< Return to Guides


For some individuals or groups of people, creating their own income by being self-employed may be a better option than seeking an employer.  Being an entrepreneur–even part-time–does require careful planning and persistence just like work search.  For some individuals this option, in the long run, may be a better choice.

Startup business and marketing guru John Jantsch suggests you ask yourself these 10 questions:

1 – Can you create a product or service that fills a need you have?
2 – Is there already a proven market for what you want to do?
3 – Are there healthy competitors doing what you want to do?
4 – Can you find a way to stand out from others doing what you want to do?
5 – Can you leverage the Internet to generate low-cost leads?
6 – Can you make 200-300% profit on what you want to do?
7 – Can you sell a package rather than time?
8 – Is there a similar business you can go to work for?
9 – Can you start small and grow?
10 – Can you see what your picture perfect day in your business would look like in 3-5 years?

Here’s a place to begin exploring. Use this worksheet as a starting point for thinking about the feasibility of becoming an entrepreneur.  Talk with others as you complete this worksheet to consider the challenges, obstacles and possibilities, including discussions with your EaRN Coach and others in your area’s small business development community.


Also, EaRN host organizations also often have resource people who are entrepreneurs who can help you consider the challenges you may face.  And don’t forget the S.W.O.T. Analysis and Worksheet elsewhere in the website which can be useful in exploring this option.

Often folks considering self-employment think they have to do everything by themselves: not so.  Most communities in the US and Canada have resources and resource people to help one launch a new business.

Customers pay us directly for products and/or services.  Each individual’s employer implicitly makes a hiring decision every day, as at-will employment law is the standard in the US and Canada, and most free enterprise economies.  As a self-employed person, every customer’s relationship with you is dependent on their finding your product or service meeting their need sufficient enough that they find it of value, that is, they pay you for it directly.

When you get out of bed each morning and put your feet on the floor, start your day with the “exercise” or mantra, “Think Of Yourself As Self Employed”, and chant, TOY-A-SE!  And tell someone weekly, even daily, that this is your “career sustainability motto”.  Godspeed.


-Ken Soper, MA, MDiv, NCDA-recognized Master Career Counselor