By Nigel Hammond

Lockdown definitely gave many people who were either furloughed, working from home or made redundant more time to pause and reflect about where they’d arrived in their professional life. After all, let’s face it, it’s not easy to make major decisions when stuck on the hamster wheel of work commitments. 

On that note, I’ve been thrilled to hear about and witness first-hand a fair number of people deciding to take the plunge and set up their own business. 

As someone who decided that I was going to work for myself right after leaving school, I’m a great believer that with passion, drive and a friendly personality it’s possible to make a satisfying, successful life as a small business owner.

With furlough fast coming to an end, it may well be that more people will be wondering whether to make this decision, which got me thinking about my own journey to where I am today and whether I had any useful nuggets of wisdom I could share with any of you would-be entrepreneurs!

Top of the list when it comes to key points is this: you may be lucky enough to be blessed with a talent in a particular field but believe me, you don’t have to be amazing at anything specific to succeed in certain areas of business – most important is to be a hard worker, adaptable and good with people.

A few examples include lawn-mowing, cleaning and house-sitting, but I’m sure that like me, you can think of many others for which although you need to know what you’re doing, being friendly, reliable, trustworthy and doing a good job is just as important.

Some people think failure looms large when you go it alone, but this is another common misconception, often based on imagining that you have to make millions to be a successful entrepreneur. Few end up like Richard Branson, but what you will be is rich in other ways and in charge of your own destiny for starters! 

So what kind of personality makes someone well suited to be an entrepreneur? It definitely helps if you’re a self-starter, self-motivated and self-disciplined. If you find it difficult to deal with uncertainty or pick yourself back up from knocks then it may be that self-employment isn’t for you, because there will be setbacks, inevitably, and difficult days. If you’re not sure whether to give a business idea a go, I’d say do the research, do the maths and do the advertising. If you want someone to talk it through with, I’m on the other end of the phone and happy to have a chat – just give me a call on 0772 0756621.