Two are Better than One

I’ve always been fascinated by how differently each of us are wired, which is why I find personality tests so interesting. Earlier this week, I ran across My Next Move, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Interest Profiler, which helps you discover what you like to do and how it relates to the world of work.

The Interest Profiler ranks you in five categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, and Conventional. Having taken similar tests in the past, I wasn’t at all surprised by the results. I scored highest on Artistic (26), Social (16), and Enterprising (16).


People with Artistic interests like work that deals with the artistic side of things, such as acting, music, art, and design.

They like:

  1. Creativity in their work
  2. Work that can be done without following a set of rules


People with Social interests like working with others to help them learn and grow. They like working with people more than working with objects, machines, or information.

They like:

  1.  Teaching
  2. Giving advice
  3. Helping and being of service to people


People with Enterprising interests like work that has to do with starting up and carrying out business projects. These people like taking action rather than thinking about things.

They like:

  1. Persuading and leading people
  2. Making decisions
  3. Taking risks for profits

Since there’s a strong correlation between what you like and what you’re good at, it’s in the best interest of the employer to make sure the people you hire are a good fit for the job you hired them to do. But it also speaks to the issue of who you decide to partner with. Visionaries like Steve Jobs are often put on a pedestal, but without Tim Cooke, Apple wouldn’t be where it is today.

Visionaries see the big picture, but without tactical people to get things done, they’d accomplish nothing. In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek says that inspiring people is what all great visionaries do, but “to actually move people requires organizing”—and someone who knows how to do that:

In the case of every great charismatic leader who ever achieved anything of significance, there was always a person or small group lurking in the shadows who knew HOW to take the vision and make it a reality.

Perhaps that’s why, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies with more than one owner are more likely to survive longer than sole proprietorships. What’s more, a 2008 study showed that, since 1980, the average revenue for partnerships increased 157 percent while the average sole proprietor’s decreased 51 percent during the same period.

Most who start their own company go from having a job to owning a job. If you’re looking to do more, consider finding a partner who’s wired differently than you. As a very wise man once said:

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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