There are three entrepreneur archetypes that can be gleaned from this last statement.
The most obvious archetype is the one presented in this passage, the “Tell Me What To Do” entrepreneur (also known as the “What’s in Your Secret Sauce” entrepreneur).
He/She prefers instruction over experimentation. Fully unaware that in the experimentation phase of learning, you learn to rely on your instincts and develop your own style.
Visionaries gain most of their confidence and conviction through “successful” experiments. Of course I quote successful because every experiment should be conducted to learn what works and what doesn’t work. Thus, every experiment in succession should lead to a (big) success.
However, because this entrepreneur fears failure or making mistakes or experimenting, they never truly learn to follow their heart and end up producing mediocre results.
In opposition to that archetype, is the “Too Proud to Ask” entrepreneur. As the name implies, this guy/gal refuses to ask for instruction or admit they don’t know what they are doing. They ultimately place a facade in front of any suspecting candidate(s) (employees, suppliers, investors, mentors and etc).
The thought racing through their mind is “No one can know about my dirty little secret because if they do, my startup is DOA”. In reality however, people are a lot more forgiving towards entrepreneurs (hopefully looking to create something novel and meaningful) that don’t see all of the angles just yet.
Both of these archetypes harbor one common quality…insecurity. They are both insecure in their own abilities to make something happen (whether jumping in head first or asking for help from a trusted advisor).
One person wants all the answers upfront to avoid looking like a failure and the other wants to believe their weakness is actually their greatest asset and play success theater for the closest ones around them and their idea.
As you may have guessed, the last archetype is balanced in both curiosity and execution. He/She is called “Legend” They are not afraid to be vulnerable in front of others as long as progress is being made in the right direction, as quickly as possible. It’s more important that they verify than to assume. It’s more monumental that they validate than to guesstimate.
They realize that success only comes when one is competent in their knowledge as well as their ignorance. They value their limitations just as much as their gifts.
Of course we are all humans living in an ever changing and demanding world, so it’s not always easy to be Legend. I can definitely admit that I sometimes I sway between all three archetypes. But as the days grow longer and I begin to better understand my strengths and weaknesses, I begin to value taking risks more often as well as seeking council that I can trust.