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Business Acquisition, Business Ownership

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Ever wonder if you have the stuff to succeed in your own business?  To find out, take this eye opening test developed by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.  It is based upon studies that reveal common characteristics among entrepreneurs.

The test cannot predict your success, but it can give you an idea of your potential -- and help you decide whether you really want to take the leap and open your own business!

As you take this test, add and subtract your score.  Then check your total at the end to see whether you fit the entrepreneur profile.

  1. Significantly high number of entrepreneurs (45%) are children of first generation Americans.  If your parents were immigrants, give yourself 1 point.  If not, subtract 1 point.
  2. Successful entrepreneurs were not , as a rule, top achievers in school.  If you were a top student subtract 4.  If not, add 4.
  3. Entrepreneurs were not, as a rule, enthusiastic about participating in group activities in school.  If you enjoyed group activities like school clubs, team sports or double dates, subtract 1.  If not, add 1.
  4. Entrepreneurs often prefer to be alone as youngsters.  Did you? If yes add 1.  If not subtract1.
  5. Those who started childhood enterprises or ran for office at school can add 2 because ambition can usually be traced to an early age.  Those who didn't start childhood businesses should subtract 2.
  6. Stubbornness as a child seems to translate into determination to do things one's own way -- a hallmark of entrepreneurs.  If you were a stubborn child add 1.  If not subtract 1.
  7. Unwillingness to take risks can handicap those headed for uncharted waters. Were you a cautious youngster?  If yes, subtract 4.  If no, add 4.
  8. If you were daring add 4 more.
  9. Entrepreneurs often pursue different paths regardless of what others think.  If the opinion of others matters a lot to you, subtract 1.  If they don't, add1.
  10. Entrepreneurs often start a business because they're tired of daily routine.  If that's your motivation, add 2.  If not, subtract 2.
  11. If you really enjoy work, are you willing to work overnight?  If yes add 2.  If no subtract 6.
  12. If you'd be willing to work "as long as it takes" with little or no sleep to finish a job, add 4 more.
  13. Entrepreneurs generally enjoy their work so much that they move non-stop from one project to another.  When you complete a project successfully, do you immediately start another? If yes, add 2. If no, subtract 2.
  14. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to use their savings at the outset of a project.  If you'd be willing to spend your money to start a business add 2.  If not, subtract 2.
  15. If you'd be willing to borrow from others too, add 2 more.  If not, subtract 2.
  16. If your business fails, will you immediately work to start another?  If yes, add 4.  If no, subtract 4.
  17. If you'd immediately start seeking a good paying job, subtract 1 more.
  18. Do you believe entrepreneurs are "risky"?  If yes, subtract 3.  If no, add 2.
  19. Many entrepreneurs put long-term and short-term goals in writing.  If you do, add 1.  If you don't, subtract 1.
  20. Handling cash flow cab be critical to success in your own business.  If you believe you have more knowledge and experience with cash flow than most people, add 2.  If not, subtract 2.
  21. Entrepreneurial personalities seem easily bored. If that describes you, add 2.  If not, subtract 2.


35 or more: You have everything going for you and ought to achieve spectacular entrepreneurial success -- unless you're stopped by things beyond your control.

15 to 35:  Your background, skills, and talents give you an excellent chance for success in your own business.

0 to 15:  You ought to be successful in a business of your own if you apply yourself and learn the necessary skills.

0 to -15:  You might be able to make a go of it on your own, but you would have to work extra hard to make up for a lack of built-in advantages and skills that give other entrepreneurs a head start.

-15 to -43:  Is building your own business really what you want to do?  Your talents probably lie elsewhere and you may be happier if you are working for somebody else.

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