Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Reflections on the Gray

Gray FogAfter yesterday's post about the nature of my project preferences (and the revealed underlying forces which make up my character), I began to consider how those factors might affect my ability as an entrepreneur. Does my need for clear-cut black and white answers preclude any success as a business owner? Can I overcome or at least bend my skills to the task at hand? Can I learn to love the gray?

About a year ago, I read Michael Gerber's The E-myth Revisited. In it, he describes three different characters (not necessarily different people) necessary to make a strong business: the technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur. The danger, he wrote, is that many people who start businesses are excellent technicians -- they know how to do the job -- but are deficient in the areas of manager (the ability to create and stick to systems) and entrepreneur (the visionary, big-picture stuff).

This last role is the one where I need the most work. The visionary works in the gray areas and makes decisions on partial information. He worries, not so much about how to do things, but what new thing to try next. Being the consummate technician (and only slightly less so, the methodical manager), this stuff makes me distinctly uncomfortable.

So, how do I overcome this discomfort?

Well, if my Karate training has taught me nothing else, it's that sometimes you've just got to do it. And do it. And do it. The muscle doesn't grow stronger without lifting the weight which is almost too much for it to bear. Also, as with any other growth, there will (and should) be some discomfort.

Then, it occurs to me that maybe sometimes it is just a numbers thing.

Last year, inspired by my hero, Scott Ginsberg, I created a list of 101 goals for 2007. Was it easy? Not really. It took me a couple of weeks to get them all in place -- some better than others. The trick, though, was just to set aside a little time each day to write things down. Three here, two more there, the list just continued to grow. So, following my methodical nature. Is it possible, by simply working a little each day, to become a visionary?

Will that shed some light on the gray?

I'll have to let you know.

So, how do you deal with the gray?

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