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What are the Traits and Skills Necessary for Success as a Self-Employed Entrepreneur?


– Starting a Business

Creating your own business from an idea requires a high degree of motivation and a certain tolerance for taking risks. There are no guarantees in taking an idea from a vision to reality, but it does require an ability to analyze and evaluate the potential risks, and based on a carefully calculated plan, take a certain leap of faith.

Possessing the right traits and skills alone will not guarantee success; do you have the right combination of attributes that makes you more likely to successfully own and operate a business?

The characteristics that appear most frequently among successful small business owners include:

Motivation Consists Of:

Responsibility, enthusiasm, initiative, persistence and health.

Cognitive Abilities Consists Of:

Originality, creativity, critical and analytical thinking.

Emotional Intelligence Consists Of:

Emotional stability, ability to relate to others and respond appropriately, consideration, cooperation and professionalism.

Communications Skills Consist Of:

Verbal comprehension and expression, and written comprehension and expression.

Technical Knowledge Consists Of:

The individual’s complete level of understanding and expertise which results from accumulated experience and training. This technical expertise is often what sets you apart from your business competition and is the foundation of creating a unique market niche.


Self-assessment quizzes can be a useful tool to evaluate your entrepreneurial skills and characteristics.  It is important to keep in mind that the results of free online quizzes may not be as accurate as assessments administered by professionals.  The following quizzes are best used as guides to measure your obvious strengths and challenges with regards to entrepreneurship, and to point out skills you may need to focus on developing.
Please complete 3 entrepreneurial assessments, to discover qualities that successful self-employed people tend to possess. These qualities include family support (both emotional and financial), adaptability, problem solving ability, and persistence, to name but a few. This information will help to become aware with what is involved in becoming successfully self-employed. The companion workbook will help you to develop a well-thought-out business concept.


Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Assess your temperament online using the Kiersey Temperament Sorter.


Multiple Intelligences Quiz

A tool presented by Canada Job Bank to help you measure your thinking style.  This quiz evaluates your personality traits, motivations, aptitudes and attitudes.


YMCA Entrepreneurial Skills Inventory

Download the YMCA Inventory Worksheet

Please follow the instructions on the worksheet.

As an entrepreneur, it is very important to develop self­ awareness



Questions to Ask Yourself



Download Self SWOT Analysis Worksheet


Many studies have identified the traits and skills common in successful business owners. Although entrepreneurs may come from a variety of social-economic backgrounds, they share a common desire to work for themselves, along with other traits, such as assertiveness and a high degree of self-confidence. It makes sense – if you’re investing a tremendous amount of your own money and time, you need to feel strongly that success is achievable.

Next Steps

Think you might not be ready for self-employment now?

Consider where you are in your life, what kinds of responsibilities you have, as well as resources available. For many people, although entrepreneurship is a desire, the timing may not be right. Self-employment programming has shown that close to half of participants have been over the age of 45, many of them retired. For those who discover that self-employment is not a viable option at this time, knowledge of other work options available and/or a review of some services may be helpful (Career Planning Workshop, etc.).

Tip: You can't move on to the next lesson in the workshop until you've marked the current one complete. When you click "Mark Complete" you'll automatically be taken to the next Lesson!