Are You a Blank-Canvas or Lines Person?

Today I had a chat with a friend who made a comment that stuck with me.

I’m not a start-from-scratch kind of person. It’s not my strong suit. I need there to be something in place already that I can improve and scale.

My friend, over an accomplished career, has learned this about himself. He isn’t a blank-canvas person. He has no desire to start a company. He needs there to be pre-drawn lines to a bigger picture or vision. He can then work within the outline of that picture to turn it into something amazing. He considers only opportunities that align with this criterion. His skill set makes him well suited to be the right-hand man of a big-picture entrepreneur who knows exactly how he or she wants to solve a particular problem.

As a former founder, I’m comfortable starting from scratch. A blank canvas is attractive to me. I enjoy the process of coming to understand a problem and creating a solution from nothing. Once I know what needs to be built, I can draw the lines on the canvas and start building a masterpiece.

For anyone who wants to be a founder, a comfort level with a blank canvas is necessary.