Posted by: hmchang | January 21, 2008

Entrepreneurship: Five Questions for Entrepreneurs

In the Entrepreneurship class, we are asked to come up with five questions to ask another people so that you can evaluate whether he/she is an entrepreneur or not. Obviously, anyone can come up with several creative questions to ask and probe some information out of their answers for evaluation. Here are the five questions I come up with:

1. Please describe your typical day.

If one is excited about his day, he would explain his typical day with excitement. Also, an entrepreneurship tends to sleep less and work more (I guess?) and tends to get up earlier in the morning. Understanding a typical day of others also help evaluate whether it is easy to get along well with this person – if he works efficiently at night while you are most energetic during daytime.

2. How do you see yourself in 10 years?

The one who can precisely describe where he/she will stand in the future tends to be able to move there eventually. Being able to describe what you want to be in 10 years is not an easy task – but an ambitious person who knows what he wants to do should have no problem answering this question. Depending on what he/she plans to be in 10 years, I would evaluate what he/she needs to do now to get there and see if there’s anything I can help to make him achieve his dream.

3. Please describe your best and worst team work experience.

Team work is critical in any startup. Being an entrepreneurs should be a good team player. It is interesting to know “why” he thinks that was the best or the worst team experience he had. I would also be interested in knowing how can he re-create a successful team experience by asking (“What do you think is the most important factor in this great team work”) and how can he avoid the worst team experience again.

4. What are the things that you definitely don’t want to do in your life?

Knowing what you don’t want to do is as important as knowing what you want to do. The answer to this question may be very abstract – from the philosophy one has to the career goal he/she wants to pursue. If he knows himself and understand well that he is not good in certain aspect, than he definitely need to team up with someone who can complement this talent.

5. Please describe one of the most important decisions you have made in your life.

Important decisions are many times make with struggle and so do how many business decisions are made. It is interesting to know, when making an important decision, what procedures did he take. Did he consult family, friends or significant others? Did he look up on the internet and search for suggestions? How long does it take to make the decision? How does he evaluate the most important decisions. In the future, there are more important decisions to make and knowing one’s decision-making process definitely helps.

Perhaps many of my questions are for looking for a teammate instead of evaluating whether he/she is an entrepreneur or not. Eventually, I think entrepreneurs are proven from DOING, not from SAYING. That might be the most important thing I want to see in an entrepreneur.

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