Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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

Putting it all together

If we don’t see a failure as a challenge to modify our approach, but rather as a problem with ourselves, as a personality defect, we will immediately feel overwhelmed. Anthony Robbins

We have now completed the 4 basic scales to help us gather the answer to the “who are you?” question. The four scales were:

You need to select one preference on each scale which you feel best suits who you are. Doing so will yield one of 16 combinations for example ESTJ or ISFP. So after you select your preferred type go over to E-MBTi and read up a little more about yourself. If the description doesn’t really correlate to who you think are, explore some more options. This should at least get you started on the right path. Ideally you should take an MBTi or JTi assessment. These indicators have had a lot of success in helping individuals find out where they really are on the scale. This again is just an indicator of your personality preference. It is not set in stone that if you are a INFJ then you cannot have some of the characteristics of a ESTP. Using this will help give you some direction as to what sort of companies, teams or groups you want to be part of. It will allow you to create or be part of situations where you will be most productive and efficient.

To check whether you have the correct type there are 4 basic temperaments which are unique to certain personality types. Going through the list below should get you thinking a little more about whether your selection was in the right direction or not.

Traditionalist (Sensing Judging) ESFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ, ISFJ: This group of individuals are the ones who enjoy structure, rules, discipline and conformity. They pay special attention to details, facts and work to further their teams or company’s goals. They are those dependable team mates who always deliver on what they were supposed to and make sure that they do a great job as well. Due to their preference for facts and details they don’t pay too much attention to the bigger picture. This hinders their ability to be good future planners. For them change is very difficult to adopt to.

Experiencing (Sensing Perceiving) ESFP, ESTP, ISTP, ISFP: This group of individuals are the ones who enjoy autonomy and freedom in the work they do. They learn quickly from first hand experiences and are very agile in adapting to change along the way. They are very good at focusing on the present and are pro-active in getting the job done. Being avid risk takers they are not afraid of taking the plunge into the unknown and learning from there. They don’t like too many abstract theories as they like to remain grounded and use their 5 senses to evaluate situations. Keeping options open is critical and commitments tend to be neglected till the very last minute.

Idealist (iNtuitive Feeling) ENFP, INFP, INFJ, ENFJ: This group of individuals are the ones who are most interested in connections with people, understanding the meaning of life and continuously looking for possibilities. They have innate capabilities to understanding people well and connecting with them at their level. They are good motivators and are a source of inspiration to the rest of the group or team. Working together and finding creative solutions to problems is their forte. They however get very involved with the emotional aspect of life and find it difficult to separate it from their day to day life. This in turn invariably effects their decision making capabilities.

Conceptualizers (iNtuitive Thinking) ENTP, INTP, INTJ, ENTJ: This group of individuals are the ones who are most interested in looking for meaning and focusing on its implications and outcomes. Their strong logical decision making capabilities provide them with the ability to become great leaders, strategizers and change agents. They are continuously focused on the bigger picture and are very imaginative. They however sometimes get lost in the bigger picture and have difficulty seeing the actual picture. Being fiercely competitive, harmony within the group is not their top priority. They value power and move towards people or organizations that can provide them with it.

In essence these are 4 basic temperaments to help guide you along the way to understanding yourself a little better. They should always be used as guides to help you define your preferences. To verify your choices you can email enquire@innovogs.com to find out about taking our JTi test online.

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Are you different?

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffet

Coming to stage 2 you have identified and quantified  customer and market need. Now is when things begin to get interesting. For any new venture to succeed it requires a value proposition. Without it you will find yourself lost. This has happened to me in the past and it still does sometimes. The typical situation is you identify and quantify a need,  then you assemble a team as fast as possible and execute the plan based solely on gut feelings. Further down the line, if you have not constructed a valid value proposition, you and your partners  have to restructure the business to make it work. So the key is “create greater customer value in comparison to the value being created by your competitors” and document it extensively before starting the venture.

Being able to quantify this value and bring it from being an abstract thought in your head to reality is not the easiest of things to do. I list down the following four factors when breaking an idea down.

Need: “What is the important customer and market Need?

Approach: “What is your unique Approach for addressing this need?”

Benefits: “What are the specific Benefits per cost that result from this approach?”

Competition: “How are these benefits per cost superior to the Competition?”

I realize that initially creating a value proposition based on these four factors is difficult. Sometimes you can’t identify a direct competitor, calculating benefit vs cost gets complicated or a host of other issues. The important aspect is that you have to start thinking about these factors and over the passage of time you will incorporate many permutations to come up with a winning value proposition. To go about this effectively here are a couple of helpful tips:

1. Talk with your prospective customers and clients about your new concept and get feedback. Remember your customers are out there in the real world and not your office. Get out there and get to know them a lot better.

2. If possible create a prototype for your service which will help your target audience to visualize what it is that you are selling or providing. Also let your customers take it for a spin and see how they interact with it.

3. Do a thorough competitor analysis to document what are the alternatives out there. This will also help you to understand where it is, that you have to create value for your target customer.

4. Study the market or the industry that you are wanting to operate in. Deep market knowledge and understanding the dynamics between the players, government and competitors is critical. There are a lot of great market research reports on the web. Get as much information as you can to make an educated decision on the future growth and scalability prospects for your business.

Your first draft for the value proposition will be far from perfect. However, remember that the journey to success is usually not a straight line. IDEO a leading design firm states, “Fail often to succeed early.” I think that should be the motto for all entrepreneurs. I have started businesses which were headed in one direction when we started and are operating in a completely different space now. The most important things needed to help make this journey worthwhile is a great team, get your NABC proposition pat down, be passionate and proactive and then……enjoy the ride!


p.s Stage 2 requires a lot of time and dedication to so make sure you do this step properly. Don’t be in a rush now because it will cost you dearly in the future.

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