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Lindsey Kuper

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Entrepreneurship [Mar. 24th, 2006|06:53 am]
Lindsey Kuper

The other day dan_o_m was writing about getting into podcasts, and I mentioned that I liked Venture Voice a lot. He asked me if I was interested in entrepreneurship, and it's got me wondering: am I interested in entrepreneurship? Or am I just interested in listening to people talk about it?

Although he probably wouldn't use the term to describe himself, my dad's an entrepreneur a couple times over. He's a farmer, which is a high-risk business in the first place, and he also owns and operates an off-farm ag marketing consultancy. He and my mom founded it about ten years ago after the ag marketing firm he was working for decided to close its doors, so in some ways I guess he had a leg up because he had a built-in clientele to start with; in other ways, he was at a disadvantage because it was a messy transition rather than a fresh start. Either way, I have a huge amount of respect for what he does.

But I'm having a hell of a time trying to decide what the hell I want to do. Sometimes I'm not sure I'm any good at music; other times, I'm not sure I'm good at anything but music. I'm not convinced that I will ever really be a good programmer. I know I'm not a great writer; not bad, but not great. I run marathons, but I'm kind of bad at it. So where does that leave me? To be fair, I know a number of people my age or older who are still coming to terms with being an adult; I'm pretty sure I'm okay with that part. But what do I want to do?

Okay, by elimination, then. Here's what I know I don't want to do:

  • Acting. I'll leave it to the people who aren't terrible at it.
  • Visual art. See above.
  • Stuff that would involve fluency in another language. I know, I know, that rules out a lot, but there it is. We IN*Js know our weaknesses, dude.
  • The messy side of lab science. ("Too much noise. There's just too much bloody noise!")
  • The same thing all the time.

It's that last one that makes me think that maybe I want to start a business. In my limited experience, smaller companies have always been better because they give me the chance to do some of everything, to contribute in lots of different ways instead of being limited to one. So if smaller is always better for me, would working for myself be the best? Or would I quickly get tired of having to literally do everything?


[User Picture]From: phthoggos
2006-03-25 12:59 am (UTC)
IN*Js are unable to learn languages?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-03-25 01:26 am (UTC)
Wow, that would suck a lot. No, what I'm saying is that we know our weaknesses. (I threw that * in there because I flip-flop every time I take the test.)
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[User Picture]From: ibm5_25
2006-03-26 06:04 am (UTC)
You're an IN*J?! Awesome. I'm an INTJ. What are the chances? 1/100 actually but yeah.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-03-26 10:32 am (UTC)
Yeah. I consider myself an INTJ according to the description, but I test as INFJ sometimes. I think that has to do with the way I make decisions. I use logical analysis up to a point, but after that I go with my gut feeling. Well, that's an oversimplification. A better way of putting it is that for me there's not much difference between "logical analysis" and "gut feeling".
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[User Picture]From: ibm5_25
2006-04-02 03:08 pm (UTC)
I've been on a big INTJ binge this week and, of late, have been reading through intj with interest. I also just found rationals a minute ago. I thought you might be interested. And you're the only other IN*J I've ever found (even though, I guess you found me. Which was nice.). I need to work on that.

(I apologize for lack of articultion in this comment... long story short, I'm really tired and am forcing myself to stay up as long as possible to try and get my sleep schedule worked back around.)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-04-02 07:06 pm (UTC)
stingmeyer's another.

You might be interested in commentary on personality types from a while back.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2006-03-25 01:55 am (UTC)
If you're going to start a business, you've got to strike a balance between something novel and exciting, and something safe where you don't have to justify your existence all the time.

When asked about his success as a jazz pianist, Laurence Hobgood pointed out, "Well, I picked the right instrument. Someone is always going to need it. I'd rather be a decent piano player than, say, the world's best trampolining French hornist."

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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-03-26 10:38 am (UTC)
but NOT by innovating halfway (being a jazz pianist ON THE INTERNET).

Fuck! There goes my plan.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2006-03-25 08:17 am (UTC)
The entire period from college to 30 is figuring out where skills, half-skills and limited life experience somehow coalesce into a satisfying career and a place in the world. If you're asking, you're not alone, but I'd say you're on the right track. I went back to school to sort of spur myself in the direction my head knows I need to go into (I KNOW science is a talent of mine that I can refine into a good career, but I have to overcome my laziness threshold to do it!) More often than not, the heart is wrong, but even if it is, it'll never admit it.

That was schmalzty advice, ne? I'm still only 27 and have a lot to learn myself. Daily do I ask the questions you're asking yourself. It means we're at least seeking; one day we'll find something!
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