Finding Your Fold
I often get asked, “What’s entrepreneurship like?” and “How did you know it was for you?” The sentiment behind both of those is the core question, “How do I know if I should go for it!?”
Let me start by asking this: Do you remember the days before map programs and GPS and Siri? We had to rely on those cumbersome fold-up street maps. The most frustrating part of using them was trying to fold them back together because they were designed to be folded back together only…one...way!
When we consider the age-old question, “What should I be doing with my life?” it is infinitely valuable to find your fold. What’s that? Allow me to pose three questions:
1. What are you passionate about?
What is it that stirs you? What excites you? Or as author of The 4-Hour Work Week Tim Ferris puts it, “What would get you out of bed if you had $100 million in the bank.” The idea is this…if you could choose how you would allocate the lion’s share of your time professionally if income didn’t factor in, what would it look like? It’s been wisely said that we can learn so much about a person simply by looking at their datebook and their checkbook. What do both of those, for you, reveal in terms of your passions?
2. What are you gifted at?
Ferris goes on to say that, “Most people are good at a few things and awful at most things.” Yes, this is normal. Max Lucado, in his book Cure For The Common Life, challenges the message we’ve been raised with, that we can “Be whatever we want to be, which is simply untrue. But we can be what we’ve been created to be.” Lucado identifies that as our sweet spot.
So how do we discover and discern what we are gifted at? There are some great tools out there, such as a simple assessment on 16personalities.com, as well as the more thorough DISC assessment. Both tools are profoundly effective. And don’t underestimate the value of asking those around you. Choosing someone who will be honest, simply ask, “What do you see in me? What am I good at? What do I stink at?” Additionally, consider the areas in your life where you are seeing fruit. What efforts have you undertaken that have produced strong results? Lean into them.
3. Where do these intersect?
Having considered passion and giftedness, the question turns to where they intersect vocationally. The answer may be in a defined career choice. If not, don’t get frustrated. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have found their fold after realizing that they were not made to work a job.
Whatever it is and wherever it may be, finding your fold opens the door to a satisfying and fruit-filled professional life that will bleed over into all areas of your life, and oftentimes results in a discovery of a dream that transcends self.
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