Are You Entrepreneurial Material?

So you want to start a business. To make the decision to start a small business, take an objective look at yourself and your ability to become a business owner. There are certain types of personalities that have an advantage. When we look at profiles of successful business owners, we see common characteristics. Those characteristics are:


  • Passion
  • Persistence
  • Good Health/High Energy
  • Innovation/Creativity
  • Independence
  • Self-Confidence
  • Hard Working
  • Open to New Challenges

The following is a readiness test to determine if you have what it takes to succeed.


The Readiness Test

Under each question, check the answer that comes closest to saying what you feel, then find your score using the key provided.


  1. Are you a self-starter?
    • _____ Yes. I like to do things on my own and have a lot of initiative.
    • _____ To a point. If someone gets me started, I keep going all right.
    • _____ No. I don't put myself out unless it is absolutely necessary.
  2. Do you enjoy working with other people?
    • _____ Yes. I like people and can get along with just about anybody.
    • _____ Sometimes. If people don't bother me too much, I can get along with them.
    • _____ No. Most people are difficult to work with and are irritating.
  3. Do you welcome responsibility?
    • _____ Yes. I like to take charge of things and see them through from beginning to end.
    • _____ Not really. But I can handle it if I have to.
    • _____ No. I'd rather let someone else be in charge.
  4. Are you a good organizer?
    • _____ Yes. I always have a plan before I start a project, and usually get things lined up when others want to do something.
    • _____ It depends. I do all right up until a point, but when things get too overwhelming, I tend to back off.
    • _____ No. I like to take things as they come. I try not to plan too much in advance.
  5. Are you a hard worker?
    • _____ Yes. I do whatever it takes to get the job done. I don't mind working hard for something I want.
    • _____ Usually. I'll work hard for a while, but when I've had enough, that's it.
    • _____ No. Life is too short. My free time is as important as my work.
  6. Are you comfortable making decisions?
    • _____ Yes. I can make up my mind in a hurry if I have to, and usually things turn out well.
    • _____ I'm not sure. If I have plenty of time, I usually can, but if I have to make up my mind fast, later I always wonder if I made the right choice.
    • _____ No. I don't like being the one to decide things. I'm afraid of making the wrong choices.
  7. Do you finish what you start?
    • _____ Yes. If I'm determined to do something, nothing can stop me.
    • _____ Usually. I can finish what I start as long as it is going well and is interesting.
    • _____ No. I have great ideas, but frequently I have trouble carrying them out.
  8. Are you eager and energetic?
    • _____ Yes. I'm a tireless worker who looks forward to new challenges and task.
    • _____ For the most part. I have a reasonable amount of energy.
    • _____ No. I run out of steam sooner than most of my friends do.
  9. Do you like to sell?
    • _____ Yes. When I sell something I believe in. I feel as though I have done the customer a service. I find it extremely satisfying and consider myself very persuasive.
    • _____ Sometimes. Selling is a tough job, but I'm willing to learn the skills if I must.
    • _____ No. I don't like asking someone to buy something from me. I believe a good product or service should sell itself.



How many check marks are beside the first answer? _____
How many check marks are beside the second answer? _____
How many check marks are beside the third answer? _____


If you have more than five checks beside the first answer, you probably have what it takes to run a business. If you have more than five checks beside the third answer, you may have difficulty making it on your own. If your score falls somewhere in the middle, you may need some help to make your business successful.

Now you should explore your personal goals to see if business ownership will accomplish what is desired. You need to determine what kind of life style and business style is desired and if owning a business will provide those styles. The question that is most prevalent in starting a business is whether you can financially handle being an entrepreneur. How much does the business have to generate to maintain your lifestyle? Make a list of your expenses to determine how much you need to make to survive. Do a personal financial statement so you will know how much money you have to invest in your business and how long you can maintain your lifestyle if no or limited income is coming in during your start up stage. Finally, assess how your family will be affected by starting and operating a business.

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