2 Qualities Your Business-of-One Needs

If you're in our CareerHMO program, you know how much I promote the idea we are all businesses-of-one. Why be an employee held in golden handcuffs when you can be an entrepreneur in control of your life and destiny? So, it should come as no surprise much of what is written about launching a start-up or being an entrepreneur can be applied to ourselves as we lead our respective business-of-ones to greatness. With that in mind, I’m here to tell you as a business-of-one, you need to contemplate being two things. They are being:

A) Transparent B) A Little Crazy


Bare Your Soul = Be Relatable Being transparent means being willing to open up to others and be vulnerable in a way that enables them to relate to you. To understand this better, I highly encourage you to read Penelope Trunk’s article on BNET where she shares how being transparent helped her save her start-up from bankruptcy. Go for Slightly Over-the-Top = Attract Attention Being a little crazy speaks to the idea of exuding a passion for your concepts and beliefs (i.e. being just manic enough it has a magnetic affect on those around you). They see you as unique, but not necessarily ready for nut house. This article by the New York Times explains how venture capitalists chose to invest in entrepreneurs who display this trait. WARNING: Dosage is Everything! As you plan out your career path and subsequent job search, I think it’s important to recognize the power of leveraging these two traits. The secret lies in doing it effectively - and in just the right amount. For example, be too transparent and people will be whispering “TMI” behind your back (a.k.a. Too Much Information, for those of you that don’t text). At the same time, act a little too eccentric and people will stop taking your calls, returning your e-mails, and inviting you to gatherings. To find the balance, I suggest you use a peer, mentor, or hey, maybe even a career expert (I happen to know a few), that can act as your sounding board and approval meter. The reality is when it comes to our business-of-one, we are so close to it, it’s so personal, we can sometimes make mistakes regarding the best way to present it. And so, while mastering the ability to be transparent and just a little crazy can help your business-of-one achieve great things, the first step is to determine the right amount of both. J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of CAREEREALISM.com and CEO of CareerHMO.com, a web-based career development company. Image from Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock

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