These entrepreneur questions were originally prepared by Shaf Rasul (Author of Secrets of a Serial Entrepreneur). Shay is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Dragon on the BBC Online Dragons Den.

Here is a series of questions to ask yourself to determine if you are really cut out to be an entrepreneur.

Try to do the quiz as honestly as you can and mark the answers that you have given. Then check them out with someone at work or at home who knows you well to see if they confirm your view of yourself. Getting this kind of feedback from a third party is invaluable. Chose someone you trust, ideally two or three people, and ask them to be as honest as possible.

1. Are you a self starter?

a.  Absolutely.
b.  I prefer a bit of guidance at first to be sure I’m doing the 
right thing.
c.  No; when I think about it I like someone else to take the 
lead.

An entrepreneur has to be motivated and confident enough to take the initiative in business. If you answered b you may be looking for a mentor, if c then you could probably do with a lead partner. An entrepreneur has to be motivated and confident enough to take the initiative in business. If you answered b you may be looking for a mentor, if c then you could probably do with a lead partner.

2. Do you find yourself looking at ways of doing things and thinking ‘I could do it better’?

a.  All the time.
b.  In my specialist field, yes.
c.  Not really.

The most successful entrepreneurs are constantly assessing the efficiency of the operations around them and looking for opportunities to take something better to the market.

3. Do you have a lot of ideas?


a.  Yes, I never stop thinking
b.  No, but I have one or two that I follow through on
c.  Not really, but I’m good at developing other people’s ideas.

An entrepreneur has lots of ideas, even if not all are good, simply because they are constantly questioning. If you answered b you may be more an inventor than an entrepreneur, if c then you are probably a good team member but not necessarily ready to take the lead.

4. Can you make the most of a team? 

a.  Yes, I love the buzz of a team when it ‘clicks’.
b.  I prefer to work alone.
c.  I love working with my colleagues but shy away from setting the agenda.

A good entrepreneur knows how to make teams work for them; if you answered b and can’t or won’t work with others then you limit your own scope and therefore your ambitions. If you answered c then you need to think more about your role as a team player or team leader.

5. Are you afraid of risk?

a.  Nope, I don’t think about it.
b.  Of course – everybody measures risks before making 
decisions.
c.  If I’m honest my fear of risk probably holds me back.

There’s a fine line between recklessness and boldness, but overall the more you fear risk the less likely you are to be agile in making business decisions. The story of most successful entrepreneurs involves making snap decisions (and the right ones) despite the risks.

6 How do you feel about failure?

a.  It happens; I’ll learn the lessons and move on.
b.  Certainly something to be avoided wherever possible.
c.  I would be mortified to fail at something.

Failure is part and parcel of business, so examine your attitudes. Having no fear at all may simply mean you haven’t understood what’s at stake but if you don’t accept that there will be some failure at some point then you probably won’t take your chances when they present themselves.

7. What are you prepared to sacrifice to get to where you want to go?

a.  Everything!
b.  My time and what funds I have available.
c.  Realistically, my family time is precious and I would never 
risk their financial stability.

You don’t have to be prepared to throw everything away to make it but it’s important now to understand your own limits before you find yourself up against them. There’s no doubt that a driving ambition comes at a price in both time and money. What are you prepared to pay? Knowing your limits is essential.

8. How organized are you?

a.  Totally.
b.  I get most things done I need to.
c.  I’m a creative genius, why would I need to be organized?

As well as self-confidence and drive you need to keep a grip on organization, whether that means your own personal schedule or that of your business(es). Don’t think that this is some art form you can make up as you go, if you aren’t disciplined enough to organize the smallest details then you’ll need help from someone who is.

[Image: Flickr user Dennis Brekke]