What Type of Capital Do You Have?

Let’s delve into the concept of ‘Capital’.  Not a county, state or national capital, but the type of capital we amass over a lifetime.

Financial Capital

When posed with the question, “Tell me about the capital you can bring to the business,” many immediately think of ‘financial capital’. Most of us begin life with modest means.  And, throughout our life, we work to accumulate greater financial resources. This type of capital is relatively easy to measure – a glance at your net worth statement swiftly reveals whether your financial standing is improving.  When it comes to financial capital, our goal might be to become ‘financially unbreakable’.  This is the point where we no longer need to worry about our financial position.

Intellectual Capital

Yet, not everyone defaults to financial capital. Occasionally, when I mention capital, people consider ‘intellectual capital’. This form of capital is cultivated over years of study, often represented by academic degrees such as a college, master’s, or even a doctorate degree. Intellectual capital can also be acquired through the school of Hard Knocks, with the adage that 10,000 hours of experience is necessary to become an expert at something.  Intellectual capital focuses on the importance of what lies between the ears. The intriguing aspect of intellectual capital is its resilience – it cannot be easily taken away, and it typically does not diminish during one’s work life.

Social Capital

However, there’s another type of capital that often goes unnoticed – ‘social capital’. In essence, social capital is defined by who you know and how effectively you can get things done. Those with a robust social capital network can make a couple of phone calls and promptly connect with the right person. They are individuals who can text community leaders, with responses arriving by day’s end. For most people, social capital revolves around the communities they have been part of for years – beginning with school friends, expanding with work acquaintances, and maturing through community involvement and giving back. Those who invest significantly in their communities tend to possess substantial social networks, facilitating the opening of doors with ease.

When establishing a business, financial resources and necessary skill sets are undoubtedly crucial. However, the power of social capital should never be underestimated. Being able to open doors and speak with the right person has real value.  If you are new to a community, focus on building social capital.  If you have lived in a community for many years, continue to expand your social capital.  Get involved, give back and makes friends.  Not only does it feel good, but it is also good for you and your business.

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