Focus Area 1
Introducing Self-Employment Readiness
Self-employment is not as easy as hanging an “open for business” sign. Running a successful business requires more skills than delivering your product or service. You need to know how to market your business, keep track of your financials, and manage day-to-day operations. This chapter helps you figure out if self-employment is a good fit. It explores some common myths about self-employment. It then asks you to think critically about your ability to run a business.
Click through the tabs in this section to learn about self-employment readiness.
If you are unsure how to navigate this site, click on the Website Navigation heading at the very top of the page.
You can download a print-only version of Chapter 2: Self-Employment Readiness (PDF) for reference. You can download additional materials included with this chapter, including the Rate Your Entrepreneurial Potential Worksheet, Self-Reflection Worksheet, and Readiness Self-Assessment Worksheet.
Have you heard people say they should be self-employed because they don’t like working with others? This is just one myth about self-employment. To get a better picture of what self-employment involves, click on the Myths & Realities button below to explore some myths and realities of business ownership. Then, click on the Quiz Yourself button to check your understanding of the content.
Business Owner Traits
In general, business owners have passion, confidence, and self-discipline. They also have skills to manage money and keep track of many demands. This section explores business owner traits to help you figure out if self-employment is a good fit.
Click on the Entrepreneurial Potential button to learn about some self-assessments.
This section introduces the resources, skills, and accommodations you need to become self-employed. Some of the information will be built upon in later chapters.
Click on the Readiness Questions button to get started.
Before exploring a business idea, it is important to consider if self-employment is a good fit. This chapter covered:
- Some common myths about self-employment
- Traits of successful business owners
- Self-employment readiness
As you went through this chapter, you may have decided self-employment was not a good fit for you right now. That is okay. Self-employment is not a good fit for many people.
Click on the Prepare button to outline thoughts to share with your counselor about your readiness for self-employment.
Counselors, click on the Counselor Review button for additional information you might consider.
Then, check your understanding of the chapter material in Focus Area 2 (below).
Focus Area 2
Check Your Understanding
Read each of the three scenarios and think about why self-employment is a good fit or poor fit for Ann, Leroy, and Willard. Each scenario includes a quiz about that person's self-employment fit. Check your answers as you go through the quiz.
Scenario 1: Ann
Ann feels like a home-based online business would be a good fit for her sewing and alteration skills.
- Ann lives in a rural community with few job opportunities and limited public transportation. She cannot drive.
- Ann pays her bills using her SSDI monthly payment.
- She does not have much savings but says she can borrow money from her parents to cover some living costs, if needed.
- Ann pays her bills online and has good computer skills. She does not have any bookkeeping experience but would like training in this area.
- Ann’s disability makes it hard for her to work long days. She needs to rest before she becomes fatigued to manage her pain.
- Ann believes working from home will help her have the flexibility to rest when she needs to.
Scenario 2: Leroy
Leroy has an erratic work history, but is a skilled car mechanic.
- Most of his past jobs lasted a short time. He usually quit due to disagreements with his boss or other employees when they told him what to do.
- Leroy feels like self-employment would be a good option because he can work for himself, set his own hours, and call the shots.
- He is not trained in business accounting, but has strong math skills and could take on most of the business management tasks.
- He has some savings, enough to last about one year.
- Leroy has a mental disability that causes him to have significant mood swings. He is currently on a new medication that appears to be effective.
- Leroy has a criminal record related to partner violence. He currently lives alone.
Scenario 3: Willard
Willard is passionate about cooking and would like to start his own food cart.
- He has some restaurant experience but was stressed by the hectic pace and need to multi-task. He has mostly worked in entry-level kitchen positions.
- Willard does not have business management experience.
- He is not good at math and has passable computer skills.
- Willard would probably need help with day-to-day accounting activities and with maintaining inventories.
- He has enough savings to cover his personal expenses for six months, but is unsure of other sources of funds.