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Is Entrepreneurship Really For Me?

By taking a close look at your personality and work preferences, you can better consider whether entrepreneurship is really for you.

Young woman with magnifying glass to her eye.

Many people believe that entrepreneurs are born -- that the ability to successfully run a business is just something in one's DNA.

And that's just not the case.

While it's certainly true there are qualities you can possess that help make you more entrepreneurial; there's more to it than being a "natural go getter" or "born businessperson." You can work to cultivate the attributes that make a successful entrepreneur.

It's also important, however, to eliminate the possibility that you are poorly suited to running a business. Finding this out too late can lead to some serious financial losses and personal heartbreak.

With that in mind, let's discuss some questions you can ask yourself to determine if entrepreneurship is truly for you.

What Is My Tolerance For Risk?  

There is no getting around it: Starting a new business venture requires risk. You're no longer just a small cog in a large wheel that will roll on with or without you. When you're an entrepreneur, your ultimate success or failure is in your hands. There is no safety net.

Some people have no problem tolerating this sort of risk. The idea might even serve as motivation. If you're someone who experiences anxiety at the thought of added risk, however, entrepreneurship might not be for you. Or, alternatively, you might want to start off very small by running a side business in your spare time, rather than diving into the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool right away.

Am I Happy Working For Someone Else?  

Some people are perfectly content spending their time working for a corporation. Others, however, thirst for the ability to assume more responsibility. The idea of playing an integral role in every aspect of a new business is an intoxicating notion.

If working for someone else leaves you with an itch you can't quite scratch - and you're intrigued by the thought of being the animating force of your own venture -- entrepreneurship might be a good fit.

Is There Something You're Deeply Passionate About - That Also Presents A Business Opportunity? 

We hear it said over and over: Entrepreneurs need to have passion. Deeply felt passion is a competitive advantage. It's something that drives you forward even in the face of significant obstacles.

Passion, however, doesn't always make a great business. Not every dream can be monetized. It's at the nexus of passion and business opportunity where real success is found.

What Else Can I Do To Determine If Entrepreneurship Is For Me?  

Having passion and a zest for business is great, but nothing tells the true tale like real world experience. If you're still on the fence about entrepreneurship, consider taking the following steps:

  • Speak to other entrepreneurs about the challenges they faced.
  • Seek professional guidance or assistance from entrepreneur and business support groups.
  • Ask for feedback regarding your business plan or idea.
  • Get out in the field and observe how small businesses actually operate. Ask questions about life/work balance, customer attraction and retention and what it's like to make the transition.
  • Start a small, part-time venture you can pursue in your spare time. If this is a roaring success, this is one key data point that entrepreneurship might be for you.

The Takeaway

Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. It requires hard work, tolerance for risk and a willingness to take the lead on every aspect of a business. By taking a close look at your own preferences and attributes, you can make an informed decision as to whether entrepreneurship is really for you.