The Healthcare Entrepreneur Blog

Want to be an Entrepreneur? Know Thyself.

by Ben Montgomery | September 5th, 2012 | No responses

What does the average working American do during the typical weekday? If you answered work, eat, sleep and repeat, you would be mostly right.

The folks at NPR’s Planet Money featured a breakdown of the average day on their blog, and working/commuting tops the list, with sleep coming in at a close second. Leisure finishes a distance third, followed by eating/drinking, cooking/cleaning, grooming and playing with the kids.

Planet Money displays the findings in a colorful, easy-to-read graphic. They also further break down a couple of the categories: leisure and cooking/cleaning. I’m glad to see, for instance, that in an era of online news, entertainment, blogs and social media, we still spend more time each day relaxing and thinking (10 min., 48 sec.) than we do surfing the net (8 min., 24 sec.) – albeit not by much.

Really gives you something to think about, doesn’t it?

While you’re thinking, though, consider this: assuming these averages are accurate (or at least close), what do we do with them? What good does it do us to know, for instance, that we spend an hour more each day watching TV than we do socializing and talking? How does this information apply?

According to start-up executive, advisor, writer and blogger Martin Zwilling, self-analyzation is a cornerstone of achieving success.  Entrepreneurs should strive, he argued recently on his blog, to “know thyself first.”

“If you are going to be a real entrepreneur, it’s important that you know yourself well,” he wrote. “After all, you won’t have a direct manager charged with giving you feedback, and your team probably will be afraid to tell you what they really think. Entrepreneurs need to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses.”

This goes beyond knowing your schedule, how many hours you spend on the computer or how much time you dedicate toward family, friends and interpersonal soul-searching – though this certainly shouldn’t be excluded. In his post, Zwilling lays out seven ways a high (and honest) level of self-awareness can help you be a better leader and entrepreneur.

A few of the highlights include:

  • Self-knowledge builds confidence.
  • Being sure of who you are allows you to make sound business decisions.
  • Knowing, accepting and liking who you are encourages others to do the same.
  • Understanding your wants and needs helps you say “no” when necessary.
  • Knowing all of you – the good, the bad and the ugly – allows you to “use the good, fix the bad and learn to live with the ugly.”
  • Knowing yourself allows you to maximize performance.

You can read Zwilling’s entire post, with explanation and details, here. He gleaned many of his points, he wrote, from the book “Career GPS” by Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell, Ph.D.

“When you understand how you work most effectively, you will do a better job of delegation, use of outsourcing, and selection of partners and employees,” he concluded. “Figure out what you love to do and what you can do well, then hire people to complement your abilities.”

Needless to say, we at Vantage Clinical Solutions offer a number of services that, once you comfortably “know thyself” and your skillset, can complement your business strengths while helping you overcome your weaknesses.

Ben Montgomery
Ben Montgomery is a healthcare and business contributor for Vantage Clinical Solutions, a nationwide healthcare consulting and management firm located in Bend, OR and Denver, CO. Ben studied journalism at Simpson College (IA) and has been writing professionally for 17 years. He is available via the Vantage Clinical Solutions website and @montybrew.