Besides a source of brainpower testing entertainment, HBO’s True Detective proved a source of inspiration in entrepreneurship for me recently. After some reflection, I realized it wasn’t just me – this was worth sharing.
First, There’s the Dogged Determination of Entrepreneurship
The most obvious lesson to be learned from Rust is found in his focus and determination. He’s relentless in pursuing something when circumstances and everyone else are in his way. Yet, this determination is measured by a reasonable balance of instinct and the facts.
We can also see similar qualities in Marty, but compare his resolve with that of Rust. Rather than continue serving the force in an environment he sees as stifling, Rust leaves. He engages in some questionable extra curricular activities and life choices, but there is something else at his core that drives his very being. Marty’s marriage, on the other hand, suffers from his lack of resolve to make it work.
Yes, I’m going out on a limb here (not the best choice of metaphor perhaps) by writing this before the season has ended. We’re still not entirely sure that Rust’s enterprise is for the cause of good over evil. We’re not even entirely sure about Marty yet. However, one statement in particular has stayed with me.
Be Careful What You Get Good At.
Specifically, in episode 1.07 of True Detective, Cohl is reminiscing with Marty about paths they’ve taken in life. And, whether in regret or simple, cold observation, he says this:
Be careful what you get good at.
It’s another of those moments in True Detective that you just have to digest over time.
The problem in entrepreneurship is that we often get good at things we don’t want to get good at. Why? Being resourceful types and self starters, entrepreneurs can linger in roles or duties they shouldn’t. The reasons are often innocent enough – the resources aren’t available to get help, for example. Sometimes though, it is difficult to relinquish control. And, this is a tendency that all entrepreneurs have to be on constant watch for.
The bigger threat comes later though. When stuck performing a role that isn’t the best fit, an entrepreneur doesn’t get to enjoy the benefits of doing what he or she does best. And, even worse, the enterprise and organization both suffer when those talents are misallocated.
In this same conversation, Rust tells Marty that life is only long enough to master one thing. That’s a scary thought. But, he might be right.
How do you see these insights changing your priorities for the day or planning for the year? Please, do share.