Scientists, engineers, and researchers are launching start-ups and companies at an exponential rate like never seen before. Your technical background, as a scientist and researcher, can help you succeed in business since you are already a natural problem solver, a great learner, and a resourceful person. Here are 3 ways in which you, as a scientist, can leverage your technical skillsets to navigate the start-up world:
1. Technically Analyzing the Business
Research scientists are excellent technical thinkers who are used to analyzing large amounts of data and forming hypotheses. Decisions are made based on numbers and data, allowing them to use logical reasoning and rationale to draw conclusions. Such training is crucial for businesses so that, as a start-up executive, rational decisions can be made that are backed by facts and evidence. When you combine these hard skills with soft skills (e.g., excellent communication), you will have a much easier time navigating through complex business challenges throughout your start-up journey.
2. Researchers Know How to Overcome Failure
Scientists are already very familiar with “failure” on a daily basis. In fact, it is rare when laboratory experiments actually work! Researchers are resilient as they always find ways to try again, despite even having an experiment fail for the 100th time. They acknowledge the disappointing outcome, go back to re-group on their findings, and then try again. Similarly, such a mentality is incredibly advantageous for technical founders in their entrepreneurial journey. This type of resilience will help them to push through challenges and find creative solutions to solve business problems. The ability to push past failure is a strength that most entrepreneurs must learn to have – a key skill that scientists and researchers are already equipped with.
3. Understand How to Pivot
Entrepreneurs must also know when to pivot their business strategy to improve their chances for commercial success. Similarly, it is common for scientists to change their original experimental design and then pivot in a different direction with the hope of a better outcome. It is often too common that scientists must dedicate weeks, months, and (sometimes) years to test multiple hypotheses, perform all experiments, and analyze all variable outcomes just to get something in the laboratory to work. Thus, researchers and scientists are already familiar with the importance of pivoting and won’t be afraid to do so in the start-up environment.
Transitioning from the research laboratory to the business world can be daunting and risky, especially going into it the first time around. However, as a scientist, you are already equipped with many crucial skillsets and expertise that would be advantageous in your entrepreneurial journey. For more tips on how to approach business and start-up through the lens of a scientist and researcher, check out Train Like a Scientist, Think Like an Entrepreneur which is now available on Amazon.