Receptionist to CEO: 7 Essential Traits You’ll Need to Become an Entrepreneur

Here are seven essential character traits that led me from my cubicle to entrepreneurship.

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When I decided to quit my job as a receptionist, I was exhausted and burnt out from making my job a number one priority — and to top it off, I could barely pay my bills. I loved what I did, but I didn’t care for the people in charge who showed no appreciation and no passion. I felt I had enough experience and fresh ideas to start my own company and work for myself.

Although I faced a multitude of long days and nights, time away from friends and family, missed gatherings, and the overall feeling of being an overworked lunatic at times, it was well worth it to go from wages to profits — and from being told what to do to running my own show.

Whether you’re thinking of starting a company from scratch or buying into one, you need to be ready for the challenges ahead. Here are seven essential character traits that led me from my cubicle to entrepreneurship:

1. Passion

I began my career in staffing as a receptionist. I was given a multitude of tedious tasks and took every chance I could to ask for more work. I worked hard and I was given more assignments, but with what seemed like little appreciation and acknowledgement from the management team.

Because I truly loved my job, I didn’t let that get me down. My heart was in it to win it. I continued to take on payroll, sales and recruiting tasks, and within a year, I was promoted to a recruiter. Success is not easy, but when you love what you do, the stress, challenges and bumps in the road are easier to overcome. Passion serves as a driver, the thing that sustains you when things get tough. 

2. Tenacity

There were over 30 staffing firms in my local market with a maximum of three sales reps in the county per company, and I was just one person from an unknown mom-and-pop company that turned national.

I worked long hours and heard “no” many times. The VP of Human Resources at one company — a company that eventually became my biggest client — told me never to come back, that they’d never use my service. I spent hours researching and practicing different pitching techniques, and I continued to call the VP of Human Resources and finally decided to show my face again.

I found the HR manager, pitched my seminar and, to my amazement, she signed right up! Less than a month after that meeting, we had placed 20 temporary employees and were working on filling 30 more positions. The lesson? Never give up, even when faced with negativity.

3. Learnability

Become an information junkie. You cannot be successful without reading. I read as much as I could to develop my skill as a speaker, writer and salesperson and staffing industry expert. It’s important to invest in yourself. There is always something you can improve on; make daily deposits in your personal development bank.

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