Updated: Feb 1, 2020
In yet another exciting podcast with Austin based serial entrepreneur, Sam Decker, as he shares his views on the importance of self-awareness and the entrepreneur. As a CEO, a founder, and many other roles Sam had in his career, he gives some real-life insight into how self-awareness affects productivity as an entrepreneur.
Sam begins with a comparison between self-awareness and a canvas painting concerning being an entrepreneur. He explains that, as an entrepreneur, you should never let a false sense of success set in. This mindset causes people to relax when they have only achieved a tiny percentage of their goals. He highlighted this by providing a metaphor for an unfinished canvas painting. In this metaphor, he expressed; if you nail one part of the painting, you would be happy about that little success, but once you step back, you'll see that you still have the rest of the canvas to complete. Therefore, judging your entrepreneurial success based on a little part rather than the whole picture may be detrimental. Furthermore, he identified that running a business can be hard. You should not expect ease or relaxation through the process. Therefore, it requires you to surround yourself with people that encourage and support you. For Sam, if not for the encouragement, he reckoned he would have given up long ago.
Experience is also an essential aspect of owning a successful business. Although past failures could be hurtful, they build a foundation upon which knowledge is produced. This is one of the many things that helped famous people like Walt Disney.
Values are essential. Sam further goes on to explain the importance of values in running a business. At his former company, Mass Relevance, the core values were transparency, openness, and speed. It is the value of openness that allows you to share your product with the public with expectations for feedback. This way, the company is more knowledgeable on the preference of the public, there is constant room for improvement in all dealings. Speed is also essential in carrying out those corrections.
Every entrepreneur has to be audacious, daring, and bold in all dealings. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized, and it is one of the qualities Sam regrets not possessing at the beginning of his career. The things he desired to be as a kid were all adrenaline oriented, but the main issue was going out to execute those plans. He also discussed a psychological concept known as the Pygmalion effect; this is when parents or guardians expect something of you and naturally, to make them proud, you rise to that. However, what is most important is that you expect that of yourself.
Although self -awareness is vital for a career entrepreneur, it is only one ingredient for success, one half of it. There are a lot of other things that matter. A person can be self-aware and not be humble enough to take advice. Too much of it can make a person see everyone that knows of their weakness as a threat. So you see, self-awareness helps you to stay true to yourself in your current role and helps secure your next.