These three traits combined are a winning formula for an entrepreneur. AKA, the sweet spot.
Let's break it down.
Nothing beats curiosity. The less you know, the better.
I've never met a successful entrepreneur who, at their core, wasn't curious. They know they don't know everything, and that scares them a bit. Not knowing drives fear in them.
They ask questions like, "how does this work?" "why does this work?" and, of course, "why isn't this working?"
They are thinking about what might be possible.
And this curiosity forces them to create a vision others can latch onto. Their vision begins with many theories, hypotheses mixed with some data, and a little bit of gut feeling.
And as they learn more, they adjust their thinking and narrow their vision. Every step of the way, the vision gets better and better.
And ultimately, the vision turns into confidence. A strong vision backed by confidence and proof is unstoppable.
Curiosity isn't just a great skill for founders. It's a great leadership skill as well.
Curiosity means having the willingness to admit you don't know everything, and not stopping until you can confidently move forward.
There's a trick that works well. When faced with what seems like an insurmountable problem, ask yourself, "what would have to be true for this to happen?" Then, based on your answer, ask it again, and again, and again until you find a small enough solution to bite off and make the outcome seem feasible.
For instance, in the early stages of building Blinds.com, we found that most people were hesitant to buy blinds because they were afraid to do the measurements themselves.
What would have to be true to cause people to be unafraid?
Have a guarantee so ironclad, that the fear would be removed. So we created the industry's first no-fault guarantee. Business skyrocketed.
What are you capable of doing right now, not tomorrow?
I'm as guilty of this as many others. Ambition comes easy to me, but that gets me in trouble. I'll find myself doing things I have no business doing.
So, to find your sweet spot, you'll need to be realistic with your capabilities. If your vision is to land on Mars and you've never seen a rocket schematic before, maybe, just maybe, you should ignore it.
A great entrepreneur is curious but also understands their current skill set, and the skill set of their team...their superpowers. But more importantly, their Kryptonite.
Push yourself, but never start with failure. Start with knowing yourself and what you can achieve.
What are you afraid of? Let paranoia drive you to take action.
The ability to evolve continuously means someone is adaptable, which means they are less likely to be afraid of change, which is the only constant in business.
The more you don't know, the more anxious you will become. That's where fear can stop you from doing what you need to do.
Like many founders, I was initially afraid to take on the responsibility of delegation, but no matter how adept you are at hiring, you'll never fully leverage your people if you don't delegate. You must give them autonomy with clear expectations, but don't completely abdicate until people have proven themselves.
So delegate a little and then gradually more to those who satisfy your expectations.
I was afraid to delegate. But my paranoia was greater than my fear. I was afraid that if I didn't delegate, I wouldn't be able to build a bigger business than I was capable of. The company would have stalled.
So I let my paranoia drive me to delegate. You have to address your fear to take action. It's the only way to move forward.
Combining your paranoia and curiosity while being realistic about what you can achieve is a recipe for something special. Now, start cooking!