We supplement the book in our Career Reinvention Workshops with information about small business ownership, buying a franchise, and other career alternatives. In the spirit of Self Discovery and then Customer Discovery, we use a short test in the Workshops that reveals at least one critical aspect of business ownership personality, Grit.
Anyone considering owning their own business should take a moment to examine their "Grittiness" with a Grit test.The Grit idea comes from the work of University of Pennsylvania researcher Angela Duckworth. She has been able to find that a determining quality for the success of a student is their ability to stay on focus. This may be far more important than what standardized entrance examinations try to measure such as intelligence, knowledge, and/or creativity.
Grit is a difficult quality to describe. My mother, who was born in the area of Europe that was formerly East Prussia, is fond of telling us she has Prussian determination, while others are simply stubborn. She is an incredible entrepreneur, continuing to create value for others even with the physical limitations of being 75. She just keeps going and that has been an inspiration to everyone who knows her.
Grit is a personal determination that is different from stubbornness. The difference is that Grit has purpose, stubbornness only has a past. Before taking the leap of buying a business, it's worthwhile to do a bit of Self Discovery. Click here to download the 12 question Duckworth Grit Questionnaire for yourself.
If you find you have Grit, the question then becomes why? Do you have a purpose that could be fulfilled in your own business? Then buying a business makes great sense. Perhaps that Grit is for another purpose, such as a leadership position in a larger organization (which may not be a for-profit organization). Your Personal Business Model will help here.
Those scoring lower on the Grit scale still have purpose; however, it may be important to associate yourself with another leader in a more supportive role. Buying a business is not for everyone.