Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Time and Commitment

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” Anonymous

After you have identified core values, set goals, made a commitment to them; the next step involves starting the journey to acheive your target. Time and commitment go hand in hand. Commitments made without proper allocation of time, result in half hearted attempts which lead nowhere. When you make a commitment, be it for a business, towards a job or even a relationship, choosing the middle road results in very little progress. I am a firm believer in committing only when I know I will be able to allocate time and give it 100% commitment. 

Being a young entrepreneur this is something I have had hands on experience with. We are in a constant state of flux on this path, bouncing from one direction to the next. Harnessing this raw energy is a difficult process. I am involved in multiple business ventures at the present, however each of them have been allocated time according to my personal commitments to the venture. This has brought about an efficient use of my time and has allowed me to compartmentalize my day, week, month and year. Through this system I am able to give dedicated time to all the ventures I am involved with at the moment.

This is one word of advice I have for anyone thinking about setting off on the entrepreneurial path…discipline. This is not the easiest of paths, there are no clear boundaries and it is not sign posted to help you along the way. At times it seems you can be as free as a bird, at others you fight to catch your breath. Discipline is a vital virtue to move effectively along this path, disciplining time commitments, in my opinion, is of the essence, absolutely critical. If you want to seriously commence this venture make sure you are 100% committed by demarcating the time you allocate to the venture diligently. 

Once you have allocated time to your commitments ,you are ready to move to the next level.

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Commitment and Goals

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” Earl Nightangle

I have memories of making many ambitious new year’s eve resolutions, every year, only to find myself coming up short at the end of the year, wondering what went wrong. A couple of years ago while still in college, I was out with friends over new year’s eve, once again the topic of new year’s resolutions came up, this time I also resolved to take this exercise seriously. I thought through the goals I had made in the past and found a couple of recurring patterns which included unrealistic timelines, instant fixes and a misalignment with who I really was. These unrealistic resolutions are often a result of lack of experience and naivety of age. I felt strongly however that this was definitely something that needed more working on.

Goals need to be in alignment with the core values that define you. Therefore, to set goals that go against these principles will surely create a disconnect between mind and body. This in turn inhibits the ability to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves. Setting goals after having identified your true core values must result in a stronger cohesion with your subconscious. The discovery of these values is a natural and ongoing process; we are constantly learning more about ourselves and this learning experience equips us to set inner and aligned goals in a better manner. 

Once you have thought of a goal which you would like to achieve, it helps if they are SMART goals. They need to be clearly defined with specifics and timelines. Only when goals are structured around achievement benchmarks will we be able to see the path that needs to be taken. Without this we will lose our bearings, not knowing which direction to take, often giving up on many pursuits.

The next step is to clearly define your goals.

Lastly you need to make a commitment to your goal and yourself that this is something you are going to achieve. There needs to be a comprehensive roadmap to get and most importantly you should know why you are taking this route and what you hope to learn along the way. There will be many times where you will be given the option to abandon what you started so enthusiastically. Those will be the times where your actual commitment levels will be tested. In startup ventures get ready to face a lot of such situations, when sales are slow, doubts are high and alternative paths are available. You need to ask yourself at those moments how committed are you to achieving your goals? 

Setting a goal is a serious commitment, please ensure the next time you make one it is done with the right intentions and reasons. You are now ready for the next level.

 

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Commitment to Core Values

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy Disney

Before making any type of commitment the underlying premise must be built on a set of shared core values. Core values are a set of values which are embedded into each individual’s system. They are the result of life experiences, culture, environment and our spiritual belief system. These values are close to our hearts and if we move away from them on critical tangents we experience levels of disconnect that make continuing on that path challenging. An individual’s core value system thus provides a guiding light for those paths which are in congruence with them. 

A lot of individuals however fail to discover and connect with their core value system . When a disconnect reveals itself subconsciously, those emotions are put aside and overlooked and they move forward. When this process is repeated several times, it numbs us and soon core values get suppressed. At this level, making the slightest of commitment without this key ingredient is difficult. Success on tiered levels may then remain an elusive concept. 

It is therefore paramount that we make a commitment to identify our core values and to document them in a journal or diary. When I first did this exercise it was a liberating experience which took time. However getting in touch with your true self helps make life much simpler. Once we have an identifiable list of core values we need to make a commitment to ourself to remain committed to promoting them in every aspect of our life. They must become the anchor to keep you rooted in what you believe. Once you have consciously committed to your core values, you are ready to move onto the next level. 

 

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Are you committed?

“If but one person believes in you, your flow of mind can move you toward incredible achievement … If that one person is you, you can evolve into realms that others would ‘swear’…were ‘impossible’!” Peter C. Siegel

Every successful organization is formed on the basis of a few select principles which provide it with the solid foundation needed for growth. A defining principle is one’s critical and inherent level of commitment to achieving particular goals. Without this key ingredient, mediocre success may be experienced but this will not bring the same level of excitement that truly great success does. It is a wonder, I think, that such an important factor is not given the level of attention it needs? What is it that makes one individual give 100% commitment on a team while the rest never seem to operate at that level? 

I am going to explore this topic in further detail this week and talk about factors which determine our levels of commitment to the projects we undertake. I feel strongly, that commitment is a key differentiating factor between those who succeed, and those who do not. It is one of those abstract concepts which are difficult to quantify and grasp. However, when we set off on a path we believe will lead to greatness, we have to constantly pay attention to the signs and believe wholeheartedly that we will make it to our final destination.

In my experience of talking to my mentors, running multiple businesses or coaching startups, commitment is the main and overriding  success factor that is mentioned.  Commitment is the underlying tone prevalent in everything those whose life is defined by it think, say and do. Just saying that you are committed to a business, a relationship or even a diet regime is the easy part; incorporating what you preach into your daily life takes courage, passion and commitment. If you are embarking on a new journey in life, make sure you are ask yourself whether you are truly committed to taking it to the end. Once you have taken that first step there should not be any looking back.

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5 Steps to Understanding Psychometrics

“Only those who respect the personality of others can be of real use to them.” Albert Schweitzer

Psychometrics is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. It is a complex science through which we are able to quantify preferences in an objective and precise manner. This tool has a wide range of applications ranging from team building to benchmarking the personality of a candidate against  particular organizational cultures and environments. It also has a host of benefits which can be realized at both  personal and organizational levels. Outlined below are five steps to make your understanding of the instrument simpler.

1. Fundamentals: At the core of psychometrics lies complex research which revolves around a few main concepts. Reliability, which measures the consistency of the instrument Validity, which measure the characteristics, which it claims to measure. Standardization, which sets up protocols for conducting the test. To learn more about the fundamental of psychometrics please click here.

2. Types of test: Psychometric tests fall into three main categories. The first category measures personality & values of the candidate, this encompasses behavior, drivers and feelings, to name a few. The second category measures aptitude & ability which provides a gauge for the cognitive ability of the candidate. The last category is used for development & guidance used in team building, counseling and personal development. To learn more about different types of test please click here.

3. Personal benefits: Psychometric tests can be great stepping stones to accelerate the process of learning more about yourself. They can be particularly useful in identifying areas of  strengths, personal drivers and your own personal work based preferences. When used correctly under the guidance of a trained consultant you will be able to realize the benefits of this tool more effectively. To learn more about how you could benefit from psychometrics please click here.

4. Organizational benefits: Psychometrics is being integrated increasingly into organizations worldwide. With the increasing level of competition, reliance on productivity and ever growing demands of shareholders, organizations have integrated psychometrics to place individuals accurately, build stronger teams, specifically aiming to reduce the rate of attrition, which is a major issue in the corporate world today. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from psychometrics please click here.

5. Ethics: Psychometrics involves a collection of personal and private information. This information must be used in a manner which builds trust with those taking part in these assessments. A high level of confidentiality needs to be maintained, equal opportunities should given to all and the data from the assessments must be used and shared with the consent of the candidate. To learn more about ethical conduct in the world of psychometrics please click here.

Psychometrics provides a powerful medium to harness individual energy and that of the organization . When highly reliable and valid assessments are used under the supervision of trained consultants, maximum benefit will be derived. The results and reports provided at the end of assessment, can only do as much as you want to do with them. They provide starting steps which need to be taken further to realize any substantial gains. If anyone has questions regarding this subject, I will be more than happy to answer them for you.

* Our organization conducts private and public workshops on “Integrating Psychometrics At Your Organization.” Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about this program at enquire(at)innovogs(dot)com

 

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Ethics and Testing

“Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling.” Valdemar W Setzer

Ethics and integrity formulate basic tenets for achieving a balanced, successful and happy life. Without them, we find ourselves on shaky grounds in life, akin to being without a moral compass to direct us. These principles also apply to the realm of testing, particularly to psychometric testing. This is due primarily to the fact that testing of candidates personality types and cognitive abilities involves sensitive information , in the wrong hands or if used with ill intent it can have extremely damaging implications. I have listed a few guidelines on ethical conduct and psychometrics below.

1. Confidentiality: When a candidate completes his/her test ,the reports of the test must be strictly viewed by authorized personnel only. These reports must not be shared with any third party without the consent of the candidate. Strict measures must be taken to control access to these reports and documents. Once a level of trust has been broken with a candidate salvaging the trust factor of this relationship is a difficult task and one which will severely impact the reputation of your organization.

2. Equal opportunity: At InnovoGS, it is our policy to work positively to reduce inequality with all current employees & potential employees, by ensuring that they are treated equitably, fairly, without discrimination and with dignity and respect, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality, disability, religion or belief. This helps in creating a level of trust and comfort with candidates, and eliminates any biases which could impact the assessments. 

3. Data usage: Large amounts of valuable data is collected when psychometric assessments are carried out. If you have a requirement to use this data for research purposes, you need to ensure that you take permission from the candidates on whether their data can be included anonymously as part of the research. It is absolutely essential that you take a transparent position when using psychometrics generated data to ensure the candidate that your intentions are clear.

Psychometrics is a very powerful tool which can be used both positively and negatively. It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that they have integrated high levels of ethics and integrity into the evaluation process. Unfortunately psychometrics has multiple stigmas attached to it due to the fact that some providers have not been very transparent in their analysis, an aspect that continuously raises a level of suspicion. If you are looking into using psychometrics at your organization or planning on starting a business in this field, please ensure that ethics and integrity are tightly embedded into your corporate culture.

 

 

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Psychometrics and Organizations

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of each individual.” Vince Lombardi

The world is becoming smaller and more competitive by the day. As high quality resources become scarcer, organizations are facing a multitude of performance and productivity related issues. In the last decade or so there has been an ever increasing focus on human resources (HR) function in organizations, primarily because people are finally being seen as an organization’s most valuable asset. Psychometrics provides organizations with comprehensive information regarding understanding this asset. Listed below are some ways psychometrics could benefit organizations.

1. Better placement: Using a wide variety of tests available in the market place, helps to identify positions which are more suited to particular individuals. At work, most of the time we adapt to the environment, culture and the sort of work we do. Sometimes we get lucky and actually enjoy what we do, other times the clock doesn’t move fast enough. Through psychometrics, HR could essentially become more adept in placing individuals with greater accuracy, increasing productivity, efficiency and employee morale.

2. Team building: Tests such as the MBTi provide HR the ability to understand team dynamics with a greater level of insight. These tests provide HR with the ability to gauge interpersonal styles of an individual, how they like to receive information, what factors affect their decision making and how they structure their lives. Using this data helps create teams who are better able to understand each other, work more effectively and most importantly, execute. 

3. Decreased retention: When individuals enjoy the type of work they do, enjoy the people they work with, a natural increase in productivity, efficiency and morale is a natural outcome. I have personally noticed that when individuals or teams reach such a stage, attrition levels fall. This results in massive cost savings for organizations and can actually convert into a strong competitive advantage in the world we live in today.

Listed above are some reasons why your organization should look into psychometrics. It is important to note that the benefits listed above are not solely derived from psychometrics, they can be achieved when senior management makes a commitment to making their HR function more strategic. Training development and coaching are integral parts of the mix, together with psychometrics they help you form a strong bond with your employee and lay the foundation for a strong organization.

 

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Psychometrics and You

“Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” Soren Kierkegaard

Understanding oneself is a major step that has to be undertaken to create change in ones life. To be successful and achieve set goals, it is vital to identify one’s strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Psychometrics does not provide you with all the answers, but what it does, is help make the abstract concepts of personality more tangible. Listed below are a few ways that specific psychometric personality assessments could aid and benefit growth.

1. Identification of strengths: Tests such as strength finder highlight and bring greater emphasis to your strengths. From childhood, aspects of our lives which were weakest got the most attention, for example if you were exceptional at english literature and not the greatest at math, a lot of energy used to go into making your math skills better at the expense of developing your skills in literature further. Through psychometrics and targeted assessment we can identify areas of exceptional skills and focus on developing them further.

2. Identification of drivers: Tests such as the values & motives inventory provide specific reports which show what motivates you and what sort of entrepreneurial or career paths you may be more suited towards. These can be really insightful and help you focus your energy on paths where you may be more inclined to follow with more accuracy.

3. Work environment preferences: Tests such as the 15FQ+ provide tremendous insight into the sort of team player slot you are most suited for based on your preferences,the sort of leadership styles that are most effective with your personality and even how you can be more effective in communicating your thoughts and ideas. This provides a comprehensive picture of the sort of working environment that would suit you the most and how to be more effective on the path you take.

Listed above are just the few ways psychometrics can help you to understand yourself better in an objective and accurate manner. It is then upto you to use the results when you get them. Ideally you should talk them over with a trained consultant and get feedback on your report as also answers to any queries. Think of it as a giant stepping stone which provides you with the ability to understand aspects of yourself without the benefit of time and experience . 

 

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Types of Tests

“At college age, you can tell who is best at taking tests and going to school, but you can’t tell who the best people are. That worries the hell out of me.” Barnaby C. Keeney

Psychometric tests can be classified in three basic categories. Each category assesses a particular aspect, whether it is personality, cognitive ability or basic interests. Listed below are the three types in some detail:

1. Personality & Values: Tests of personality and values provide a fair, objective and accurate method of predicting likely behaviour in a wide range of settings. They allow you to gather information which is not easy to gather from interviews or any other traditional means of evaluation. They give you much greater insight into character pattern of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.

2. Aptitude & Ability: These tests provide a comprehensive and in-depth measure of mental capacity. Tests in this category are designed to assess high level reasoning ability. This is a category which most of us have had more exposure to at school, entering colleges and now, even common place when applying for jobs. 

3. Development & Guidance: These tests are used to facilitate personal development, career guidance, team building and counseling. They provide candidates the ability to understand key concepts on how to interact with the rest of the world, take in information, process that information and eventually make decisions. These help greatly in areas for developing much stronger teams and making the candidate more productive and efficient.

Once again if you are asked to take or are taking a test for personal development, it is highly recommended that you ask the test provider for details regarding the reliability and validity of the test. This list will also provide you with reference for the sort of test to take to get the information you seek.

 

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Psychometrics Fundamentals

“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he think, he becomes.” Mahatama Gandhi

With the introduction of psychometrics into the recruitment and evaluation process, users of this instrument have to be extremely vigilant about the tests they take or have done for their employees. There are a number of psychometric instruments in the market and on the web which do not meet or satisfy the five core fundamental characteristics of a psychometric test. The five principals are:

1. Standardized: The test needs to be administered and scored using  standard procedures to avoid any biases in the test reports. The results need to be compared to a reliable norm group as well.

2. Reliable: The reliability of a test is based on the assessment and extent of the variation in test scores, due to differences between people on the trait(s) being measured. The test results need to be consistent across people, time & situations. So if a test says you have an extroverted personality type on your first attempt and on the next attempt says you have have an introverted personality type, the test is an unreliable indicator.

3. Validity: A test is said to be valid if it measures the characteristics, which it is claims to measure. A test used for job selection should predict job performance. A test of verbal ability should predict an applicant’s ability to read and comprehend written material and not some other characteristic. 

4. Objective: The results are not biased or skewed due to personal preferences towards the test taker. For example if the test administer scores the test according to the appearance of the candidate than this would be result in an un-objective assessment.

5. Discriminating: The test should provide you with clear differences between individuals, on the characteristics which are being tested. This will help the the reports to provide a much clearer, transparent and objective assessment of the individual.

These are the five characteristics you should be look for if you plan to implement psychometrics into your organization or for personal development. All reputable test providers have this information on hand for the tests that they administer. In order to gain maximum benefit from this , vigilance needs to be taken to ensure correct and accurate results.

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