What difference do you make?

At every good job interview, there is at least one ‘nagging’ question that follows you home. One that has forever stayed with me is: ‘What do you bring to the table, that isn’t already here?’

Ok…what do you say that won’t come off as arrogant to a team that has decades of experience in an industry or field that you are just starting out in? Yeah, you know you have transferable skills, but which ones do they value? All these questions were racing through my head! Meanwhile, the hiring manager was waiting for a memorable response, especially after so much thought was put into it. Eventually, I simply said: ‘You’ve stumped me with this one.’ Despite fumbling that ball, I did get the job. Though my response was uninspired, the question has inspired me from that day on.

Whatever you do and wherever you go, you need to know what difference you make. However, if you are not sure what difference you make, don’t beat yourself up. It requires ongoing self-reflection. Just keep in mind that self-discovery is not all about internal reflection, it’s also about how you interact with other people. Be warned: It’s that interaction that often is a bit of a revelation to you and to others!

Entrepreneurial Spirit

I was very intrigued by the article The True Meaning of ‘Entrepreneur’ by @SteveTobak. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, an entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” I feel like the general definition of ‘entrepreneur’ just does not communicate the essence of what many of us recognize as ‘entrepreneurial spirit.’

For an entrepreneur to execute their personal vision, they need to attract ‘like-minded’ individuals. By ‘like-minded,’ I don’t mean ‘yes men’ that think exactly as they do. I mean individuals that recognize that same entrepreneurial spirit within themselves, driving them to produce a product or provide a service to solve a problem. This resulting synergy produces something much greater than each individual could produce on their own. It produces a corporate vision.

If you don’t fuel the entrepreneurial spirit that lies within you, you will have nothing to contribute to a corporate vision. Whether you are working in a home-based business, a startup, or a fortune 500 company, it’s that spirit that is essential to your success.