Interesting that there are many things we do not know as entrepreneurs, marketers and dreamers. The catch though, is you or your teams have to possess three qualities – 1) an acute sense of awareness of the environment, 2) the ability to observe and seek patterns in the business moments and lastly, 3) a well-cultivated sense of humility that will empower you to learn. If you have these, then you have taken the first step towards the discovery of yourself, your team and the dream that is your startup.
How many of us possess these qualities? How many of us are really ready to listen? How many of us are aligned to the fundamental premise that there are things we don’t know and it will help knowing them, should we want to transform our business journey?
I have a simple and kind of a tongue and cheek description for such entrepreneurs. I label them as individual /leaders ‘ who don’t know what they don’t know’. They have as a matter of conducting business shut themselves off – from the environment, reality and more importantly to the opportunity of creating a well thought set of associations, which in turn would aid in recognition, comprehension and an overall positive perception of their business ideas.
How does one become ‘don’t know but want to know?’
- Define the larger journey – where do you want your idea to go. For instance, to reinvent an existing habit or create a completely new one? Or disrupt the existing arrangements in the marketplace?
- Stay fresh, stay current – keep your mind always open to ideas and thoughts. Even if they are not what you think will work. Opposing ideas actually strengthen your resolve.
- Question, question, question- yourself and the teams around you. Asking the right questions means you have half the answers.
- Conviction is different from empty obstinacy – the trailblazers are always rooted in their idea, but never foolish to ignore which way the wind is blowing.
- ‘Trust’ ought to be in surplus – learning to trust is in a way allowing others to work. It gives you and them the freedom to chase the goals without getting into each other’s way. Trust and you will discover that you can be in more places and with more people than one.
- Hire talent not their loyalty – you get a share of their time when you recognize that their grey matter is vital to the organization. They could be the ones who tell you what you don’t know but you ought to know.
- Change is permanent – easy to understand, difficult to experience.
- Empathize with your user/stakeholder – see the world and the relevance of your business idea from their eyes. Not merely as an inventor or a poet who just writes not bothering who reads the creative piece.
- Give yourself time to think – like they say in anger management you count 1,2,3 to 10 to cool off, you ought to be sleeping over an idea, a new direction, problem or that paradigm changing solution.
- Tell yourself you don’t know many things. It helps you to increase the arrows in your quiver of success.
Try these simple things. Don’t know will transform to ‘know what I don’t know’ and then once known, you can emerge from the shadows of success to posterity…