STAGE 1Self-Assessment

That degree in business or finance or accounting definitely looks good on your résumé. You’ve also got an MBA? Well done. You’re probably qualified for a job at a great company.

If you’re looking to build a company from scratch, however, you’ll need a lot more than book smarts. In fact, being too thoughtful or analytical is likely to keep you from making the fast decisions that are required to keep a new company afloat. But if you hate your job or your boss, don’t fit in, or can’t compete with your peers because of a learning disability—if you have this idea for a business but your friends and family think you’re crazy to pursue it—congratulations. You might have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. But before you make your move, you must look deep into your character and gauge whether you can really juggle an endless number of competing demands and are armed with the traits that mark the successful entrepreneur, a whole other species of businessperson. Some of you will have no other choice than to give it a go.

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