Figuring out what to do for a career is a question that challenges most people throughout their lives. Only a handful of people understand themselves well enough right from the start. Most of us go through jobs and ideas for years before we figure it all out. To aid those on this journey of discovery, I developed a super easy process to help you define who you are. You can check out my article published in Forbes about the Six Mega Clusters which helps you define your “career self”. In my Journey of Discovery Guide, Entrepreneurship falls under the Visionaries Mega Cluster. Simply said, entrepreneurs are risk-takers who see the big picture and relentlessly seek a better solution to a problem.
Answer these 4 questions to determine if you are an entrepreneur:
Are you a risk-taker?
The most notable trait of an entrepreneur is the person who will bet the farm on that chance of a lifetime. You need to be able to sacrifice for your dream and you need to be okay with the outcome win or lose. If this sounds like too much and you could never be okay with losing, you should look at the other mega clusters because businesses need workers with good ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit. The solution for those lacking risk-taking should apply their ideas to someone else’s business. You may have the drive and the great idea, but without the ability to risk everything you can never be, in the truest sense of the word, an entrepreneur.
Can you advance a concept or idea through fact-finding, as well as, intuition?
The drive to find answers comes from the sciences and our need, as humans, to understand. This trait is not specific to entrepreneurship. It is, however, very necessary for entrepreneurs to possess a yearning for a deep understanding of the specific topic. When you discover a problem and you think you have a solution, that is only the beginning. Entrepreneurs are driven to flush out the problem and keep enhancing the solution on a regular basis. The answer needs to be tested and assumptions need to be confirmed with a small slice of unscientific feelings and insight. The entrepreneur goes beyond science to the use of intuition. Questions of inquiry in the presence of this extra ingredient is where innovation is born. If you only see the science you are a visionary and still part of this mega cluster category, but you are not an entrepreneur.
Are you curious?
Entrepreneurs are the individuals who are opening the box, sticking their nose in and trying to see how everything works, especially in the early stages. I am sure you heard the phrases curiosity killed the cat and that you will fail before you succeed. Being curious allows inventors to learn about their ideas in unique and special ways. It allows one to see opportunity but not, as much as, it causes us to fail. These nuances of being curious are educational and mercurial and help the entrepreneur to build their product or solution better than anyone else.
Do you get side-tracked easily?
Part of being able to see the big picture means changing angles very swiftly. Pictures are not painted by starting in the bottom right corner. Being able to see three steps down the road means that the work needs to shift, and parts of your project need attention at different points throughout the process. An outsider looking in might get dizzy trying to keep track of what is it that you are trying to achieve. Do not be discouraged. They are not going to see what the picture is until you finish painting it.
It is important to realize many of us possess traits of entrepreneurship. It is part of our DNA. The question here is how much of it do you possess? You need to be a person of extreme dedication and you must relentlessly obsess about your vision if you want to be successful. Take the time to decide if you have what it takes; if you do, it is well worth the ride!
This article was originally published by Dr. Kathleen Houlihan on Dream2Career.org
Dr. Kathleen Houlihan is the CEO of Dream2Career (D2C), a company she founded in 2017 to help students find and prepare for dream careers. Throughout her 15+ years working in education, she was employed at the executive level by three universities where she gained expertise in workforce – education initiatives. She launched D2C to create an opportunity for businesses to have a voice in work-learn collaboratives. Businesses can create talent requests that match future workforce needs. These requests are organized and shared with educators and students across the nation. Dr. Houlihan has presented findings of this radical talent pipeline redesign at some of the best schools across the nation. Her research has led to the acceleration of the work-learn movement which is enhancing the world of education.