Self-Awareness Is Your Secret Weapon In Entrepreneurship
Why is Self Awareness Important As An Entrepreneur
Your business models, teams, job, and financial success – What do they all have in common? You
Improving your self-awareness and understanding what makes you tick is a multiplier for success in all areas of your life—especially entrepreneurship.
You can align your natural strengths and weaknesses with your business model, team, and role to produce outsized returns on your energy invested.
If you are introverted and analytical, sales is probably not your thing. In reverse, I don’t know many extroverted programmers.
Take a look around and analyse the people doing well. The most successful seem to have aligned their chosen pursuits with their natural strengths.
The business structure you operate within is essential to your success.
Two key figureheads that have helped shape an entrepreneur’s modern-day definition, Gary Vee and Tim Ferris, operate within entirely different business structures. And both have enjoyed considerable success. They’ve built systems around them that align with their natural skillset and personalities.
Tim works remotely, supported by a motley crew of assistants and contractors. He adds value to his audience by producing and intelligently distributing content.
He dissects various aspects of people and society and writes about his findings in books and blogs. He rarely makes public appearances (apart from promoting his books) and spends vast amounts of time working in solitude.
He has strategically created a structure that works for him. And as you can probably guess, Tim is an introvert.
On the other hand, Gary has built a media conglomerate on the back of his brand. He works and interacts with people at a hectic pace from 12 to 16 hours per day. Sprinting through back to back meetings, speaking on stage, and constantly networking online.
He creates value by leading, communicating, and directing. He’s a people person and fills his cup by working this way. Gary is highly extroverted.
So how do you do the same?
How To Improve Your Self-Awareness In Entrepreneurship With Feedback From Friends and Family
To purposely build a business structure that aligns with your strengths and weaknesses, you need to know what they are.
This 30-minute exercise will do precisely that.
Here’s how it works:
1. Write down the names of five to ten family or friends you spend the most time with.
2. Next, Draft a quick email, as I’ve written below.
3. Head to Facebook or your inbox and individually message each person on your list with your request for feedback.
You may or may not be aware I’m looking at starting my own business and have an idea about what I’d like to achieve. But before I begin, a mate suggested I take a closer look at my strengths and weaknesses. So I am reaching out to you for some feedback. Appreciate the help!
• What are my strengths? What am I known for? (Please state 3-4 things)
• What are my weaknesses? What lets me down? (Please state 3-4 things)
• What is my unique ability? What am I the best in the world at?”
Now review your feedback. There’ll be some expected answers and, hopefully, a few surprises.
Take a minute and think about how you can create an environment that compliments you, not taxes you.
Did people tell you that you’re a good communicator?
A team environment is going to suit you.
Did they say you’re a good writer?
Content marketing is going to work well for you.
How To Use Self Awareness To Build The Right Team
Now on to your team.
History shows it is almost impossible to achieve anything significant by yourself. We need teams.
There are 1,000’s of moments in your life where the input from another person has affected you. It could be a simple pat on the back for encouragement; maybe it’s an introduction to someone or getting “told off” by your parents. All those positive and negative interactions have shaped who you are today and will shape what your business becomes tomorrow.
To build a great team, you need to understand each other’s personalities and put them into positions where they’ll thrive.
There are many different ways you can approach this. I’ve found a personality test to be a great starting point.
You can use a quick and free resource, the “16 Personalities” website, which offers a free version to get you started – https://www.16personalities.com/.
The test only takes 10 minutes to complete. It will give you a basic overview of your personality and how you interact with others.
Distribute this amongst your team, keep a record of each other’s personalities, and learn each other’s traits. This will help you work more collaboratively and empathise with each other’s needs.
How To Notice Blindspots And Improve Your Entrepreneuial Self Awareness
One last point to touch on is blindspots. We all have them. But being aware of them is a different story. You can use the self-understanding you’ve gained to help identify them.
Reviewing your strengths is a good starting point. If you are extroverted and charismatic, you’ll likely be good at influencing others and bringing people together. But, you might create a “yes sir” environment. Even when you’re wrong, people won’t correct you.
You can actively seek out others’ viewpoints and encourage them to challenge you if you know this, positively impacting your business and personal development.
Think about patterns in your life where adverse events recur. If you repeat actions with good intentions that produce adverse outcomes – You’ve likely found a blind spot.
Your personality strengths will often create your blind spots.
I’ll leave you with these three questions to ponder as you build your business.
1. What is my idea, and how does my natural skillset stack up against this?
2. What am I trying to achieve, and what people do I need to help me?
a. Who do I need on my team to increase my chances of success?
3. Where are my actions leading to adverse outcomes?
a. Are these negative outcomes surprising?