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Business Interests Indicator

By Dr Charles Margerison
Psychologist

Introduction

People who succeeded in business did so because they developed strengths in particular areas. This resource gives you the opportunity to assess your own interests, by looking at the strengths of people who developed successful businesses.

For the purpose of discussion, I have presented virtual interview quotations from business people. As you read them, please allocate a score on the scale provided. Also, see if you can guess the business they founded. For reference a list is given at the end.

People who succeeded in business did so because they developed strengths in particular areas. This resource gives you the opportunity to assess your own interests, by looking at the strengths of people who developed successful businesses.

For the purpose of discussion, I have presented virtual interview quotations from business people. As you read them, please allocate a score on the scale provided. Also, see if you can guess the business they founded. For reference a list is given at the end.

The aim of this resource is to encourage discussion and exploration. Therefore, when you have allocated your scores, take time to meet with one or two friends to share and compare your responses.

In that discussion, indicate areas of work which are of interest to you from the list provided.

Amazing Life Stories – Short Biographies.

A. Michael Marks

I walked over a thousand miles from Slonim, Belarus to Leeds, England in 1880. On arrival, I could not speak English. I did not have money to finance a business. Nor did I have a trade or qualifications. I was alone with no family to help me. But, I was determined to succeed by selling. After arriving in Leeds, I was fortunate to meet Mr Dewhirst, a businessman who had a range of household products, which he allowed me to sell at a local market. That enabled me to earn enough money to start my own business. Can you guess the name of the business today?

To what extent on a scale of 0 = low and 10 = high are you interested in a career that focuses on sales skills?

Your score;  _____

B. Florence Nightingale Graham.

Born in Canada, I moved to New York and gained a job in a cosmetics business. I was fascinated by the techniques used to produce facial make up. To improve my skills, I bought a ticket and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to France in 1912, where I worked in Paris. The beauty salons attracted women who wanted to spend money on a range of personal products such as lipstick, skin cosmetics, hair  and body treatments and facial products. I returned to the USA and opened many salons and spas. Then I expanded the business to other countries, as women became more interested in skincare and fashion. Can you guess the name of my business?

To what extent on a scale of 0 = low and 10 = high are you interested in a career that focuses on distribution skills?

Your score;  _____

C. Ray Kroc.

I was 54 years of age when I perceived an opportunity that changed my life. I was selling milk shake machines. A restaurant ordered eight of them. That was unusual, so I visited to find out why. The owners told me that many of their customers bought milk shakes with their fast-food burgers. I came to the conclusion that they had an excellent business model, but they needed more outlets. They were not interested in a joint venture. So, I made the owners an offer that they accepted. This enabled me to establish a fast-food franchise business that now operates in 120 countries with over 36,000 outlets. We provide employment for over 1.5 million young people and help them develop practical skills. Can you guess the name of my business?

To what extent on a scale of 0 = low and 10 = high are you interested in a career that focuses on franchising skills?

Your score;  _____

D. Mayer Rothschild.

By the age of 12, I was an orphan. It was arranged for me to live and work with a family that had a banking business. I developed an interest in rare coins and bought and sold them to develop a business of my own. My knowledge and skills in financial services developed quickly. I became an adviser to powerful leaders. Those connections enabled me to establish a business as a banker. I encouraged my sons to establish the business in the capitals of Europe. As a result, we expanded and became a major player in the finance industry. What is the name of our business?

To what extent on a scale of 0 = low and 10 = high are you interested in a career that focuses on financial skills?

Your score;  _____

E. Sarah Breedlove.

As the daughter of slaves, I realised it was important to develop an independent life. That was difficult as both my parents died when I was young. I went to Chicago where my brother worked as a barber. I noticed that women wanted their hair to look nice. I developed skills as a hairdresser and developed hair products. I trained other women in sales and distribution of the products. That led me to become an entrepreneur. Eventually, I had 40,000 women working in my organisation. It involved a lot of action learning as I had no formal education.

To what extent on a scale of 0 = low and 10 = high are you interested in a career that focuses on coordination and organisation skills?

Your score;  _____

ANSWERS REVEALED BELOW!

Business founders and their brand names.

1 – Michael Marks – Marks and Spencer.

2 – Florence Nightingale Graham – Elizabeth Arden.

3 – Ray Kroc – McDonalds.

4 – Mayer Rothschild – Rothschild Bank.

5 – Sarah Breedlove – Madame CJ Walker.

Discussion

To make the most of this resource, meet with two other colleagues who have completed it. Share views on your respective career interests.

You can do that by sharing the scores you gave to each of the examples. Explain the reasons for your scores.

Indicate areas of business that interest you over and above the ones mentioned here. Outline why those areas are of interest.

At the end of the discussion, tell the others what you will do to follow up on the points raised in the conversations.

About The Author



Dr Charles Margerison, President and founder of Amazing People Worldwide, is a Psychologist. He is also President of Amazing People Institute and Amazing People Schools. Dr Margerison has consulted widely for major organizations in the fields of organizational and educational psychology. He was previously Professor of Management at Cranfield University, UK, and the University of Queensland, Australia. He founded Amazing People Worldwide in 2006 and is supported by a dedicated global team. He previously co-founded Emerald Publications, and Team Management Systems and has authored
 more than 30 books.
You can follow him on Linked in here.

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