Zoning in on Entrepreneurship – The Entrepreneurial Quotient
During my research for this month’s theme, I encountered a concept which I found rather novel but that made a lot of sense. This concept is known as the Entrepreneurial Quotient and is a great tool for entrepreneurs who see the value of constantly checking in with their entrepreneurial journey. For aspiring entrepreneurs, the literature on the Entrepreneurial Quotient is likely to be valuable in terms of providing them with a sober and realistic picture of what lies ahead in their journeys.
Entrepreneur.com offers a very short and sweet definition of what the Entrepreneurial Quotient is. The Entrepreneurial Quotient is “essentially about how well attuned you are, as an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, to the demands of being an entrepreneur.”
To be well attuned, in a way that enhances your existing business or business you are planning to launch, you’d have to be plugged in or conscious and reflective. Even though it is widely known as the Entrepreneurial Quotient, the authors of Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder, Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal, also refer to it as Determination Talent because essentially, the one defining element that ties all the different aspects of the Entrepreneurial Quotient together is determination or persistence. But this is a universal character trait though and one can be a determined nurse or accountant or anything that they choose to be. In the context of entrepreneurship though, the fact of the matter is, the entrepreneur has challenges that are quite particular that require a particular “strain” of the Determination Talent, whereas the nurse is likely not to worry about whether her salary will be paid at the end of the month.
To measure any quotient, tests are needed (I am not a big fan of so-called Intelligence Tests and have never taken one but in most cases, tools that measure things like the Entrepreneurial Quotient can be quite useful). I found a few tests online with very different approaches but a few similarities. I took them all and found the respective experiences quite different.
Entrepreneur.com offers a free test of 22 questions that measures the Entrepreneurial Quotient. The introduction to the test states, “The following test is no measure of your future success, but it may show you where you excel and where you need to improve to help make your business soar. Answer the following questions with a “yes” or “no,” and total your score at the end to find out your EQ. Most of the questions cover common characteristics in areas such as family background, childhood experiences, core values, personalities and more which turn up time and time again in studies of entrepreneurs.”
I took the test and identified other nuances addressing specifics such as risk taking or appetite for risk, perceptions of employment security versus self. Another Entrepreneurship Quotient test I found intriguing in its approach is that offered by entrepreneurship author and chief evangelist of Canva, Guy Kawasaki. Mr. Kawasaki offers a 22-question test, mostly multiple choice, on his website (link below).
Most of the questions are really demanding and can’t be answered without any reasonable amount of skin in the entrepreneurial game. If one really takes their time to look at the 22 questions, it soon becomes evident that there are specific categories that Kawasaki seeks to address in his test. The questions can be divided into the following categories:
• starting up a business & desirable bootstrapping practices
• marketing and branding
• product development and launching
• partnerships and company shareholding arrangements
• desirable recruitment practices for start-up’s
• investor readiness & pitching to potential investors
• business models.
What I can say about the Kawasaki Entrepreneurial Quotient test is that I honestly do not see how an inexperienced entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur can successfully take it and reflect meaningfully. Granted, some may be true or false questions, but they require very intimate knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship.
Kawasaki states the intention of the Test as being, “to test a person’s knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesn’t mean you’re the next Steve Jobs, and scoring low doesn’t mean you’re not. Some answers are debatable.” Exactly, it tests knowledge, it can’t be book knowledge for this to be meaningful, it must be experiential and, in that way, it’s a superb tool.
The most accessible test I found is from a United States registered company called Business in Bed. The Business in Bed 12-point Entrepreneurial Quotient feels a lot like having a conversation with a caring business mentor with significant skin in the entrepreneurial game. This test is a great self-evaluation tool and I would recommend slowly going through the 12 points to assess where you are in your entrepreneurial journey and what you need to invest in terms of resources to propel you to the next level.
Another very useful resource that seeks to advance the idea of the Entrepreneurial Quotient is a public Facebook page of the same name originating from India. Pinned right near the top of their Facebook page is a graphic that visually represents most of the main categories addressed in the Kawasaki and Entrepreneur Tests. According to this graphic, the main startup challenges are:
1. The Idea
2. The Business Plan
4. The Team
I wrote on this theme because I actually encounter many young entrepreneurs who ask me for guidance. Also, I’m an entrepreneur myself so it makes sense to reflect and research on these issues. This has been a most rewarding piece to write because prior to this I had no idea that an Entrepreneurial Quotient even exists. I hope that those who read this blog will find this useful and take the tests.
Go forth and #EntrepreneuRISE!