My response to article published at Inc.com titled: Gary Vaynerchuk: We’re Thinking About Entrepreneurship All Wrong
I think what GaryVee points out is an interesting and important point regarding how everyone’s thinking about entrepreneurship is all wrong and singling out lack of self-awareness as a basis for his thought. I would revise his broad use of entrepreneurship and pin point more accurately his comments to be more about startups. But I do agree his observation is spot on about self-awareness. Lack of self-awareness is a symptom to many of those out there that think they have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. If you don’t have good self-awareness skills out of the gate when thinking about whether or not to start a company, you are in for a long road my friend.
First, I believe entrepreneurs are made and not born. Entrepreneurs come in different formats. I will mention only two-types to keep this response brief. You have your solopreneurs who are predominantly lifestyle entrepreneurs. Now while you can have success as a lifestyle entrepreneur, and when I refer to success I mean monetarily, because I think that is the default notion how people define success on the surface. Real entrepreneurs are the ones that know how to invest in human capital (themselves and others) and collaborate with other entrepreneurs to purse and successfully capture a market opportunity.
In my experience, teams of entrepreneurs who are highly self-aware of their own skills and abilities and who are able to properly align themselves with a solid market opportunity have a great chance at starting and growing a company that will have a lasting legacy versus a flash in the pan. We live in a ME world versus an US world and I believe that has conditioned us to the point of those interested in becoming entrepreneurs are looking through rose colored glasses and not dealing with reality when thinking about starting a business.
Self-awareness is a skill that can be developed. Yes, self-awareness comes easy for some and not for others. One thing we can do to be more realistic at the thought of making the decision to become an entrepreneur is to seek out a successful entrepreneur in your community who has really good self-awareness skills and connect with them. You will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself through engaging with them.
So in closing, I think what GaryVee is trying to say is we all need to boost our self-awareness skills. We owe that not only to ourselves but to those around us. Because entrepreneurship is marathon not a sprint and you will need that support structure to get you through the good and bad times.