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Determining Your Work Strengths + Goals

Is this the right place for you?

Now take some time to think through your work goals. Identifying your professional and financial needs and desires is key to establishing a vision for yourself and your business.

Keep in mind that, whereas your Personal Vision incorporates your friends and family, your work goals are more heavily weighted to what you want to get out of self-employment.

This section will help you focus on your critical strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for improving on and getting help in those areas presenting challenges.

Running a business is a demanding task. Seek assistance if you are unsure about your abilities and skills.

You’ll figure out what you need to prioritize and what kind of support you need to keep moving forward in your business once the program is over. Developing the necessary skills will provide your business with solid foundations.

Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

Learn about entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes and take a short quiz to learn a little more about your own preferences. This inventory is the first step to help you determine your potential for success as a self-employed, small business owner.


Reality Check

You might think that owning your own business is a big enough professional goal. But use this time to dive deeper into your professional needs and preferences.’

Think through the professional and financial considerations described below and answer the questions using the Note feature.

Tip: Writing out your answers is optional, but you may find that seeing your thoughts in print helps you pay more attention to them. Click "Take Notes" at the bottom of the screen and answer the questions as you go! You can review, download, and print the notes you take on the "Notes" page in the main menu bar.

How Do You Feel About Risk?

Many people operate on a hunch and then make a big bet that their instincts are correct. These are the value gamblers. On the other hand, some people make small bets, get valid market feedback, and based on what they learn, iterate and then make a slightly larger bet. These are the value investigators.

As tempting as it may be to go with your gut, you’re going to want to plan and prepare in order to balance the risks with the rewards.

Entrepreneurship often goes hand in hand with aggressiveness, risk-taking, and independence. But astute entrepreneurs survey the entrepreneurial landscape, take calculated risks, and work to reduce the risk factor through research and planning.


Ask Yourself

Do you approach risks with trepidation or with energy?


Reality Check Your Risk Tolerance

So how do you feel about risk? Have you ever really thought about it? You can use the list below to start analyzing your risk tolerance. Although the list isn’t comprehensive, it should jump-start your thinking. 

Risk Tolerance Poll

How Can You Minimize the Risk of Starting a New Venture?

Risk will always be a factor in starting and managing your business, but with proper planning, you can help mitigate risk. Here are some things you can do to minimize risk when starting a new business:

Take time to design, test, market, and develop and grow the market. A business often takes several years or more to break even. Some entrepreneurs have become millionaires or even billionaires in a few years. But instant success is rare. Taking the time to do your research and spend time planning your business will help you mitigate risk.

Build a skilled team. Seasoned entrepreneurs will tell you it’s incredibly important to build a team with the right mix of skills and expertise to build and run the business. They know the value of involving the right people in their business from the start to balance the risks of entrepreneurship.

Reach out. Seek assistance from trusted advisers, mentors, and outside professionals. This can help you avoid making expensive mistakes. Spend time talking with your customers and potential customers to get a better sense of their needs and challenges.

Start small. Experiment with your business idea on a small scale and gather customer feedback. This approach doesn’t mean your business must stay small. You may hope to build an international billion-dollar business, but testing the business concept on a limited basis at the beginning just makes good sense.

Plan and design your business. The process of writing a business plan helps you to determine whether your business has a market, can make a profit, and can provide you with what you need. With proper planning, you will reduce risks by replacing guesses and suppositions with facts and research. Good news: You’ll be working on your business plan throughout the course.

  • I am realistic about my ability to handle risk.
  • I believe in myself and my ability to tackle new challenges.
  • I can roll with the punches and find a way to succeed.
  • I am comfortable with a bit of ambiguity.

Question 1: Expertise, Skills, & Preference

What skills might I need others to bring to the table? In what areas do I plan on building my own expertise?

Many entrepreneurs buy the services of others in areas where they are weak. You must know your strengths and weaknesses in order to know when and where to hire outside help.

Tip: Click "Take Notes" below to answer this question! A template for your answers is already set up!


Next Steps

Next up, we will be looking a “a day in the life” of an entrepreneur. We’ll meet a successful small business owner who launched her business selling medical spa treatments, and grew from a solo operation in a rented room to Brick and Mortar (physical location) business which employs three people full time. She will speak candidly about her challenges in growing and running a business.


You probably discovered you’re more prepared than you thought you were. Now, what are you going to do about the areas where you could use some improvement? If these have more to do with skills than with attitudes and beliefs, they will be easier to master. For example, you can take a course in marketing, but it will be more difficult to change a deep-seated tendency to panic in crisis situations. Many entrepreneurs take on partners or hire staff who have the skills they lack. What will you do?

In your workbook on [page no], for each of the areas where you need to improve, list what you can do to compensate.

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!