Are you cut out to run an online business?

Self employment success characteristicsMillions of people run businesses online; indeed millions more run a website whilst holding down a full-time job in a bid to gain extra income. However, the vast majority of online businesses fail to achieve the expectations of their owners. Besides, there are an almost countless plethora of dormant business websites, where the owner started full of enthusiasm but gave up after a while.

One of the issues with running a business is personality. There are some people who are cut out to run their own online business – and other who simply will find it more difficult.

Research on self-employment or running a home-based business has been fairly consistent over the years. Ultimately the studies find that there is no single personality type associated with self-employed business success. There are lots of different types of people who seem to make a go of running their own business.

However, there are a few characteristics which do seem to be quite important.

1. Curiosity
People who are curious tend to stick at self-employment for much longer than those who are not always poking their nose into things…! The problem for the curious individual and the online world is that curiosity can take you off track; you’ll get side-tracked into fascinating blogs and social networking discussions. So curiosity can help you run your online business for longer than people who are not so curious, but it can be a negative influence on the success of your work because it helps you lose focus.

2. Independence
The individual who has a strong sense of independence is the kind of person who sticks at self-employment for longer. In fact, an independent streak makes it much more difficult for people to be employed. They dislike being told what to do, they don’t want to follow a set pattern or rules and they want to be in control. None of that makes it good for them to have a boss…! But independence online can also be a problem; instead of doing things the way that works, independent people frequently want to do things “their” way, which means a lot of “re-inventing the wheel” happens, wasting time of the self-employed person.

3. Tenaciousness
The self-employed person who succeeds tends to have a tenacious streak. They don’t let go or give up easily. This is essential for someone running their own business because it means they keep “at it” until they succeed. But once again, this can also be a problem for the online business owner who ends up being so tenacious trying to get some piece of online software to achieve something they spend fruitless (and wasted) hours in their attempts.

These are the three key characteristics which research shows will help you succeed in self-employment. But online you need to be constantly aware of the potential negative consequences these aspects of personality may have on your potential for achievement.


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
RT @SteveHeadSpeaks: Thanks to @GuidesForBrides for having @ChrisHeadMagic at #ukwedconf @MiltonHillhotel learning from the best @grahamjon - 2 days ago
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