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By Alison Research & Patrick Adcock

What does it take to be self-employed? Many people dream of working for themselves, but worry that they might not have the ability to be a successful entrepreneur. After all, becoming self-employed can be a big leap into the unknown; most people spend a lot of their young lives working for someone else. When trying to decide if becoming an entrepreneur is the right move, you may find yourself asking, “Can I really do this?”

Don’t worry. It turns out, many of your preconceptions about the habits and personalities of self-employed people might be completely false. Patrick Adcock of QuickBooks Self-Employed recently surveyed around 1000 self-employed people in order to gain a better understanding of what makes them unique. He shared his data with Alison, and the findings are fascinating. Apparently, the self-employed aren’t the extroverted rule-breakers many people think they are!

Here’s a summary of some of the key findings from QuickBooks’ research. Have a read, and see if a career as an entrepreneur might be the path for you.

1. Self-Employed People Are Not Experts

One of the most common things uniting self-employed workers is that they are jacks-of-all-trades rather than masters of one. When asked about their strengths, the most emphasised answers were passion, problem-solving, and adaptability. Entrepreneurs don’t start their businesses because they are experts in a certain field, but because they are passionate about their field and want to get involved in every area of it.

2. They Care A Lot About Learning

A huge 94 percent of those surveyed consider themselves lifelong learners. More than a quarter say that they can learn enough to achieve their goals because they simply want it enough. Another 22 percent say it comes down to having enough passion. Nearly 20 percent say the only thing separating “wantrepreneurs” from entrepreneurs is one hasn’t started yet.

3. The Self-Employed Learn Outside of School

According to self-employed workers, you don’t learn how to start a business from school, books, or a business coach. The top five ways they learned how to start their businesses were using online resources, learning as they went along, learning from mistakes, learning from friends and family, and having a natural instinct or talent for it.

4. They Value Time, People, and Hard Work

About 84 percent of self-employed people see their success as a result of their hard work rather than luck. 3 out of 4 value time more than money, 73 percent value people over profits, and 77 percent say they push to do the impossible instead of giving up when they hit obstacles. It’s these values that give them the passion to continue when others would give up.

Ultimately, what all of this boils down to is: find a passion, learn all you can about it, keep learning, keep going, and don’t be put off by obstacles. These are the traits that make entrepreneurs successful and can get you started on a wonderful career path. So whether its hospitality or agriculture, manufacturing or IT, start learning today and become the captain of your own ship.

Source: Quickbooks Self-Employed survey results