I work with a lot of people who have BIG dreams of quitting jobs, travelling the world, starting a small business, and living a life of freedom and adventure. And I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing people who are actually able to make this kind of lifestyle work (because let’s face it, not EVERYBODY is cut out for this).
It sounds like a nice idea to be sipping mojitos on the beach while writing your latest blog post, but it takes a certain special type of person to actually make it work for the longterm. The no bullshit truth is that a lot of people who want this lifestyle don’t have what it takes. That’s not a judgement or a belittlement – it’s just a fact. Kind of like how I’m not cut out for a high end corporate job. It’s just not my thing. Neither is better or worse.
So if you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, there are some things you should know about what it takes.
Here are the top 10 qualities I see that most (/every?) Uncaged entrepreneur has:
1. They are freedom-seekers
Above anything else. And freedom can mean a bunch of different things – it would mean time to travel, working on your own schedule, having time for your family and kids, working on what you want when you want. But this has to be the driving force in your life to make this kind of lifestyle work. When freedom is at the top of your values list, you do what needs to be done to get it – you don’t let the mundane tasks or the (things like learning about how to manage your emailing list, and worrying about finding the perfect idea), get in your way. Freedom Seekers know that lifestyle is the most important thing, and they don’t get bogged down with making every last decision so precious, rather, they do whatever it takes to get the freedom that they want.
2. They are flexible
People who actually make entrepreneurship work know that things don’t always go as planned, and they are ready and willing to change things up at the drop of a hat. They understand that the best way to do things is through trial and error, and they are able to go with the flow… even when they really, really wanted the flow to go a different way!
3. They trust
Themselves… Others… The universe. Even when they have no idea how the hell they are going to get there, they KNOW that they will. It’s not about being super cocky or arrogant, or using the law of attraction or any of that nonsense – it’s about having a deep sense of trust that things will work out for them. This means they also trust themselves to make decisions, to know what they want, and to believe that it will all work out.
4. They know how to ask for help
No one can do this alone, and those with Uncaged Careers know that not only does asking for help NOT make them look weak, it gives them an advantage. They know that they don’t need to re-invent the wheel, and asking for help is a short-cut to making things happen faster. They’re able to let go of their egos and learn to collaborate, seek guidance, pay for help, and not try to lone-wolf it.
5. They don’t like other people’s rules and they’re willing to go against the grain so they don’t have to live by them
Not all, but most people who have Uncaged Careers have some element of rebelliousness to them. They think outside the box, they don’t believe things at face value, they question what life “should” look like, and they’re not too worried about standing out from the crowd. Actually, they usually do what they can to make sure they stand out from the crowd. And all the people that tell them they’re crazy and that they’re being unrealistic (which is usually their family, friends, and past-life co-workers) – they have the courage to tell them “Actually, spending the rest of my life in a cubicle feels unrealistic to me, so shut up and let me do my thing”. To follow your Uncaged Career dreams, you really have to be willing to step away from the masses and be ok with knowing that some people think you are crazy (which comes back to #3 – trusting yourself enough to know that you’re not crazy).
6. They are extremely self-aware and always trying to learn more about themselves
They are constantly analyzing why something worked for them, why it didn’t work, and making changes as they go. They understand that in order to not burn out or get bored, they have to be super honest about what they want. They know the little intricacies of what makes them happy and all the things that piss them off, and they use these to structure their business and their workdays. And when something goes wrong, instead of getting mad and giving up, they use it as an opportunity to learn more about themselves.
7. They are comfortable with some level of risk
It’s not that they are huge adrenaline junkies that can’t seem to stop moving, that are willing to make snap decisions based on no evidence. No no no… That kind of attitude would be hard to build a sustainable business around. But they ARE willing to do things without knowing the outcome. They are comfortable with a medium level of risk. They are willing to start before they are ready. They understand that uncertainty is a cornerstone of life and instead of fighting against it, they learn to use it to their advantage – instead of stressing and worrying about outcomes, they launch sooner, knowing that if they sit back and wait til everything is perfect, they won’t get anywhere. This, obviously, means they get results faster.
8. They’re willing to admit their mistakes
They know that the quicker they can apologize and move on, the better. That is to say – they don’t get hung up on the blame game, on having to be right, on being narcissistic little jerks who think the world revolves around them. They know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. If they fuck up bigtime, they apologize and make it right, because they understand that their business has a reputation that goes beyond their ego.
9. They are unwilling to settle
Sure, they might settle down. But they never, ever settle. For jobs that suck, clients they’re not thrilled with, work that doesn’t light them up. They refuse to accept a life that is mediocre. They’re idealists, and they really do believe that they can have everything they want (again – see #3). And because of this, they’re always looking for the next idea, the next adventure, the next new project. It’s an ongoing process and it never really ends.
10. They are willing to fail
A lot. And keep on going. They’re willing to be wrong, to make mistakes, and to put stuff out there and have NO ONE bite, and move right on to planning their next thing. They launch their course, and no one shows up. And instead of quitting, they slap a “sold out” sign on their website, make some changes, raise the price, and try again. They majorly miss an important deadline. Instead of holing up in embarrassment, they do what they need to do to make it right, and they move on. They have clients that fire them because they’re not happy with their work. And instead of running the other way, they apologize, get feedback, make tweaks, and learn from it so they can do better the next time. They totally love when things flop because they get to learn what doesn’t work, which gets them one step closer to learning what DOES work.
So, what if the above does not describe you? Then I’d ask yourself what it is that you’re wanting from entrepreneurship? Freedom? Lifestyle? More time? Well you don’t need to change your whole job just to get those things. Build more of what you want into your lifestyle NOW, and you might find that your Uncaged life is closer than you think.
And if you DO see yourself in a lot of the above qualities – bring it on!
What do you think? Are you an entrepreneur who sees yourself in these categories? Which one resonates the most with you? Comment below.