As of January 2018, one-third of the American workforce is comprised of small business owners, contractors, or freelancers. Independents represent a rapidly-growing sector, expected by some experts to rise to one-half of the workforce in the next decade. Considering this trend, starting a business or a “side hustle” makes a certain kind of sense.
For the self-directed individual, entrepreneurship can offer an opportunity to express oneself that can be elusive in conventional work. This is particularly true among those of us who thrive when allowed to direct a project on our own terms or crave flexibility to invest time in our families or creative hobbies, like painting and woodworking.
If you feel an itch to start a business but aren’t sure you possess the temperament or personality for it, take this Short Quiz to see. After you take the quiz, reference the Scoring Guidelines below to find out how likely you are to be content hanging out your shingle.
Before you look at the scoring...
...keep in mind that everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur. People who are more comfortable with risk and able to direct themselves in their work with less oversight are going to embrace it more easily, but ANYONE can build the skills of an entrepreneur.
The key is to check in with yourself about the tasks and activities you don't enjoy and delegate these responsibilities. Surround yourself with other professionals who love to do the things you hate and seek mentorship from the people leading businesses you admire and seek to emulate. Don't be afraid to ask for their help and guidance. No one, not even Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey, got where they are entirely on their own.
If you feel like there are entrepreneurial skills you are lacking, take courses at a small business development center or seek out small business coaching. If you're thinking about starting a food, body care or wellness supplement product, consider signing up for the Soul Search to Startup Mastermind with organic food entrepreneurship consultant Victor Willis of Campbeltown Consulting and myself.
7 Points or more = ENTREPRENEUR
[You are born to be an entrepreneur and unlikely to enjoy working for others unless they give you a lot of latitude.]
5 to 6 Points = ENTREPRENEURIAL POTENTIAL
[You have the potential to grow into an entrepreneurial role, but you may think about pursuing a profession that is a hybrid of entrepreneurship and working for someone else, like real estate.]
4 Points or fewer = EMPLOYEE | ENTREPRENEUR IN TRAINING
[You are more likely to enjoy working for someone else, but you can still build your entrepreneurial chops with classes, mentorship, coaching and self-study (and watch Shark Tank!)]
If you discovered you are a born entrepreneur or believe you have the potential to grow into one, read at least one of these books to gauge your interest in—and constitution for—being your own boss:
If none of these speak to you, then entrepreneurship may not your cup of tea. It can offer outstanding rewards and creative freedom but also requires hours of hard work, a taxing schedule, and a certain comfort level with risk. Nothing feels as good as being your own boss, though, so certainly give yourself the space to consider it.
© Spark a Career, LLC