Originally published on AllBusiness.
Even though I’ve taken a full-time role writing content for a fintech company, I’m still running my content agency part-time. I will always be an entrepreneur at heart—nay, a micropreneur, which I’ve written about many times.
A micropreneur (or microbusiness) is one that operates on a very small scale, with no more than five employees. We micropreneurs are a breed all our own, and there’s plenty to admire about us. So let’s pat ourselves on the back for these small business owner traits, shall we?
Whether you are a micropreneur yourself or are thinking about hiring or partnering with one, here are some of our best small business owner traits:
1. We’re dogged about finding solutions
When there’s no one around to help you solve a problem, what do you do? Solve it, of course. Micropreneurs rely on themselves to git-‘er-done, and that makes us strong. It’s funny—now that I’m working with an extraordinary team of people in my new job, I realize how long I’ve been problem-solving on my own. I’ve gotta say, it’s kind of amazing to find people whom I can also trust to help find a solution as good as (or better than) what I would have come up with on my own. And the fact that I’ve been doing that solo for so many years makes me a great asset to the team.
The drawback to this trait: I guess in my personal life, this isn’t always an asset. Sometimes my friends just want to vent about a problem they’re having, and I’m already on top of trying to solve it!
2. We see possibilities everywhere
Once a micropreneur, always a micropreneur. I don’t know one person who has owned a business, shut it down, and never started something new. I myself can count at least five businesses I’ve started (going back to college when I launched Snazzy Baskets, a custom gift basket brand that didn’t make it long). I know in my heart I will start more businesses in the future; it’s exciting to wonder what they’ll be centered on.
It’s like our brains are wired to find opportunities. Saying we’re opportunistic isn’t accurate; it’s more that we find gaps in existing solutions or come up with new and better ways to do things. And that is what makes for the innovation that the world turns on.
The drawback to this trait: We are never, ever satisfied. There’s always a better way, and looking for it can be exhausting (see #1).
3. We have a unique way of doing things
Ask 100 micropreneurs how they manage their daily tasks, and you’ll get 100 answers. Maybe 102. That’s because we don’t prescribe to how others do things; we need to forge our own paths. For me, my day consists of constantly being pinged by Google Calendar tasks, as well as Alexa shouting reminders to me from the kitchen. Sometimes, just for fun, I’ll write things on paper.
I love that we micropreneur types are unique and that we don’t take the path most traveled for anything we do. I love hearing how other business owners manage things and sometimes modify their solutions.
The drawback to this trait: Ever heard the phrase “Don’t reinvent the wheel”? Well … we can’t help doing exactly that, over and over.
4. We work well alone and as a team
Being a micropreneur doesn’t mean we are always isolated (though, yes, it sometimes does). We don’t need guidance, which makes us uber-productive in our home offices away from other humans. But when we are part of a team, we also thrive. We’re like the kid in your school group project who essentially carried the slackers. Because we have such high expectations for our own work, we apply the same diligence when we’re working with others.
The drawback to this trait: It’s probably hard to have such a go-getter on a team for those who don’t operate the same way. It can be easy for us to dominate a project. It’s the Type A in us coming out.
5. We tend to be very curious
So, on a personal note, I’m single. I have engaged in more dating app conversations than I care to count, and despite advice telling me not to ask this (apparently, it’s a very cliché thing to do), I actually like asking what people do for a living. Because I’m genuinely curious.
Ooh, you’re an engineer in the aerospace industry? What sort of technologies are we launching into space?
A doctor involved in stem cell research? Tell me more!
I like understanding what people do and what attracted them to that role. I’m the same with my marketing clients: I want to know what makes their businesses tick so I can make it shine through words.
The drawback to this trait: Again, I think a saying communicates it all: “Curiosity killed the cat.” When we spend so much time being curious or going down a research rabbit hole (I know about those), we are less productive.
Micropreneurs are entrepreneurs, certainly, but they’re also creatures of their own design. If you are a micropreneur, what other qualities do you love about yourself