At its core, the notion of being an entrepreneur means working for yourself and using your own skills to build a business, reputation and brand. Finding your unique competencies, however, is another story. It can be very difficult to truly gauge what you do best, and what you’re better off leaving to someone who truly specializes in that area.
Going through this process early in your venture’s lifecycle can help you avoid wasting time and energy. You won’t want to insist on doing something yourself that could be done more efficiently (and cheaply!) by someone else. You also don’t want to pay someone to do something you are perfectly capable of or possibly even better at.
So how does one determine their own unique strengths? There are certain things you know you are good at due to past successes and of course intrinsic self-knowledge. In other areas, it might be a little more difficult to understand what determines a level of capability and whether you have it.
Check for Enthusiasm
One way of discovering your strengths is to evaluate your level of excitement about carrying out a process. If you feel great about tackling a certain task each day or each week, chances are it’s something you are comfortable with and pretty good at.
On the other hand, you’ll probably feel less than thrilled about having to do other things. Measuring your anxiety or general disdain is a good way to determine some of your weaknesses.
If the thought of doing the books at the end of the month makes you feel intimidated then this may be something that it’s best to hire someone for. Or if the thought of organizing your office supplies makes you want to run in the other direction, you are probably not the one to turn to when it comes to completing this task.
Sometimes the best way to truly find out which areas you are brilliant in is by asking others. Start by asking mentors or those who have shown you the ropes, but don’t forget to get the opinions of partners and subordinates as well. The idea is to take a poll amongst those who know you best and with whom you spend the most time.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask which areas they think you could improve in. Some of the best business people are those who are able to confront their weaknesses without allowing their egos to interfere.
Try out New Roles
Even if you’re the boss, doing the same things day in and day out isn’t going to let you discover any unknown strengths. Move around a little within your organization to see if there’s something you have a knack for. Spend a day shadowing someone else, or just visit another department to better understand its workflows. You may find that you’re talented in an area you never imagined working in.
Discovering what excites you, asking others for their input and stepping into new roles is great for understanding what you do best. But, these are also excellent guidelines for developing employees and capitalizing on their strengths as well.
Sonia Moran is a business consultant and human resources specialist. She is also a writer for Office Allsorts, where you can find sound business advice and a range of office supplies to furnish any entrepreneurial venture.
Other Resources You Might Like
Being An Entrepreneur: The Solopreneur’s Guide to Living the Dream Without Losing it!
The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs
The A to Z of being an Entrepreneur