By: Chuck Frey
Dave Pollard’s new book, Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur’s Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Work, is now available. This book explains how to uncover what you’re naturally gifted at, and how to discover unmet needs and transform them into a “natural” business that helps you to achieve your true calling in life. Not surprisingly, personal innovation is a recurring theme throughout the book.
Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I have been a long-time fan of the writings of Dave Pollard, author of the How to Save the World blog. So I was delighted to see that his new book, Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur’s Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Work, is now available. This book explains how to uncover what you’re naturally gifted at, and how to discover unmet needs and transform them into a “natural” business that helps you to achieve your true calling in life. Not surprisingly, personal innovation is a recurring theme throughout the book.
In the book, Pollard identifies 12 capacities for natural entrepreneurship:
Excellent instincts: “A subconscious ability to sense what is going right and wrong, when you’re being told the truth and not, and what is happening that is not being expressed in words, data or written reports. This is close to the concept called emotional intelligence.”
Critical thinking skills: “The ability to think logically, to assess information and opinions intelligently, to extract and convey insight, to make sense of it.”
Imaginative skills: “The ability to conjure up, by putting different ideas together, or out of nothing but pure imagination, what is possible, to address needs or problems that arise in the enterprise or are identified by customers or potential customers.”
Creative skills: “The ability to make the abstract (ideas and imaginings) real, to bring them to life, to make them work in the real world given all the constraints you must deal with.”
Attention skills: “The ability to see patterns, to scan broadly for ideas and events that could be important and bring them to others’ attention, and also the ability to listen, watch and focus the senses on perceiving what is really happening and then, with your partners, assessing what it means.”
Communication skills: “The ability to articulate, orally and in writing, what you think, what you mean, what you intend and why, and the ability to craft and relate stories… Stories provide rich context and understanding, and are hence more valuable for decision-making.”
Demonstration skills: “Showing people is usually more compelling than telling them, but demonstration is an art form that requires the demonstrator to put him or herself in the position of the person watching, to anticipate questions and misunderstandings, and to see things from different perspectives.”
Learning skills: “Every aspect of entrepreneurship entails continuous learning. This has more to do with openness than intellectual capacity. It’s about an ability to let go of preconceptions and conceptions and be completely flexible to new ideas and information and possibilities, even if it contradicts what you thought you knew.”
Responsibility: This includes accepting responsibility for your decisions and for the well-being of your partners in your natural enterprise. In conventional corporations, this would be called leadership.
Self-management: “Personal self-management entails self-knowledge, exercising authority as appropriate, seeking consensus as appropriate, and accepting responsibility.”
Passion: “This starts with your personal passion, and with the opportunity to apply that passion to your purpose. But it extends also to your partners… You need to care not only for what you are doing in the enterprise but also for what the enterprise as a whole is doing and for what your partners care about.”
Collaboration: “Although there is certainly some individual work in a natural enterprise, much if not most of the work is truly collaborative — it entails people doing work together, producing work product that is collective, and can’t be identified as the work of any individual, and most important, achieving results greater than those that any of the people in the organization, working individually, could possibly have achieved.”
I can’t wait to dig further into this book, because as some of you may know, InnovationTools is only a part-time gig for me, and I would like nothing more than to transform it into a natural enterprise that I can nurture and grow on a full-time basis.
The problem is that I lack the understanding of how to make the transition from a full-time job, with a regular salary and benefits, to the sometimes uncertain cash flow and lack of health insurance that comes with being a solo entrepreneur. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, however, I am in the process of learning how to make this transition.