For the first two years we lived in South Korea, I was working for an e-commerce start-up, The Arrival Store. They were really big on investing in the team, growing people professionaly, and making sure that we were working in areas of strength.
While with them, I took two assessments: the Strengths Finder 2.0, and the BOSI Index (discussed more int he book Entrepreneurial DNA). I’ll probably talk about the Strengths Finder results later, but right now my mind is on the BOSI results.
BOSI is an acronym for:
These are identified by the author as four different dispositions of entrepreneurs (yes, there are more, yes, this is a self assessment, yes there’s plenty to debate about here). For me, while working for the company, I scored high in Building and had the supporting trait of Specialist. This basically meant I could come in and help create better systems, grow things, and leave the company better than I found it. It lined up well with my MBIT and Strengths Finder results as well.
When I started freelancing, I took the assessment again, this time as a solo-preneur. I scored higher in Specializing and even added Innovating as a supporting characteristic.
Now, I’m not here to say that this is an amazing revelation. Actually, going solo and staying solo means that I have to be good at something specific. People shouldn’t hire me to do all of their tasks (unless I’m their mom, which I’m not).
People need to know what they’re hiring me for, and I need to be able to deliver specific results for them in a specific area for a specific pain. These areas can be fairly large with different sub areas as well.
Take “WordPress Development” for example. This could mean that I work on just the front end (HTML, CSS, JS) or it could mean that I specialize in the back end functionality (PHP and MySQL), or it could mean I know it all deeply (full-stack developer). It could mean that I specialize in building themes for the front end or plug-ins for the back end. It could also mean that work on SEO for sites or that I try to improve site speed.
Actually, I’ve done and continue to do a little bit of all of that.
But, I feel like I’m moving into a moment when I will say, “Umm, I don’t really do that.”
And that’s the nature of specialization: the ability to say “no” to say “yes” to other things. Choosing to not do something in order to do something else.
As I’ve written about, I’m moving more towards functionality development right now. This means I’ll be looking for projects that do something special, or perform a task.
It also means that I won’t be doing just any ol’ website build any more. It should be something that offers something unique to the client, the users, and the web.
If you’re interested in a unique project, or have one in mind, I’d love to know!