If you want to determine if there’s an entrepreneur, franchise or otherwise, locked inside you waiting to emerge, take these two self-assessment tests. I came across the basic idea for the following technique from the Five O’Clock Club, the nation’s leading job and career-coaching company. (I am proud to be a member of their Coaching Guild, and I use their methodologies in my career coaching.) Their technique is very adaptable to potential entrepreneurs.
“Assess Your Accomplishments” Quiz
Answer the following question: What are five things you have done in your life that are your most noteworthy accomplishments?
You can list professional accomplishments as well as personal ones, and you can go back as far as you want in your life — don’t limit yourself to adulthood. Ideally, come up with a list of twenty-five accomplishments, then pare them down to the top five.
Reflecting on the accomplishments you chose, what characteristics and traits of your personality enabled you to accomplish what you did?
“Assess Your Failures” Quiz
Answer the following question: What are the five things you have done in your life that are your most noteworthy failures (business and/or personal)?
Reflecting on the failures and disappointments you chose, what characteristics and traits of your personality allowed these things to occur?
Questions to Reflect On
Spend an hour or more (but not less) reflecting on these exercises and answer the following questions:
- What do your accomplishments reveal about you and your personality?
- What do your failures and disappointments reveal about you and your personality?
- What traits do you possess that would be important for success as an entrepreneur?
- What traits do you possess that could potentially cause you problems or failure as an entrepreneur?
- Do you see any gaps between what you believe are the critical success factors of business ownership and the traits you’ve demonstrated when at your best? What are you missing?
A little self-reflection about how you have engaged success and failure in the past before starting a business can make it less — or more — scary, but either way, the questions are important to ask. Self-reflection is the most important step in determining whether you are running toward or away from something in the process of deciding whether to become a business owner.
Unfortunately, too many people are caught up in the excitement and momentum of what they think entrepreneurship entails, and they don’t properly assess their strengths and weaknesses, unique life situation, and alternatives. From these exercises, you may already have a good idea which ones you possess and which ones you need to work on.
Mitchell York is a Professional Certified Coach, small business entrepreneur, and author of Franchise: Freedom or Fantasy? How to Know If a Franchise Is Right for You After Your Corporate Career. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and information about his book is available at www.franchisefreedomorfantasy.com. Mitch also blogs at www.e2ecoaching.com.