Am I good enough? Am I climbing the top of the ladder? Is my career headed in the right direction?
As you continue to see-saw with these thoughts, and aspire to explore what’s outside the realm of your own world, you will either continue to trek the tragic path or you will summon your courage to take you in another direction. There’s plenty of talk about unleashing your potential, but what is the first step in discovering it and horning a good fit in the market? The market can be a career transition or an entrepreneurial journey or creative pursuits. What’s the mindset? What’s the process? What’s a perfect match or fit? What does that look like?
If you have been a part of the startup world, you’ve surely aware of the concept of Product-Market-Fit. No biggie. If we take a step back and analyze, can we apply these principles to our everyday lives? Each of us is born with innate superpowers (skills) that we hone through our lifetime (expertise) that helps us dominate the world or well that’s what we been told. But how do we go about exploring or expanding our potential and letting it manifest in the ways that we truly can pursue our dreams or destiny - it could be building your own start-up or your next rocket ship or creative pursuits. How should one go about exploring our potential before going out and building our careers, that is, achieving our product-market-fit and that’s called this potential-market-fit.
Presenting the Potential-market-fit framework:
What am I good at?
We all struggle with figuring out where to start from; mostly because we can’t visualize what the end point is. You don't have to have it all figured out all the paths you’ll take for the rest of your life; you just have to navigate with the compass for what life is about for you right now. Understanding where you are going creates a coherence in your life which gives you the visibility to connect the dots at the end.
Some questions to get you started:
What are the 20 percent of the things I’m doing today that are impacting 80 percent of my desired outcomes?
Out of all my current and past work roles, what gave you the greatest sense of fulfilment and purpose? What feels least like “work”?
What do I find simple and intuitive that others find complex and difficult?
Am I working on something that is unconventional, which will multiply, not add, results?
What do people most frequently leverage my expertise with?
The genius engine will be primed once you know what drives you. It will point you to a direction that will help fulfil your intrinsic needs while providing you with autonomy and potential mastery in a new unexplored domain. This is the one that will fuel you to run faster and take you to a place where you will kick some ass.
2. What is the Difference I want to make?
We all want the view from the top. But what is the 'top' that you are seeking? What is your definition of your true north star? It could be an entrepreneurial dream, artistic vision of the future, change in career or starting a not-for-profit, it is important we have a laser sharp view of how we want to apply ourselves. How do we view our roles and effort in the new playing field?
Let’s start with these:
What does winning look like?
Why is this important to me?
Will the project/ venture multiply, not add, the overall results?
What are the desired outcomes? Is it financial or emotional?
What is the measure of success?
Am I willing to go all-in on this?
Your network engine will build an ecosystem for you to thrive. The people, resources and connections will be the backbone of your success. So, do you have everything you need to make it a success? If not, can this be acquired over time? Is it possible to build this?
3. What do I do to succeed?
It takes a village to raise a child. Your dreams are not different. Once you have set your eyes on your playing field, you need a team, an ecosystem, a network, ofcourse, good will for your rocketship to take off. Let’s do a reality check:
Where do you want to play? This includes locations, organizations, consumers, products, that fit well together
Do I have the network? Can I leverage the existing network?
Do I have all the relevant experience? If not, can this be outsourced or learnt with time?
What capabilities must be in place?
What systems are needed to make this successful?
What are the external factors? Are we too dependable on them?
The process of immense learning and experiences will push you beyond your comfort zone. The combination of your 'what are good at ' and 'what do you need to' will put you in a unique position of advantage to solve the challenge at hand.
At the centre of this pretty flower lies your potential market fit; it brings together all aspects together for you.
In the end, we all want to choose paths that will bring out the best in us. The potential-market-fit framework can be applied to any context or any career type. It is not a process you go through once because our aspirations and goals could change with time. Every new phase presents us with a new chance to reinvent ourselves into who we truly wish to become. So go explore and enjoy the process. Now, go find your fit.