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The 8 Most Important Self Employment Skills

Not everyone is cut out for self-employment. Many people are best served in the safety and security of a traditional job.

Being good at what you do is not enough – running a business as a self-employed professional requires you to have or build a full toolbox of complementary skills.

Are you cut out for self-employment?

Here are 8 of the most important skills you need to master for success.

8 Top Self-Employment Skills

1. Knowledge

Good SEPs are super knowledgeable about what they do. You should have deep understanding and expertise in your industry or area, a lot of relevant experience, and a genuine passion and interest in making things better.

2. Communication

You’ll be talking to people… a lot. If you’re not good at chatting to potential clients, writing copy, drafting proposals, preparing great reports and working closely with clients, your business won’t fulfil its potential.

The best SEPs are confident in being clear, effective verbal and written communicators.

3. Problem-Solving

People are hiring you to take their problems away, because they don’t have the time, expertise or skills required to do it.

These problems are going to be complex - otherwise they’d already be solved. You’ll spend most of your time taking initiative, digging deeper and finding solutions, so having the ability to think critically and creatively is vital.

4. Organisation

You will be responsible for every part of your enterprise at the beginning: admin, sales, marketing, operation, comms and delivery.

You’ll be managing multiple tasks, clients and projects at a time, so if you’re not a great juggler, and time management isn’t your forte, you’re going to struggle.

5. Self-Motivation

Starting a business isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s challenging work, and finding the motivation to get up every day and keep going, especially in the early days, isn’t always easy.

There’s no boss keeping you on task, so SEPs need to have the grit to stick to their goals and stay focused.

6. Flexibility

Good SEPs are incredible flexible and adaptive. Your business, clients and projects are going to change all the time and there will always be a new spanner in the works for you to handle.

If you’re not good at rolling with the punches and pivoting quickly, business might not be for you.

7. Networking

Building and maintaining relationships with clients and other contacts is the life-blood of your business.

Great SEPs are confident putting themselves out there online and at events, following up opportunities and new contacts and connecting people with mutual interests.

8. Risk appetite

Starting a business involves taking a lot of risks - there’s no way of knowing whether your new idea is going to work, whether your clients are going to come through, or whether you’re going to make enough money to cover your mortgage in the first few months.

If you’re not comfortable taking a leap, don’t do it!


Answering these questions and taking a critical look at your skills, experience, and readiness can help you to determine if self-employment is the right path for you,


PSST - Interested in learning how YOU can master self-employed life and create the business of your dreams? Check out Consultants of Choice - everything you need to go out on your own as a self-employed professional.


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