As a part of this semester’s Entrepreneurship module, I have been writing a business plan for a new venture. I am very passionate about design, and, for this reason, I knew I wanted to venture in this area. Before I began the process of researching the business plan or even opening Microsoft Word, I felt that it was necessary to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses both as an entrepreneur and as a designer. I spent some time researching what makes a graphic design entrepreneur successful and found this very useful video. It gives a great insight into skills required and the ups and downs of becoming a graphic design entrepreneur.
Do I Have What it Takes?
As part of my continued research on entrepreneurial traits, I discovered an article from entrepreneur.com. Author Nathan Resnick lists five essential characteristics of an entrepreneur as:
- Sponge-like nature
Having read this article, I felt it would be useful to evaluate myself in terms of these five characteristics. I now realise that while I have elements of each of these qualities, there is room for improvement. In particular, I feel this especially relates to open-mindedness. Upon reflection, I have noticed that I can be quite stubborn with my work. For example, when I have an idea but it just isn’t working I sometimes find it difficult to change course. If I were to become an entrepreneur after I graduate, this is an obstacle that I would have to overcome. Failure and sudden change are both factors that can come hand in hand with entrepreneurship.
The main characteristic of an entrepreneur that I recognise in myself is my passion and drive. After previously experiencing failure in another course, I have learnt from that bad experience and become much more motivated towards seeking a career in design. After reflecting on my own qualities, I decided to write down the key strengths and weaknesses I now recognise in myself, as can be seen in the graphic below.
My Greatest Weaknesses & How I Can Overcome Them
Previously, I was not aware that during an interview it is advisable not to just list off a couple weaknesses, but to discuss how you have worked to overcome them. I applied this to two weaknesses that I have had ongoing struggles with that would affect my success as an entrepreneur. These weaknesses are; I sometimes take on more work than I can handle and I get very anxious when public speaking. I found the video below extremely useful as my two main weaknesses are discussed. After I recognised my weaknesses, I contemplated the best ways to overcome them. I now have decided to attend a public speaking course that builds up confidence for public speaking. Another method of overcoming a weakness that I have realised is to set a strict guideline for workload and put a contingency plan in place to cover myself if there are any unforeseen circumstances.
For me, the most useful aspect of this exercise was gaining a clearer vision of my strengths that I should be highlighting in a job interview scenario. Previously, I felt that I struggled to answer the strengths and weaknesses question that tends to rise in interviews, but by evaluating my qualities I now feel like I am better prepared.