The purpose of business is basically to make profit. Knowing this, it seems the smartest thing to do in choosing and running a business is finding a profitable venture that you can do.
There are many anti-passion business teachers currently, who teach “find a business that will make you money and after that, use the money to fuel your passion”
Although this teaching will be fitting for individuals who are passionate about stuff that, at surface level, can not bring them money, there is more to self-discovery than discovering your passion.
To understand self-discovery more, read our in-depth articles.
Now, over to our question… is self-discovery needed for entrepreneurship and business? Yes, self-discovery is needed for entrepreneurship, business and career because first, it will help you understand what you can do and can’t do (abilities and weaknesses), then how best what you can do will be done by you, owing to your personality, potential and experiences.
Let’s go into the details…
Self-discovery is the process of gaining understanding of one’s personality, potential, passion, experiences as well as the other conditioning that makes the individual distinct from others, then finding how best they can be maximized to help the individual live a fulfilling life.
Self Discovery in Entrepreneurship and Business
1. Self discovery helps you know your strength and unfair advantages
Hassan Kubba, in his book Unfair Advantage, explained how people’s successes are dependent on some advantages and privileges they have which others do not have.
In order to discover those advantages you have, you must take some time out in introspection– which is one of the three key steps of the self-discovery cycle.
It is obvious that every successful business or entrepreneur isn’t successful because they do everything better. Instead, they capitalise on one or two major strengths or benefits and build their sales message around it.
Think of McDonalds and think of fast food; think of Apple and think of an exclusive brand. As an individual entrepreneur, your inability to identify your strengths and competitive advantages will cost you a lot in business.
2. Self discovery helps you identify weaknesses you should outsource or develop
Successful entrepreneurs know that focusing on what they can actually be productive at is what helps them become productive.
SEO and digital marketing guru, Neil Patel said,
“I’m only good at a few things so I choose to do only those tasks. What about everything else in life? Other people are good at doing those things, so I pay them to do it. When it comes to my businesses, I only contribute 0.08% of the team’s total work time. The things I choose to do are the high value tasks that I’m good at.”
Self discovery helps you know what you can’t do so you don’t frustrate yourself and reduce your productivity in trying to do them.
Some other times, your weaknesses might be indispensable to the success of your business. At such times, awareness of those weaknesses will help you work out a learning plan to acquire the skills.
If you realise you don’t understand sales, an inevitable part of your business, you know you should either learn to sell or you will soon be out of business.
3. Self-discovery helps you identify your passions to pursue
Although it is now a popular teaching that passion doesn’t matter in business– just focus on what can bring your profit, most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen all agree that they are obsessed or passionate about their work.
Bill Gates said “mostly I loved softwares. I loved hiring people, and I was stunned when it ended up being so valuable.” Elon Musk also advised “people should pursue what they are passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”
While you can still succeed in something you aren’t passionate about, discovering your passion through self-discovery will help you engage in something you can pursue for long without being frustrated.
And even if you aren’t so good at it, your passion for it will help you stay committed, develop the necessary skills, and succeed at it as against someone who can do it but isn’t passionate, and so puts in a minimum amount of time and energy towards it.
4. Self-discovery helps you understand your most effective system of growth
Being at the forefront or even succeeding in business and entrepreneurship in the 21st century is highly dependent on the entrepreneur’s system of growth.
According to the World Economic Forum’s projection, by the year 2025, the second most valuable skill any individual would possess is active learning and learning strategies. This is second to analytical thinking and innovation.
From the books they read, to the way they continuously assimilate knowledge, and their understanding of new trends and changes, the growth of the business is dependent on the growth of the entrepreneur.
Now, thanks to the availability of so many technologies to leverage upon, the entrepreneur can now find which method will help them grow faster and more holistic than doing the same conventional methods, in order to increase their productivity and fast-track their career growth.
But to know which medium is best for you, you must first understand yourself (self-discovery). If you understand that you learn more through visual and auditory communication channels, you will waste less time trying to consume knowledge through the less effective means.
You can then set up a system that will constantly feed you with knowledge, like buying audiobooks, using your car stereo, attending conferences, etc if you are an auditory learner.
5. Self-discovery helps you choose your type of entrepreneurship
I recently read a blog post and it came to mind while writing this. Resourceful Entrepreneur identified the four types of entrepreneurs that exist to include: social entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, lifestyle entrepreneur and solopreneur.
In choosing which type of entrepreneur you want to be from this list, you have to understand your needs and abilities. A serial entrepreneur for instance, one who sets up a business, sees it to grow, and goes on to start another from scratch over and over again, will require someone who has a driving personality more than someone who is relational or a natural daydreamer.
The latter will perform better as a social or lifestyle entrepreneur. Also, someone who loves to care for others and is passionate about helping society, will function better as a social entrepreneur, those who don’t go into business for the sole aim of making profits but to make enough resources available to help humanity.
However, it all falls down to self discovery: understanding your personality, potential, and experiences to be able to make informed decisions and live a fulfilling life.
The place of self-discovery in entrepreneurship and business cannot be sidelined. Whether consciously or unconsciously, every successful entrepreneur has had a period where they had to go through the self-discovery cycle to make some decisions regarding their business.
From the choice of niche and entrepreneurship style, to major changes in the nature of the business, self-discovery is intertwined with entrepreneurship, or at least plays an important role to the success of every entrepreneur.
Now over to you
What experiences have you had where you had to examine and understand your personality and experiences to make certain business and entrepreneurship decisions?
Leave a comment below.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.