You don’t take time to the marketplace. You take value.
That may seem like a bold statement, but it’s true. And that means that you should invest in yourself and strengthen yourself in order to succeed.
Before you even start thinking about business, you have got to take a look at who you are. What are your strengths, your communication styles, your level of impulsivity?
You need to figure all of these aspects of yourself out to be successful and have a marketplace impact when you start your business.
Five Things to Inventory Before You Start Your Business
1. Core Competencies
All of us have areas that we’re strong in. But what we need to understand is the areas where we don’t have core competencies.
These areas are where we have to work with others, learn ourselves, or hire a team. You should be aware as much as possible of each area in your business – how it works, why it’s important, etc. – but it is healthy to take on more people and not overload yourself with every single job.
For personality, I find it helpful to use tools. These tests will tell it like it is. You won’t be able to hide what you don’t want to think about! They’ll expose weaknesses as well as strengths. But don’t button yourself in. You can’t let your identity be your personality profile.
But what it does do is help us understand how to work with other people better. For example, we all have different ways we communicate – and different personality types communicate in different ways. If you don’t believe that, well, I can guarantee you that every newlywed couple is realizing that they are going to have to work on communication. Because the fact is: we all communicate differently.
Here are my three favorite personal inventory aids:
- Myers Briggs: Myers Briggs helps you understand how you process information and how you work with your environment. Helpful links: Myers Briggs Test–Where you can actually take the test for free. It is worth it to put a bit of money towards getting the official test, though. Oddly Developed Types–Wide variety of topics on Myers Briggs. Personality Junkie–In-depth articles that cover relationships/work/etc of each type. Celebrity Types–Helpful for finding role models (and who you DON’T want to become. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a fellow ENTP. He’s not exactly role model material for me!)
- Strengths Finder: I definitely recommend this in the business world. This book costs about $25. It will give you an access code to take the full test and find your top 5 strengths. The theory behind Strengths Finder is to work on improving your natural strengths instead of attempting to become adequate at your weaknesses. StrengthsFinder 2.0 Website
- 360 Degrees: For any of you who own a business or have multiple employees, 360 Degrees is one of the best evaluations I have ever seen. It lets employees and managers evaluate each other by looking at what strengths and weaknesses may be. But it does it in a way that’s not offensive. 360 is very effective at finding ways your business can improve. 360 Degrees Website
3. Tolerance for risk
There are some personality types that are very risk-averse – and some that are plain risky. But risk-averseness is a problem in entrepreneurship. Now, I don’t mean ‘let’s go out and do stupid things‘. I used to go out, close both eyes and jump. Then, as I grew smarter, I started opening one eye. Now I’m at the place where I’ve got both eyes open, ears open, and my mouth shut.
I’m still willing to take the risk, but I don’t want to be blind.
You’ll get there too. But you need to take some risks to get started. Tolerance for risk can be a true challenge for some people when it comes to business. So be sure to inventory yourself regularly.
4. Dealing with difficult people
Many business owners or entrepreneurs are defeated at the beginning, the second they deal with difficult people. Because the thing is, you will deal with difficult people. The business world is full of them. So you’ve got to be equipped and work on building your patience muscle to combat this.
This has to do with your purpose. Find the reasons you want to do what you want to do and follow them. Don’t get off track with grand ideas. Remember that unless your motivation is in line with your business, you will lose steam.
The key is this: you take value – not time – to the marketplace. So, inventory yourself and make that value impactful.
What part of your personality is particularly equipped for your line of business? Let me know in the comments.
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