We are not normal people

People often ask me what kind of personal skills make someone a candidate to have their own business.  And when I start listing the things I think are helpful, I find that I touch on many things that seem to be contradictory.

Is it better to be an extrovert or an introvert?  A dreamer or a realist?  A thinker or a doer?  A socializer or a Dream_Job_Venn (4)loner?  Is it more valuable to have imagination or practical skills?  To be  left-brained or right-brained?  Dominant or reserved?  Analytical or expressive?  Change-loving or schedule conforming?  Super intelligent or just normal?  Gorgeous or average?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no “right” or “predicable” pattern that leads to successful business operation.  I think most of us defy rational explanation or categories.  The businessperson is someone using both sides of their brains.  The right side pours out dreams, passions and fantasies and the left side takes that and creates patterns and systems to allow results that benefit everyone and magically produce money as well.  You can have the soul of an artist – and your business is a shaped release of that art.  You can be a logical precisionist and your business brings life to those otherwise boring and useless details.

The common trait is that people who succeed, whether in their own business or as a trusted employee, are people who know how to set goals and take action.

Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship – there are no obstacles, no barriers.  No wrong personal attributes, backgrounds, or education – just opportunity for all!

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  • Mary

    Would you suggest taking classes for the right brainer to attain left brain capabilities in business? Is that possible, or must you have been naturally endowed with left brain talents? I am a seriously strong right brainer. I ran an art gallery for a year but did not enjoy the business side of it. I loved everything else, running the social media, writing, online marketing, etc. I would love to pursue those things as a career and am spending my unemployed time building my experience writing web content and managing a church facebook page, but sense I am in need of business training if I am to pursue self employment. Advice appreciated!

    • My two cents (or nickel if you are in Canada), First outsource those things you disdain. Don’t ignore them either, find someone with a teacher’s heart to explain those things in terms you can understand.

      As you focus on your right brained strength have friends and advisers who are left brained dominate. This will allow you to see the pragmatic side. Over time you will develop skills to see from both sides.

      When you see things from both sides it takes your work to a whole new level. How understanding the macro-picture, strengthens you micro-decisions.

    • ruis2002

      Have you read “The Right Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee? It might help you cope with the left-brained aspects of your business.

  • Terry Hadaway

    When we discover our whys, we hone in on the passionate pursuit of our purpose. That’s great because it focuses and drives our lives. In focusing, however, we discover the areas of life in which we aren’t so good. The challenges ahead of us can become obstacles to our development or accelerators to our success. A world that celebrates mediocrity won’t encourage uniqueness. We must find that motivation in seeing the significance of the life we have been given.

  • I just saw this article on job growth in Texas that is exactly congruent with Dan’s message. It blew me away. http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_texas-growth.html . Figure 2 – “An Entrepreneurial Gusher” show exactly how many jobs have shifted to businesses with less than 10 employees – or just one. Figure 3 – “Ten Gallon Paychecks” shows that the net job growth has overwhelmingly been in very high paying jobs. Taken together these two facts imply that all of these new Eaglepreneurs and Micro-businesses are doing very well indeed.