Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Define Who You Are For Yourself Before Defining For Others

A previous post dealt with having, "your organization's portrayal or public face firmly established in the mind of all of your members." What that is can be based on one of two foundations either:

  • What You Love
    • or
  • Who You Are

Sam Davidson gives his perspective on advise from Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist.

CoolPeopleCare | Penelope's Advice: Do What You Are
Should you do what you love or do what you are? What if both of those change?

Penelope Trunk, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago in Madison,has just written what I think is her best piece. She trashes the common career advice of, "Do what you love." She takes to task the impossibility and unfeasibility of this advice, claiming that:

"Often, the thing we should do for our career is something we would only do if we were getting a reward. If you tell yourself that your job has to be something you'd do even if you didn't get paid, you'll be looking for a long time. Maybe forever. So why set that standard? The reward for doing a job is contributing to something larger than you are, participating in society, and being valued in the form of money."

Sam continues his philosophical musings.

CoolPeopleCare | But What If I Love Entrepreneurship?

Should I do what I love or do what I am? But what if I want to make my passion my profession?

Yesterday, I highlighted Penelope Trunk's recent condemnation of the career advice, "Do what you love." In its place she suggests that people "Do what they are." I agreed.

But I soon began to think about entrepreneurs. Many people embrace the notion of entrepreneurship in order to do what they love. They start jobs and companies in order to turn their passion into their profession.

So are they being misguided? Should they be steered away from trying to base a business on something they love?

Or should every entrepreneurship course be prefaced with Penelope's advice, steering budding starters away from basing a concept on a love and instead basing it on who they are?

Or, by only changing one word in a tired maxim, is Penelope really just saying the same thing?

The Businesspundit questions the ability of some of his generation's ability to meet the challenges of being an entrepreneur.The Businesspundit: Not Built For Business: Are We The Greatest Generation?

David Brooks calls the years when members of my generation wander in their 20s "the odyssey years." We move between careers, get our traveling itch done and experiment with startups. Ben Casnocha, an entrepreneur who hasn't even reached his "odyssey years" yet, encourages exploration but not without setting goals-no doodling on Taco Cabana bags and Twinkie wrappers, people. In the August issue of Maxim, Mark Cuban championed an even more daring quest in a feature on "CEO Secrets."

As this post is already getting long enough, I am going to make additional comments at another post.

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