Are You Suited for Self-employment?

A recent poll conducted by Yahoo! Small Business showed that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans have considered starting their own business. In fact, of more than 2,200 adults surveyed, over half (51 percent) said they would like to launch their small business within the next 5 years.

Clearly, entrepreneurship is a part of the American Dream. But is everyone suited to being his or her own boss? Here's a 10-question quiz that can give you a quick idea of your chance for success if you decide to go out on your own. Keep track of the score on a separate sheet of paper. Be honest. Give yourself a "2" for every "yes" answer, a "1" for every "somewhat" and a "0" for every "no".

1. Are you organized? Do you like to make lists and prioritize your day?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

2. Are you task-oriented? Can you focus on a specific task until it's completed? Or do you frequently leave things unfinished?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

3. Are you comfortable working with a personal computer? Do you have good computer skills?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

4. Are you goal oriented? Do you have a 1-, 3- and 5-year plans for where you want to be?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

5. Do you have a wide network of friends and colleagues from previous organizations you've worked for, or schools and organizations you belong to? [ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

6. Are you comfortable serving other people? Have you ever worked in a service role before?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

7. Would you characterize yourself as friendly, cheerful, and easy to get along with?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

8. Would you say that you have a marketable skill that is needed by other people or companies?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

9. Are you willing to work extra hours at night or on weekends to meet deadlines or to make more money?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

10. Is making money and being financially secure more important to you than having "status" symbols like a fancy office, expensive car or a big title?
[ ] Yes [ ] Somewhat [ ] No

Your score:

Okay, add up the total. Remember, you should have given yourself a "2" for every "yes" answer, a "1" for every "somewhat" and a "0" for every "no".

11-20 = You're definitely suited for self-employment.

6-10 = You may be suited for it, but should learn more and work on your skill set and service orientation.

0-5 = Don't leave your day job.

Self-employment isn't for everyone. It often requires a highly-motivated, self-starter type of person who would gladly work long hours each day because they love what they're doing. If you're that type of person? maybe it IS time to break free and live your dream.

Barnaby Kalan is an award-winning freelance copywriter and author of Outsourcing Yourself: How to Turn Your Job Into a Business for Greater Wealth and Security. For a free chapter of his book, visit

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