Testing Your Entrepreneurial IQ
By Eric Tyson, author of "Investing For Dummies" Many people dream about running their own companies — and for good reason. If you start your own business, you can pursue something that you’re passionate about, and you have more control over how you do things. Plus, successful business owners can reap major economic bounties. But tales of entrepreneurs becoming multimillionaires focus attention on the financial rewards without revealing the business and personal challenges and costs associated with being in charge. Consider what your company has to do well to survive and succeed in the competitive business world: ✓ Develop products and services that customers will purchase ✓ Price your offerings properly and promote them ✓ Deal with the competition ✓ Manage the accounting ✓ Interpret lease contracts and evaluate office space ✓ Stay current with changes in your field ✓ Hire, train, and retain good employees Business owners also face personal and emotional challenges, which rarely get airtime among all the glory of the rags-to-riches tales of multimillionaire entrepreneurs. Major health problems, divorces, fights and lawsuits among family members who are in business together, the loss of friends, and even suicides have been attributed to the passions of business owners who are consumed with winning or become overwhelmed by their failures. I’m not trying to scare you, but I do want you to be realistic about starting your own business. The keys to success and enjoyment as an entrepreneur vary as much as the businesses do. But if you can answer yes to most of the following questions, you probably have the qualities and perspective needed to succeed as a small-business owner:
- Are you a self-starter? Do you like challenges? Are you persistent?
- Do you value independence and self-control?
- Can you develop a commitment to an idea, a product, or a principle?
- Are you willing to make financial sacrifices and live a reduced lifestyle before and during your early entrepreneurial years?
- Do you recognize that when you run your own business, you must still report to bosses?
- Can you withstand rejection, naysayers, and negative feedback?
- Are you able to identify your shortcomings and hire or align yourself with people and organizations that complement your skills and expertise?
- Do you deal well with ambiguity? Do you believe in yourself?
- Do you understand why you started the business or organization and how you personally define success?
- Can you accept lack of success in the early years of building your business?
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