Small Business Guide – Personal Evaluation Part I

You see things; and say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” – George Bernard Shaw

Although there is no exact profile for a successful business-owner, the following evaluation will assist you in determining if you have the inherent aptitude and skill sets to be a successful entrepreneur.

WHO AM I? (In terms of self-employment)

In each question, check the answer that says what you feel comes closest to describing you. Be honest! This is for YOU!

1.    Am I a self-starter?
* I like to do things on my own. Nobody has to tell me to get going.
* Once someone gets me started, I can keep things going OK.
* Usually, people have to keep after me to get me moving.

2.    How do I feel about other people?
* I like other people. I can get along with just about anyone.
* I have a group of friends, and no one else matters.
* Most people bug me.

3.    How do I act as a leader?
* Usually I can get others to go along with me on things.
* I can give people orders.
* I like for others to get things going. Then I decide whether I want to join in.

4.    Do I take responsibility well?
* I like to take charge of things and see them through to the end.
* I’ll take over if necessary, but I’d rather someone else did.
* I usually try to get someone else to do the work.

5.    How good of a worker am I?
* I can keep going as long as I want. I don’t mind working hard.
* I work hard for a while, but when I’ve had enough, that’s it.
* I don’t think hard work necessarily gets you anywhere.

6.    Can people trust what I say?
* I don’t say things I don’t mean.
* I try to be on the level most of the time. Sometimes, though, I say whatever is easiest.
* If the other person doesn’t know the difference, why sweat it?

7.    Can I stick with it?
* If I make up my mind to do something, nothing stops me.
* I usually finish what I start – if it doesn’t gel fouled up.
* If it doesn’t go right, why beat your head against a wall? Give up.

8.    How do I usually handle an emergency?
* I step in and take charge.
* I help where l can.
* I panic and let someone else take over.

9.    How do I feel about asking for payment for my product?
* I feel comfortable, because I know my product is worth.
* I am uncomfortable asking, but I do it.
* I prefer to wait for the person to offer to pay.

10.   How good of an organizer am I with a new task?
* I prefer to plan it from beginning to end.
* I look at the general issues and start.
* I go for it and plan as I go.

11.   How do I react to new tasks?
* I love to brainstorm, create and implement something new.
* Once the brainstorming and creative part is done, I’m bored and have trouble following through.
* I like to implement something that has already been designed.

12.   How do I usually make decisions?
* I identify alternatives and research each one.
* I research the decision, but have difficulty making up my mind.
* I avoid making decisions whenever possible.

13.   Can I make good decisions?
* I can makeup my own quickly if I have the right information. It usually turns out OK.
* I can if I have plenty of time. If I have to decide fast, I later doubt my decision.
* I usually make spur-of-the-moment decisions and follow my gut level feeling at the moment.

14.   How do feel about competition?
* I work best when there is competition. It keeps me motivated.
* I prefer team efforts and want everyone to come out ahead.
* I don’t like competitive situations. They make me nervous.

15.   Can I influence other people?
* When I am right I can usually convince others.
* Sometimes I can influence others.
* Be reasonable; you can’t change someone else’s mind.

16.   What is my attitude toward success?
* If I work hard and plan well, I can succeed
* My success depends largely on others.
* Success is a matter of luck.

17.   What do I usually do when given a new task?
* I usually dig right in and get started.
* I do a little at a time.
* I procrastinate until the very last minute.

18.   What do I do when faced with failure?
* I usually try to come up with a new approach or angle.
* It shows me that I should stick to what works.
* I realize that I never should have tried in the first place and abandon the idea.

19.   How do I feel about failure?
* It’s a good learning experience.
* I avoid dealing with it at all costs.
* I take it as a personal rejection and retreat.

20.   How do I feel about meeting new people?
* I like being around new acquaintances and usually can get along well with people I’ve just met.
* I am uncomfortable if I am not with my friends.
* I hate meeting new people; usually I just don’t say anything when in a new group.

21.   How do I react to pressure?
* I work well under pressure; it keeps me moving.
* I don’t like pressure, but deal with it if I have to.
* I crumble under pressure.

22.   How good is my health?
* Great
* I have the energy to do most of the things I want to do.
* I tend to run out of juice.

Now count the checks you mode:
* How many are beside the first answer to the question?
* How many are beside the second answer?
* How many are beside the third?

We find people who check the first answers most frequently have many of the personality traits useful to entrepreneurs. If you have checked several third choices, you should consider developing new skills, or finding a business partner whose skills complement yours. You may even want to consider whether being in business for yourself is the right choice for you.

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