Here is the rude awakening of the new economy – cruise control is going by the wayside. So many niches are being filled and each has its reward and effort. For the entrepreneur, there is going to be a lot invested in time, talent and money.
Try assessing your opportunity by the chart above based on complexity and compensation. Here is my take on what the entrepreneur’s journey looks like for each:
- Low complexity, low compensation. Common trades with routine work used to be artificially rewarded. It was an entitlement. However, routine work for little pay means having to build something large for a payoff. It could be a quick dead-end. It’s not a worthwhile situation.
- High complexity, high compensation. This is tricky. Work-life balance can come into play. If you win the game but lose your health and sanity, or you have to continually reinvent the wheel, then the rewards may not be worth it. The good news is that the complexity is a natural barrier to entry for competition.
- High complexity, low compensation. This is the worst situation. You are subjecting yourself to exploitation. You have to engage in complex work for small rewards or payouts. If that is a game you are playing, get out quick. Why bother?
- Low complexity, High compensation. This can come about from building efficiency in a system or finding a market that is underserved or undereducated with deep budgets. It is a sweet spot. It takes more work finding the right opportunity. The reward makes it all worthwhile for your time and effort.
I have worked across all these different scenarios both personally and with clients. As an entrepreneur, one of the most strategic ways to approach opportunity is thinking through the market. You are going to work hard. Is it worth it? Can you leverage your efforts greatly? Will you get burned out?
Take extra time to figure out how to hit the sweet spot in the place you are going to put your heart and soul. It can keep you from mindless or unrewarding work.
What kind of opportunities do you see that are achievable and rewarding?