The Harvard Business Review posted a test this week, “Should You Be an Entrepreneur?”

The test of 20 questions was created by the author of the article, Daniel Isenberg, who is a professor of management practice at Babson College.

I thought it would be fun to pose these questions to those of you who are entrepreneurs, like myself, or to those of you who are considering taking the leap to starting your own business.

Here they are:

  1. I don’t like being told what to do by people who are less capable than I am.
  2. I like challenging myself.
  3. I like to win.
  4. I like being my own boss.
  5. I always look for new and better ways to do things.
  6. I like to question conventional wisdom.
  7. I like to get people together in order to get things done.
  8. People get excited by my ideas.
  9. I am rarely satisfied or complacent.
  10. I can’t sit still.
  11. I can usually work my way out of a difficult situation.
  12. I would rather fail at my own thing than succeed at someone else’s.
  13. Whenever there is a problem, I am ready to jump right in.
  14. I think old dogs can learn — even invent — new tricks.
  15. Members of my family run their own businesses.
  16. I have friends who run their own businesses.
  17. I worked after school and during vacations when I was growing up.
  18. I get an adrenaline rush from selling things.
  19. I am exhilarated by achieving results.
  20. I could have written a better test than Isenberg (and here is what I would change ….)

According to Isenberg, if you answered “yes” to 17 or more of these questions, you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I can tell you this. I passed this test with flying colors!

I’m interested in getting your feedback on the questions. Do you think they are a good test of entrepreneurship?

How did you do on the test and what does that say about you?

I couldn’t help but notice #18, “I get an adrenaline rush from selling things”. This is definitely true for me, but what I believe is important for an entrepreneur is not necessarily getting a rush from selling things, but  having the confidence and passion to sell YOURSELF . When you own your own business, you are not selling someone else’s products or services. You are selling YOU.

Your thoughts?

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  • Denise Starrett

    Thanks for sharing the list and getting the discussion going on this. I think the list gets to some of the deeper motivations towards entrepreneurship and away from working for someone else. On a day when self promotion isn’t coming easy, remembering those deeper motivations – any one of them- can help focus energy on the big why. It was interesting going through the list and noticing my energy for each. For me, any “rush” in selling something comes not in the transaction itself but through the process of helping someone invest in themselves through what I offer.

  • Denise,
    I love your thoughts about selling your services! It’s true that when you focus on how you can help someone, it makes it much easier to talk about what you have to offer.

  • Great questions – questions that every person who considers going into business for themselves should read before jumping into a full-time self-employment type venture.

    On #20… I’d change the wording on question #1. Most of us entrepreneurs do not like to be told what to do (we don’t like to have a boss), regardless whether they know more than us or not… perhaps that’s why I spent the past 20 years owning businesses or managing others’ businesses (this later one, only for 3.5 years)

    Great post!

  • Lois Glasgow Brusven

    I loved this article and I answered YES to all of the above. I have a very hard time with #1, although I respect those that have more knowledge and experience than I. Thank you so much for posting!