Your Work Style
…continued from last week…
3) Consider how you prefer to communicate. When given the choice, do you opt for email, phone, or in-person meetings? Do you tend to thoroughly explain every detail of a situation by default, or are you a person of few words who gets straight to the point and only expands upon it when asked for further information?
If you’re not the type to voluntarily expand upon the basics, then you’re probably not suited for a business model that requires a lot of information delivery, like tutoring, mentoring, coaching, writing instructional materials, etc. Likewise, if you tend to talk a lot, you should probably steer clear of any profession where extreme discretion or secrecy is required.
4) Consider what hours you prefer to work. Do you tend to get on a roll and work long hours straight through to completion, or until you collapse exhausted? Or do you prefer to work in short bursts, with time off in-between to focus on other things before coming back to the task at hand. Do you prefer to get an early start on the day and clock-out early to take care of personal matters or just beat the rush-hour traffic? Or are you more likely to sleep in, start work later in the day, and take your personal time in the evenings?
If you consider yourself a night owl, don’t start a business that requires that you be available to serve clients during normal business hours. On the other hand, being open for business later in the day could be a huge advantage if you provide a personal service that people have trouble partaking of due to their own work schedule interfering. For example, a nail or hair salon that stays open later will capture more of the market than one that closes at 6 or 7 pm, because most of their clientele are just getting home from work and making dinner at that point. And one that stays open on Sundays will be rolling in the dough, because a large majority of beauty services tend to be closed on Sundays.
5) Consider how you organize your daily activities. Do have an established routine that you stick to each day, out of habit? Are you open to variations, but prefer to plan ahead for any necessary adjustments? Or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants and take things as they come? Does your current method work for you, or has it caused unnecessary hardship?
Different types of businesses operate best under different levels of organization. Some require a large degree of flexibility and leniency, while others will crumble under the same conditions. For example, the daily operations of an accounting practice are highly pre-planned and deadline driven, with the deadlines set by governmental agencies months or years in advance. On the other hand, an IT support service will find it impossible to plan in advance for much of anything, since their work is primarily driven by whether their clients’ technology decides to operate properly that day or not.
Be brutally honest in your answers to these questions. This is not like a regular job interview where you want to be as adaptable and politically correct as possible in order to woo the interviewer and get the job. You will be building your ideal business around your existing strengths, while making sure that it can survive and thrive despite your weaknesses. If you really hate working with people and despise talking on the phone, you can figure that into your business model and make sure your chosen business doesn’t require you to do those things.
…to be continued…
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