“So, You Want To Be An Entrepreneur”

Ted Fishman, author of the best seller China, Inc, told me once that there are approximately 85 million private enterprises in China. The absolute number shocked me, but I was even more shocked when he told me that there are more than three times as many private companies in China as there are in the United States.

Having lived in China for the past 15 years, I suppose that I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Entrepreneurialism is in the air it seems. The Chinese are among the most entrepreneurial people in the world, and any expatriate that comes here wants to start a business within three weeks of stepping off the plane.

Entrepreneurialism is very topical in this time of global financial crisis. Job counselors in the United States are advising unemployed executives to consider the option of starting a business, rather than merely going on to the next job. Based on the e-mails that I receive, I know that many readers of MTD are already entrepreneurs or are thinking of starting a new business. And I, of course, plead guilty to catching the entrepreneurial bug many years ago.

For all these reasons, I found the recent Wall Street Journal article, So, You Want To Be an Entrepreneur, very interesting, and thought I would pass along the link to our readers. The article encourages would-be entrepreneurs to answer 10 questions before taking the plunge.

Thinking about starting a business? Make sure you’re cut out for it first.

Here, then, are 10 questions to ask to see whether you’re up for the challenge of entrepreneurship.

1. Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk?

2. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for potentially many years?

3. Is your significant other on board?

4. Do you like all aspects of running a business?

5. Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook?

6. What’s your track record of executing your ideas?

7. How persuasive and well-spoken are you?

8. Do you have a concept you’re passionate about?

9. Are you a self-starter?

10. Do you have a business partner?

The questions by themselves are very illuminating, but I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.

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