71% say they consider themselves to be jacks-of-all-trades, compared to 29.1% who said they were not. This doesn’t mean they lack focus, however, with 77.1% saying they prefer to push themselves to do the impossible, compared to 22.9% who admit they would sooner give up than chase the unattainable.
6. They aren’t afraid to work with people smarter than they are
The majority of the self-employed workers who took part in the survey (79.2%) reveal they get excited by the opportunity to work with people they consider to be smarter than themselves. In comparison, 20.8% were honest enough to admit that they are threatened by the thought.
7. They tend to be more cautious than risk-taking
The data is split between the cautious and the risk-taking self-employed but on balance, a slim majority (53%) say they are more cautious by nature, while 47% see themselves as risk takers. But there’s plenty of adversity to go around — working for yourself wouldn’t be what it is without a few surprises. The biggest surprise self-employed workers face, according to the survey, is underestimating the amount of work involved.
Interestingly, a common misconception was they thought they’d feel more lonely. They also said they didn’t think it would be so difficult to get started, and they underestimated the costs associated with getting their business off the ground.
This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.