Self Assessment

Personality Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs run businesses, but business owners are not always entrepreneurs. Among many other talents, entrepreneurs usually have vision and an ability to inspire others. Instead of "Business as usual", entrepreneurs look for alternative ways to generate revenue, lower overhead, decrease operating costs, and make new contacts. The following list are some of the common personality traits of successful entrepreneurs.


Most important for success as an entrepreneur:

  • Perseverance
  • Desire and willingness to take the initiative
  • Competitiveness
  • Self-reliance
  • A strong need to achieve
  • Self-confidence
  • Good physical health


Important for success as an entrepreneur:

  • A willingness to take risks
  • A high level of energy
  • An ability to get along with employees
  • Versatility
  • A desire to create
  • Innovation


Least important for success as an entrepreneur:

  • Ability to lead effectively
  • A willingness to tolerate uncertainty
  • A strong desire for money
  • Patience
  • Being well organized
  • A need for power
  • A need to closely associate with others

Entrepreneurial Assessment

Many people wishing to become small business owners ask themselves whether they really could. The following questionnaire will help you evaluate your entrepreneurial aptitude. You may want to grab a cup of your favorite beverage as this quiz is comprised of 50 questions. Results will be calculated when you complete all the questions.

1.     Are you prepared to make sacrifices in your family life and take a cut in pay to succeed in business?
2.     Are you the kind of individual that once you decide to do something, you'll do it and nothing can stop you?
3.     When you begin a task, do you set clear goals and objectives for yourself?  
4.     When faced with a stalemated situation in a group meeting, are you usually the one who breaks the log jam and gets the ball rolling again?
5.     Do you commonly seek the advice of people who are older and more experienced than you are?
6.     When you do a good job, are you satisfied in knowing personally that the job has been well done?
7.     Are you a good loser?
8.     After a severe setback in a project, are you able to pick up the pieces and start over again?
9.     Do you like the feeling of being in charge of other people?
10.   Do you enjoy working on projects which you know will take 5-10 years to complete successfully?
11.   Have you previously been involved in starting things like service clubs, community organizations, fund raising projects, etc.?
12.   Did your parents or grandparents ever own their own business?
13.   When you think of your future do you ever envision yourself running your own business?
14.   Do you make suggestions about how things might be improved on your job?
15.   Are you usually able to come up with more than one way to solve a problem?
16.   Are you between 25 and 40 years of age?
17.   Do you worry about what others think of you?
18.   Do you take risk for the thrill of it?
19.   Do you find it easy to get others to do something for you?
20.   Has someone in your family shared his/her experience in starting a business with you?
21.   Do you believe in organizing your tasks before getting started?
22.   Do you get sick often?
23.   Do you enjoy doing something just to prove you can?
24.   Have you ever been fired from a job?
25.   Do you find yourself constantly thinking up new ideas?
26.   Do you prefer to let a friend decide on your social activities?
27.   Were you a very good student?
28.   Did you run with a group in high school?
29.   Did you participate in school activities and sports?
30.   Do you like to take care of details?
31.   Will you deliberately seek a direct confrontation to get needed results?
32.   Were you the firstborn child?
33.   Were you expected to do odd jobs at home before 10 years of age?
34.   Can you concentrate on one subject for extended periods of time?
35.   Does personal satisfaction mean more to you than having money to spend on yourself?
36.   Do you try to find the benefits in a bad situation?
37.   Do you blame others when something goes wrong?
38.   Do you enjoy tackling a task without knowing all the potential problems?
39.   Do you persist when others tell you it can't be done?
40.   Are you likely to work long hours to accomplish a goal?
41.   Do you enjoy being able to make your own decisions on the job?
42.   Can you accept failure without admitting defeat?
43.   Do you have a savings account and other personal investments?
44.   Do you strive to use past mistakes as a learning process?
45.   Are you more people oriented than goal oriented?
46.   Do you prefer to be a loner when making a final decision?
47.   Do your conversations discuss people more than events or ideas?
48.   Do you feel good about yourself in spite of criticism by others?
49.   Do you sleep as little as possible?
50.   Did you have your own paper route?

Conduct a Personal Analysis

Starting and running a business requires an assortment of skills. At minimum you should understand basic financial statements. You should also be prepared to learn new skills or hire professionals as required. Most new entrepreneurs benefit from instruction on bookkeeping, marketing & sales, and time management. You should consider conducting a personal assessment to inventory your skills.


In strategic planning for projects and business ventures, a SWOT analysis looks for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This format can be used for a personal SWOT analysis. Strengths and Weaknesses headings would list specific business relevant skills. Opportunities and Threats are personal issues as they relevant to your ability to do business. Although not defined as skills, these last two headings are included in most business plans. These pages are for your personal use, so be honest with yourself. Leave space for additions, modifications and action items so you can update your SWOT as your entrepreneurial skill-set grows. The following is a sample of the kinds of entries your SWOT may contain if you were thinking of opening a widget store.



Excellent written communication skills (useful to write ads, sales letters, etc)

Good with math (useful to quickly estimate cost, pricing, discounts, etc)

Good with customer relations (useful to gain loyal customers)

Excellent computer graphic design skills (useful to design ads, website, letterhead, etc)




No bookkeeping knowledge (ACTION:check for local evening classes)

Procrastination / time management (ACTION:look for time management course and buy a day planner)




Lots of social media friends (useful to help promote the widget store)

Billy’s friend Sue does the purchasing for Mega Industries Inc. (ACTION: get to know Sue)

Uncle Tim won the lottery (potential investor? ACTION: ask)




Unable to work store due to recurring knee problem