QUIZ: Are You Meant to Be an Entrepreneur?

Starting your own business is part of the American dream. Who hasn’t thought about quitting their job and joining the ranks of the self-employed? And this is even truer these days as entrepreneurs tend to be seen as the rock stars of the business world.

But that said, it’s also true that starting, running, and owning a business is not for everyone. The fact is, some people are artists, some are athletes, some are meant to be doctors, some are supposed to be entrepreneurs, and others are better off as employees. No, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.

Are you meant to be an entrepreneur?

It’s not an insignificant question as, if you choose wrong, the repercussions can be significant. In most cases, starting a business is not an inexpensive endeavor. On top of that, one risks their reputation and livelihood on the bet that the business will be successful. If it works out, great. But if it doesn’t, it could, quite literally, bankrupt you.

The best way to know is to consider what it takes to start and run a business and see if these traits fit you, your psyche, and your lifestyle. Answer these questions honestly:

Are you a risk-taker? 

Entrepreneurship has been described many ways, but here’s one handy definition that helps: An entrepreneur is a person willing to take a risk with money to make money. Risk is part of the job description. Are you comfortable with risk? Now, it’s true that you shouldn’t take wild, crazy risks (great entrepreneurs take smart, calculated risks), but either way, you will have to take risks.

Can you live with uncertainty? 

Nothing is for certain when you start your own business. It may succeed, or it may fail. You may get those big customers, and you will likely lose them, too. You won’t get a paycheck every two weeks. Uncertainty is also part of the game.

Are you willing to work hard? 

When you own a business, you wear lots of hats. In the beginning, you will be the CEO, CFO, head of sales, and shipping clerk, all rolled into one. It takes a lot of time and hard work to make a go of a new business, so get ready to roll up your sleeves.

Are you creative? 

Figuring out how to get clients and customers, how to market your business, where to advertise, what to advertise, how to grow, and all the rest means that you’ll need to put on your thinking cap from Day One. No slackers need apply.

The bottom line is that entrepreneurship and starting a business are fun, exciting, and rewarding. They’re also tough, challenging, and frustrating. Be sure you psychologically fit before you put a lot of money, time, and effort into them.

Steve Strauss is a senior small business columnist at USA TODAY and author of 15 books, including The Small Business Bible.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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