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This week’s guest post comes with a slick infographic. While the infographic is a fun way to self-assess your own motivation as a business owner, I know serious business owners aren’t going to let an infographic push them around. So enjoy the exercise (there’s always room for improvement), but don’t let it go to your head. -Seth-

ownerSo you want to ditch the nine-to-five life and be your own boss, but how do you know if you have what it takes to be a success on your own? You might be surprised to learn that the deck is mostly stacked against you, but if you have the right motivation you can deal yourself a winning hand.

Since the recession in 2005, self-employment rates have dropped but they are expected to be on the rise again. Small businesses are still the backbone of our great country and most of those were started by the self-employed.

But the numbers are pretty dismal since eight out of every ten new businesses fail in the first two years. Most often they simply run out of money, but often they crash and burn right from the top, self-sabotage through founder dysfunction. That’s right, the boss!

Forbes gives these five reasons why new businesses often end up in the tank:

  1. Not in touch with their customers
  2. Lack of any unique value
  3. Failure to communicate
  4. Leadership breakdown
  5. Lack of a profitable business model

Maybe your boss makes it look easy, but it is actually a lot tougher than it looks especially when you are in charge of yourself. In order to be successful, you must be:

  • A self starter
  • Motivated
  • Able to sell yourself
  • Equipped to balance your energy
  • Able to manage your time
  • Willing and able to value every customer experience

Even if you don’t have all these skills, it doesn’t mean that you are a “bad worker”, some people function better as part of a team. Others are more productive if they are in a structured environment. Some people are leaders and some are followers, not everyone can be the boss.

Much in the same way that some learn better by listening, others would rather read instructions and there are those that like to take a more hands on approach.

So do you have what it takes to be your own boss?

Using the infographic below, you can do a quick tally to see if you are best suited to stay in your current position or if you would be more successful as your own boss. Answer all the questions honestly, keep your score and compare your results with the recommendations at the end.

Be truthful, no one knows you better than yourself. By looking deeper into each of these categories you can better see where your strengths are weaknesses lie. Where do you excel and what areas are in need of improvement?

  • Time Management – are you a mover and a shaker or a slacker
  • Motivation – do you leap out of bed or hit the snooze bar
  • Organization – are you tidy or trashy
  • Spending Habits – a miser or a spendthrift
  • Self-Promotion – introvert or extrovert
  • Customer Relations – do you enjoy communicating or avoid interaction

Thanks to this infographic, designed in part by Gryffin.com, you can take this test to see if you should be writing a new business plan or if you are better off punching a time clock: