Simple Steps to Love Your Startup
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6 Simple Steps to Love Your Startup

Published on October 21, 2015 12:00 AM EST
love your start up

Simple Steps to Love Your Startup

When you tell people that you want to start your own business, you will undoubtedly receive multifarious responses. Some people will tell you that paving your own way is brave, while others will look at you like you are stupid. Some will even tell you that you are absolutely nuts — but the truth is that in this economic climate, starting a startup is simply smart.

Still, for your startup to succeed and become a full-fledged SME, you need to love what you do, and as you might already know, loving your job is always harder than it sounds. Fortunately, it is much easier to love what you do when you are in control of the company from the start. Here are six steps to understanding your skills and interests and building a business you can love in the long-term.

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1. Understand Your Different Skills

Every person has two very different categories of talent: soft skills and hard skills. Both skill sets are essential for any type of success, whether in your own business or within someone else’s, but both vary widely in the types of proficiencies any individual might claim. For those unfamiliar with soft and hard skills, here is a brief explanation:

Hard skills are quantifiable. You can learn and acquire hard skills, and usually there is some form of recognition of them, like a certificate or a degree. You always have the opportunity to pick up more hard skills in school or through practice. Examples of hard skills include foreign language fluency, computer literacy, and machine operation capability.

Soft skills are immeasurable. Also called “people skills” or “interpersonal skills,” soft skills done right can be difficult to notice, and thus often they go unappreciated. Still, soft skills are fundamental to business success, and through conscious action, you can improve your soft skills. Examples of soft skills include patience, listening capacity, communication abilities, and time management competence.

A crucial component of loving your job is being comfortable and confident with the skills you have. Before you can assess what kind of startup will make you head-over-heels, you need to evaluate your soft and hard skills.

2. Ask People You Trust

You may be well-aware of your hard skills — especially if you have degrees or other evidence of their existence — but your soft skills are probably harder for you to evaluate impartially. The people who spend time around you likely have a more wholesome picture of your skills, and asking them for an explanation of your soft skills will help you understand how you look to the world. However, it can be rough to receive criticism from close loved ones, so you must be open and accepting of any estimation of your skills they provide.

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3. Think About the Past

The most accurate portfolio of your skills is indisputably your past. You should reminisce on your history and try to think of activities and endeavors you truly enjoyed. Additionally, you might strive to remember compliments given by old teachers, bosses, friends, and family, as these might direct you to soft and hard skills you had not considered.

4. Finish an Imaginary Project

A thought experiment is a perfect opportunity to evaluate your own proclivities and proficiencies. You should create a fictional project (for work, school, or home) and plan out your steps to complete it.

At minimum, this exercise will show you how you go about working on projects, highlighting which steps are easiest and most fun for you. However, this imaginary project might also demonstrate what type of projects you enjoy; it might even turn into a real project you can trademark and use to jumpstart your startup.

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5. Take a Test

Many employers today utilize tests to determine whether a job applicant is the right fit for their workplace culture. You can find plenty of similar skill and personality assessments online for your own benefit. Often, such tests compile highly accurate information regarding your character; you might learn that you are persuasive and driven by the opportunity to do good works. You can use the results to guide your decisions while you start your startup.

6. Try Everything

If your hard skills are giving you a hard time, you might want to challenge yourself with new activities. By trying to accomplish new tasks, you will uncover the skills you do and do not yet know — and you will learn more precisely what activities make you happy. However, you should avoid giving up right away; practicing something new until you are good at it will help you diversify your skill set and teach you which hard skills you truly enjoy — not just because you are good at them, but because you care about them. Then, when you finally found your new business, you know that you will love your startup from start to finish.

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