Author: Becky Bruso
You might wonder why it is so important to know thyself when starting out a business. I met with a fellow entrepreneur who encouraged me to identify my core capabilities before I even began to decide what I could offer. I wanted to start a consulting business to offer services to help small businesses start, build, and grow.
My thinking was very broad and lacked the focus on my core capabilities. In other words, what are the top 3 things I can do really well and translate these into a valuable service offering for small businesses? Simple idea, but takes thought and preparation to put into practice.
As entrepreneurs, we get so caught up in weaving an idea; it is easy to forget where our strengths are. This is very important as you might consider a prospective business only for the profit it might make. The real question to pose to yourself is: Can you see yourself in the day to day minutia of actually running it? This is where the rubber meets the road with your personality traits and skills. This match must be there or your soul, and perhaps personal relationships and finances end up swallowed whole by your business.
In taking a look at my core capabilities, I wanted to share my process and the top 3 things I think work when trying to know thy entrepreneurial self.
1.) Think about all your past jobs/businesses and identify what you were good at in each of these noting whether or not you enjoyed it, too.
2.) Take a personality trait test to discover your central tendencies, if you don’t already know these.
3.) Compare the results of these two efforts to look for intersections and overlapping themes.
This is really tedious work and you might be tempted to take a short cut. But just remember that it will all show up later on if you don’t do this properly now. Many of us work tirelessly to further the goals of our employers/friends or others; why not work hard to please yourself in the long run? The devil is in the details. To show how to do this work, I am sharing one the self-analysis I did when trying to know my entrepreneurial self.
This exercise takes a fair amount of time to complete. Best to break it into manageable ½ hour to 1 hour chunks of time. Schedule this time for yourself just as you would schedule time with your most important client or customer. You are your own key to your success or failure.