Q: I love the idea of being my own boss and starting my own business, but how do I really know if I am cut out to be self employed? If I am not, it would be a pretty big mistake.

Jonella J., Maui

A: You are right, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. While the common perception of entrepreneurship is that it is exciting, and indeed it is, many other words equally describe the life of the self-made small businessperson: nerve-wracking, liberating, difficult, challenging, time-consuming, overwhelming, fun, joyous, productive, and uncertain — and that’s just for starters.

So the question is not whether entrepreneurship is right for you, but rather, are you right for entrepreneurship? Can you handle the stress, the freedom, the lack of structure, the uncertainty, and the opportunity that awaits if you decide to start your own business? This really can’t be stressed enough. While there is no doubt that being in business for yourself can be great, if you are not temperamentally cut out for it, it will be a tough road. There is no shame in this. Some people are artists and others are lawyers, some are travelers while others are homebodies, some are entrepreneurs and some are not.

So which are you? In order to assist you, take the following quiz. It will help you evaluate your qualifications. The important thing though, as you take the quiz, is to be perfectly honest. There is no point in answering the questions
“right” if it’s not true for you.

1. Are you a self-starter?

a) Yes, I like to do think up ideas and implement them.
(5 points)

b) If someone helps me get started, I will definitely
follow through. (3 points)

c) Frankly, I would rather follow than lead. (1 point)

2. How do you feel about taking risks?

a) I really like the feeling of being on the edge a bit. (5 points)

b) Calculated risks are acceptable at times. (3 points)

c) I like the tried and true. (1 point)

3. Can you and your family live without a regular
paycheck?

a) Yes, if that is what it takes. (5 points)

b) I would rather not, but understand that may be part of the process (3 points)

c) I do not like that idea at all. (1 point)

4. Could you fire someone who really needed the
job your business provided?

a) Yes, I may not like it, but that is the way it goes sometimes. (5 points)

b) I hope so. (3 points)

c) I really can’t see myself doing that. (1 point)

5. Are you willing to work 60 hours a week, or
more?

a) Again, if that is what it takes, yes. (5 points)

b) Maybe in the beginning. (3 points)

c) I think many other things are more important than work. (1 point)

6. Can you live with uncertainty?

a) Yes. (5 points)

b) If I have to, but I don’t like it. (3 points)

c) No, I like knowing what to expect. (1 point)

7. Are you creative?

a) Yes, I do get a lot of good ideas. (5 points)

b) I can be. (3 points)

c) No, not really. (1 point)

8. Do you have a lot of willpower and self-discipline?

a) Yes. (5 points)

b) I am disciplined when I need to be. (3 points)

c) Not really. (1 point)

9. Do you have many business skills?

a) Yes I do, and those I don’t have, I’ll learn. (5 points)

b) I have some. (3 points)

c) No, not really. (1 point)

10. Could you competently perform multiple business
tasks: accounting, sales, marketing, etc?

a) I sure would like to try! (5 points)

b) I hope so. (3 points)

c) That sounds intimidating. (1 point)

11. Are you willing to really hustle for clients
and customers?

a) Sure. (5 points)

b) If I have to. (3 points)

c) I would rather not. (1 point)

12. How well do you handle pressure?

a) Quite well. (5 points)

b) Its not my strongest trait, but I can do it. (3 points)

c) Not well at all. (1 point)

Scoring:
45 – 60: You have both the temperament and the skills to become an entrepreneur.

30 – 44: You are not a natural entrepreneur, but may become one over time.

Below 44: You would be wise to think of something else to do besides self-employment.

So there you have it. Not only should this quiz help you understand your Entrepreneurship IQ, but it should equally give you some insight into the traits and characteristics of the prototypical successful self-employed businessperson: Driven, hard-working, creative, energetic, resourceful, confident, and flexible.

Are you cut out for self-employment? Take this quiz.

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